Have you been on your summer vacation yet?
We haven’t – I know I sound like a broken record, but with our big US trip coming up this fall, we didn’t really have any longer vacation planned over the summer, so we ended up spending quite a few afternoons and evenings on our balcony.
Luckily, we’d been doing some serious makeover work since last year!
We’ve lived in our apartment for almost five years now, and we loved it so much that after over four years of renting it, we finally bought it last year. One of the apartment’s best features is the balcony – while not huge, it’s a decent size, and we get the sun pretty much all day (from around 10am until it goes down).
Before last year, this is what our balcony looked like – plus some furniture:
A naked concrete floor, our beloved Weber gas grill, and a dead olive tree. It didn’t survive the Danish winter. Not exactly inviting, is it?
One of the reasons why we didn’t feel like doing much with it was the large construction site just across the street from us, where new apartment blocks were being built. That meant loads of construction dust on everything and took away from our enjoyment of the balcony.
Luckily, that building was completed last year and the construction has moved one block down (you can see a bit of the scaffolding in the pictures below), so we thought it was time to make the balcony into a place we could enjoy.
And it’s quite an improvement, if I say so myself!
We started with laying some simple wooden tiles, which both look pretty and make the floor that much nicer to walk on, especially with bare feet. We got them at Silvan – they don’t have the exact ones anymore, but these are similar.
The chairs aren’t new, we got them a few years ago and still like them. But we switched out the small table that came with the chairs with this one from IKEA, which has two distinct advantages: it’s adjustable in height, and it folds down to make more space when not used.
With the view over the canal and the Sluseholmen sluice, it’s one of my favorite places to sit with a glass of chilled rosé and a nice book.
I’ve also added more green to the balcony, starting with a replacement olive tree, which I’m hoping to be able to keep alive. If anyone has any good tips on keeping an olive tree in Denmark, please share in the comments!
I’ve started a little herb garden with some of my favorite cooking herbs: basil, rosemary, and thyme. I’m loving these little porcelain labels, which I got as a gift from a friend.
I’ve also added two small tomato plants to the balcony garden. I bought one of the plants, and got the other for free from someone who had made seedlings from their tomato plants. I’ve already harvested the first little cherry tomatoes from one plant, and the other one is blooming right now, so fingers crossed!
Now we’re ready for plenty of late summer barbecues, cold beers after work, and watching sunsets wrapped in a blanket with a glass of wine.
To inaugurate the balcony, we had a little cookout and grilled some hot dogs.
The classic version with ketchup, mustard, and roasted onions for the boyfriend, and a veggie sausage with cucumber relish, mustard, and water cress for me.
Cheers to summer!
And now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be on the balcony with my book!