the tiniest balcony makeover with thoughtful finishing touches
tour jacquelyn clark of lark & linen’s recently completed outdoor space.
You know how it goes. Move in, unpack, and designate a space in your new home for your junk. Sometimes it’s a closet, a basement, or even a spare bedroom, but in Jacquelyn Clark’s case, it was the balcony of her cozy Toronto condo. And it stayed that way for over five years before the interior designer behind blog Lark & Linen took action and transformed the teeny tiny 5x9 foot space into a serious outdoor oasis. Keep reading to discover expert tips that will hopefully inspire a mini makeover of your own.
produced by Alyssa Clough
photography by Simply Lace Photography
photography by Simply Lace Photography
What inspired you to finally makeover your balcony?
It's something that I've been meaning to tackle since we moved in, but life got in the way and it just never seemed to be a priority. Now that it's complete we're kicking ourselves for not transforming it earlier. I still can't believe how much use we get out of it now, and I'm in awe of how such a small space has vastly improved our lifestyle. We now spend the majority of our time out there, soaking in the summer sun as long as it lets us.
Blanket Cassill Gray Throw alegriahome.com Loveseat by Birch Lane wayfair.com Flooring RUNNEN ikea.com Elephant Table by Bungalow Rose wayfair.com Metal Table by Woodland Imports wayfair.com Blue Pillows by Pillow Perfect wayfair.com Taupe Pillows by Brayden Studio wayfair.com
What was your goal with the makeover?
Our balcony had been a catch-all for junk, old furniture, and other unsightly things for as long I can remember. It has always driven me crazy and I've been known to draw the curtains when company arrives to hide the embarrassment. After reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up I was inspired to purge everything and really transform it into a tiny oasis that we'd really make use of. Summer in Toronto is so fleeting, so being able to enjoy the outdoors as much as physically possible was my mission. Our condo isn't huge, and we've been outgrowing it for a while now, so the notion of growing outwards (and essentially recapturing that square footage) was a wonderful bonus.
How did you choose your tables?
Since square footage is at a minimal, I really needed to get creative when it came to the layout. A single coffee table would have felt overwhelming and left little room for movement, so I opted for two smaller tables instead. They take up less of a footprint, which makes for a great space saving solution, all while adding added interest through varying heights and textures. Not only that, but they also pull double duty (home to many a wine glass and charcuterie plate, yet equally great as a makeshift foot rest). They're also easy to move around, or tuck out of the way when necessary.
What aesthetic were you aiming for?
My goal was to create a space that felt unfussy, yet elegantly pulled together. Since it is such a small space, every last detail really needed to shine—quality over quantity was definitely the name of the game. Whether it was the extra deep love seat, begging for you to curl up in with a good book and a glass of wine, the printed indoor/outdoor pillows, or the intricately carved lantern that casts the most beautiful shadows in the evening, every single piece was thoughtfully chosen. I made sure to keep the colour palette simple and serene, with soft natural shades, accented by hints of navy. I also made sure to infuse texture everywhere I could, which is a simple tool that instantly adds interest in a really beautiful way.
String Lights by String Light Co wayfair.com
What’s your favorite part of // favorite thing to do in your new space!?
On more than one occasion my boyfriend and I have been known to drag our laptop out there and watch Netflix under the stars, with the Toronto city line as our backdrop. It's incredibly romantic! We're currently on a "Stranger Things" binge.