Patio Perfect – How to Make The Most of Your Downtown Austin Condo’s Balcony Space

Patio Perfect – How to Make The Most of Your Downtown Austin Condo’s Balcony Space

I will admit, my patio here at The Shore Condos has not been top of mind lately.  With our condo facing west (read: pretty much useless from afternoon until the sun goes down), and the Austin summer heat being so crazy, I don’t actually spend much time out there.

Now, with fall coming up, I’m starting to give real thought on maximizing our outdoor space.

I envision Saturday mornings with fresh coffee and scones, reading the paper.  Or, fall evenings enjoying the view and a beer with friends.  Or, maybe, we put the patio to real use and do a small outdoor herb garden.  Or, maybe we can do ALL of these things!  So many choices, so little space!

To give you an idea of the space I’m trying to maximize: we are working with a 10 ft long, 4 ft deep patio space.  And some of that really can’t be used (about 3 ft x 4ft), because we have a door that swings outward into the patio.  So, really about 7 ft x 4 ft.

I’ve done some online research, and the advice for maximizing balcony space seems to generally be universal:

  1. Add seating that is scaled to the size of your patio.  A good example is the “Bryant Park Chair”.
  2. Keep items lightweight, mobile, and if possible, dual purpose (seating with storage, for instance).
  3. Use bold colors
  4. Make use of plants, but try to keep planting vertical.  The Great Outdoors on S. Congress is your friend!
  5. Avoid clutter
  6. Add an outdoor rug or other textile to cover exposed concrete.

Below are some pictures that have given me inspiration:




We’re really interested to see is how some you high-rise dwellers are decorating YOUR balconies!  I know that I can’t be the only one who is having or who has had this challenge.  I would LOVE to see some reader patios / balconies – feel free to post in the comments.

About amber gugino

Amber Gugino loves living downtown and has been an active board member of the The Shore Condo Owners Association, Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association and member of the Junior League of Austin. She adores her dog, Blog, and she learns something new about downtown Austin every day.

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