Before & After: Turning My Tired Balcony Into My Own Kitsch Rooftop Botanical Bar For Under £250


When we moved into our current home last year, one of the great things about it was a balcony you accessed from the living room. As we live on a hill it has great views (especially on Fireworks night.) It is also a total suntrap, so I want to utilise it this summer.

Yet before it could become my evening wine drinking haven, this balcony needed some proper DIY love. Its decking was worn and faded, the paint on the balcony doors weathered, but the worst problem was something I couldn't do anything about - wood-rot and damage to the neighbours property that was clearly visible. The balcony needed a tart up, and I needed to cover the neighbours wall damage from view....

BEFORE:

The before in all its 'glory', with its weathered decking and door, ivy root walls, paint splattered old lamp and wood rot.

The before in all its 'glory', with its weathered decking and door, ivy root walls, paint splattered old lamp and wood rot.

AFTER!

And here is what my balcony looks like now with a bit of DIY effort! It's like my own private tropical rooftop bar and I LOVE it! I've added the drinks trolley that I upcycled and I cannot wait for the summer evenings to warm up a bit to use it properly!

WHAT I DID...

To cover up the neighbours wall I built a really tall planter which you can read all about here. I then planted it with mini lime green connifer trees for extra coverage. This then also provided space for my new pink friends to hang out. Flamingos are so on trend right now, and these beauties I brought for £5 each on eBay. These flamingos really vary in price across the web, but the cheapest place I've found them apart from eBay is Party Delights at £10.99 for the two.

Totally tropical.....

Totally tropical.....

I jet-washed and lightly sanded the balcony doors, decking and railings ready for painting. The decking got two generous coats of Homebase Decking Stain in Teak at £18.99 for 2.5L which was the cheapest option I could find.

Here's me painting the decking in Homebase Decking stain in Teak...

Here's me painting the decking in Homebase Decking stain in Teak...

The railings were given 2 coats of Wickes Exterior Black Metal Paint, but for an extra luxe touch I painted the decorative elements in gold with this £1.99 mini pot of Rust-Oleum gold paint which was enough to do 3 coats on each rail.

The door went from being a ok-ish blue to much nicer dark grey hue courtesy of Weathercoat Slate Grey from Homebase which came in a 750ml pot. I then spray painted the door handles on the outside gold to match the grey better. I used Hammerite Exterior Gold Metal Spray Paint for this and taped the doors in bin bags around the handles, so the spray only went on the handles and not on the doors!

One of the best changes I made was to swap an old boring black outside light for this copper fisherman's number! I'd seen the light for sale online but brilliantly won this one for just £3.99 on eBay, brand new in its box! My top tip is when you see anything you like online, check to see if someone is selling it on eBay before you buy it - you might just get a deal like I did, or even find something similar (or better!) I changed this light fitting over myself - if it is a basic swap of a working light then there are loads of YouTube videos on how you can do this, but if you are not confident DON'T attempt it.

I love this copper light which brings the whole look together...

I love this copper light which brings the whole look together...

The seating came courtesy of Ikeas 'Arholma' series which is great because you just buy what bits you need for your space. I brought the corner and one-seat section, which means I can lay in the sun on it various ways, and move it about when I want. The botanical cushions were a steal from Matalan at £8 each from their 'Tropical' range.

The copper lantern and pina colada sign were from Homesense at £7 for the lantern and £5 for the wooden sign. Homesense is the dedicated homeware store by TK Maxx, and can be an absolute treasure trove. Last time I was in Homesense there were Tom Dixon products at less than a third of their usual price! If you have no Homesense near you they don't sell stuff online, but TK Maxx does sell homeware online, so it's always worth a browse.

Chin, chin! x