When we moved into our new apartment last February we were especially glad about one feature of it: the balcony. Some of you might start to think why is a balcony such a nice thing in Northern Finland, when most of the time temperatures are below zero. Well, for a start, you have to remember that summers in Northern Finland are one of the most beautiful things, with sun that never sets, skies on fire and pastel colors. So, even though they are short, Finnish summers are definitely something one wants to enjoy to the full. Also, balconies have a second purpose, that is to cool off from sauna, and that’s why they are used during winters too, to a certain degree.
Our apartment is located on an island, quite close to the city center but still far from its traffic, so this makes being in balcony even more enjoyable. Otherwise, with cars going back and forth under our balcony and with other city noises, I doubt I could use the balcony to relax. We are also lucky to live on the highest floor of our building and not to have any taller building in front of us. That allows us to have a really broad view. Plus, our balcony looks north-west, so we can admire the amazing arctic sunsets from there. Already from the beginning, we knew we wanted the view to be a significant element of our balcony. To crown it all, our balcony is completely glass protected. We thought that it would be so nice to sleep there some nights during this summer, thing that we actually did and it was one of the most romantic and relaxing thing (note: a sleeping mask might be needed, since the sun is basically up all the time).
We were really enthusiastic about our balcony since in the previous apartment we didn’t have one. Therefore, we didn’t have any balcony furniture when we moved in here. As a project, we started planning our balcony, what kind of furniture we would like and how to decorate it. We knew we wanted it to be cozy, practical, but at the same time personal and with a special touch in it. The balcony is situated next to the kitchen, so we thought that in summer time we can eat there easily and that soon became an important factor in the designing process. We also wanted to have a lot of fresh herbs.
And here is the drawing Klaus came up with our ideas:
We thought of making benches out of pallets, which are easy to find and cheap, if not free.
We also needed a place to keep some small tools for gardening and other stuff, so Klaus used parts of an old doctor’s desk. We were thinking to make it as high as the other benches, but after all decided to leave it slightly higher since it works so well as a side table.
For the table, we had the same idea, but then Florim ceramic tiles were delivered to me and they came in a box that was just the perfect size for our balcony table. So what we did was just to close it and place one of the tiles, the Graphite color from the collection Maps of Cerim to be precise, at the top of it.
We wanted to have a chalkboard hanged on the concrete wall to smoothen it a bit. Chalkboard actually revealed to be quite a versatile accessory: it’s good as a background for my recipes, it’s nice to use it as a menu board during parties, and children love it, especially if colored chalks are available. Since the the ceramic tile was 20 cm short in width, we had the idea to continue the chalk theme also there by adding two chalk painted wooden lists. The result was really satisfying. I love the table’s minimalistic and maybe a little Japanese style. It brings harmony and peace to the room.
The structure was at this point complete, but the decorations were still missing. So we partnered up with Pentik to transform an uncomfortable balcony into a cozy and warm one.
In the next post you can see the result!