Balcony Makeover, Part One

We live in a tiny shoebox and part of our space is eaten up by our balcony. While I enjoy outdoor spaces, in all the time I’ve been here, I have not used this space. It’s dirty and hard to clean and/or keep clean. It’s also not very welcoming. We used to have a wicker patio set on our balcony, but it collected so much dust and debris that no one ever bothered to sit on it. So I decided it was time to reclaim this space and finally make it mine.

Our balcony is similar to many other Toronto condo balconies: a lot of concrete, metal and glass. Maybe the only difference might be that there’s a fair bit of space out there, being 19ft by (almost) 5ft, whereas many balconies are much smaller, especially the newer buildings. I decided to cover the concrete with wood deck tiles and make it a less austere space. I measured out the square footage of balcony and got enough tiles to cover the floor. These tiles are wood layered over a plastic base, so water will just go through the tile onto the concrete. Being wood, this particular tile will need maintenance every couple of years, however, the look and feel of the wood appealed to me more than the plastic gray ones or the grassy tiles.

Each box of tiles comes with 9, and each title has 4 squares joined together. We had to cut some tiles up to fit around the edges of our balcony. We also have a new window A/C, so we had to fit a tube from the A/C to the edge of our balcony around the tiles (to deal with excess water drainage). As a note, if you get these click in tiles, use your feet to step on them and click them into place. I saw many reviews where people used their hands or even a hammer because it’s hard on the hands — this is not needed. Your feet will do all the work for you!

Once the tiles were in place and the balcony was given yet another cleaning, it was time for the fun stuff — furnishing and decorating. Except, winter had arrived, putting a halt to my plans. Below is a photo to show you where I had stopped.

As you can see, we’ve got an eyesore of an A/C sticking out. We added that to the apartment last summer and wrapped up for the winter season and under the A/C are the extra tiles that we don’t need. At the end of the balcony are two long bags that house Roman’s volleyball equipment.

Now, being home for weeks on end, I am even more determined to have a functional space to move to once the weather warms up a little. It’s likely many of us will be home for many more weeks, either working from home (WFH) or unable to work at all. It’s a difficult and stressful time, and utilizing every square inch of our space will help us emotionally and mentally. I’ve basically become agoraphobic since the quarantine started, and fear going outside on the street level — which I know is not logical (because the virus doesn’t stick to the ground level), but it’s where I’m at. So stay tuned and stay safe. I’ve got a Part Two, coming soon!

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