How to Take Your Urban Calgary Balcony to New Heights

July 9, 2018

5 Interior Design Tips That Will Have You Living Large on Your Urban Balcony.


With summer in full bloom and fall right around the corner, it’s hard to resist the allure of the outdoors. It’s time to celebrate urban living and outdoor spaces in Calgary, no matter what kind of space you’re working with! Bring the indoors outdoors and live large with your urban patio or balcony by adding your personal touch and style.

This month, we met with Chloe Leung and Jennifer Madsen, resident interior designers with U/D builder partners Brookfield Residential and Avi Urban, to chat about transforming an urban patio or balcony into a welcoming outdoor oasis.  

Do you live in a townhome, condo or apartment in Northwest or inner-city Calgary? Are you one of the new residents excited to call University District home this month? Let’s take a look at Chloe and Jennifer’s recommendations so you can start enjoying your living space to its fullest potential.



1. Embrace All Things Green

Green is always in style! Just because you want to enjoy urban living doesn’t mean you should give up the green.

Jennifer – Adding plant life not only changes the look and feel of your balcony, it creates a connection to nature for those seeking an outdoor space in an urban setting. It will turn your urban balcony from cold to cozy and inviting in no time at all.

For example, try wooden pallets. They are all the rage these days and will turn your balcony from boring to beautiful. You can recycle old materials, enhance your balcony with a personal touch, without breaking the bank.

On a small urban balcony, think vertically – especially when it comes to plants. Make the most of the space you have! Get the pots off the floor by using wooden pallets to maximize ground space or hang potted plants from the ceiling with a sturdy hook.


Jennifer’s Picks


Chloe’s Picks


You don’t need to give up your green space to enjoy urban living. Check out our guide to urban gardening in yyc


2. Patterns and Colour are Your Friend


Chloe – Small spaces are such a great place to flex your creative muscle by using patterns and colours that you might otherwise refrain from. Weaving in global textiles into a small urban space can transport you from an ordinary balcony to an exotic outdoor retreat.

To start, try adding a few outdoor tossed cushions, a rug and some colourful accent pieces to brighten up the space, she suggests.  For example, consider the on-trend palm tree cushions,
reminiscent of a beach retreat, or add some summery freshness with flamingo-patterned cushions.

Then finish up by adding a pop of colour with a teal or lime green centerpiece. Adding colour is a great way to liven and brighten up a space, especially if your balcony gets minimal sunlight.


Jennifer’s Picks


Chloe’s Picks


3. Get Creative with Seating


Your urban balcony may be small, so you might think a round bistro table for two is the way to go, right? Not the case here!  

Jennifer – While there may not be room for full size Muskoka chairs, a good bench complete with comfy outdoor cushions can be the perfect fit.

Bench or booth seating is hot this year. It’s a great multi-use piece that maximizes functionality of your urban outdoor space. Ottomans that convert to a table are another great option. It can be used for seating but double as storage, she suggests.

If you’re going for a more colourful, whimsical feel, then consider a starburst looking chair – halfway between a wicker and rope string chair – or throw in some outdoor-friendly poufs for a more casual vibe.


Jennifer’s Picks


Chloe’s Picks


4. Set the Mood with Lighting


Don’t spend those beautiful summer nights in the dark.  

Chloe – Lighting is key. Twinkle lights, better known as string lights, are both hip, functional and a great way to add mood lighting to any outdoor space.

If your outdoor living space is completely open where you can’t hang lighting, then consider outdoor sconces or lamps around your space. A small balcony can get a lot of mileage out of just one low emission LED string or solar powered lamp – for the environmentally conscious – adding atmosphere and a welcoming ambient glow.



5. Less is More

Jennifer – The concept of “less is more” is all about creating simple spaces with thoughtful design.  
Don’t get carried away.  Assign a few pieces based on what you want your outdoor space to look like.

Chloe – There’s more of an art to it. You can make your urban balcony a lot more beautiful if you carefully plan and work within the space you have. Never underestimate the power of a planter full of greenery with a colourful watering can. Add some simple wooden crate boxes to bring some life, a petite side table and maybe a patterned cushion or pouf, and you’ll be set!


Do you have condo envy? Now that you know how to style a balcony, explore how to make the move from a house to condo


Designer-approved Northwest Calgary decor shops


Whether you’re starting fresh or looking to redesign your urban outdoor space, take these tips and make your way to one of these designer-approved décor shops to get started on your urban space in the sky. 

“From outdoor furniture to centerpieces and toss cushions, these spots have everything you need and for great value,” says Chloe. 


1.  Homesense

3625 Shaganappi Trail N.W. | 403.288.2224
Open 7 days a week


2.  Real Deals

8607 48 Avenue N.W. | 403.457.4779
Open 7 days a week


3.  Bouclair

11826 – 11830 Sarcee Trail N.W. | 403.516.3253
Open 7 days a week


4.  Structube

1696 Sarcee Trail N.W. | 587.535.5020
Open 7 days a week


Have a décor tip or Northwest Calgary décor shop that we missed from the list? Share your proud porch, awesome accents or décor tips with us and the community on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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