Before and After: City Balcony Turned Chill-Out Spot

As anyone who lives in a city knows, having a little outdoor space – no matter how tiny  – is a true luxury. When we moved to our Madrid digs in the winter, our 1970s ugly-tiled little balcony didn’t look like much, but I wasn’t about to let an outdoor space to go waste. When Mr. Dame in Spain was away one weekend for an Ultimate Frisbee tournament, I hauled ass to Ikea and spent hours wheeling around two carts filled with furniture and plants. I stayed up until the wee hours assembling a table, chairs, and a shelf, just so I’d have a furnished balcony on which to drink my morning coffee. Practically instant satisfaction, and I’ve enjoyed it ever since.

Many of the plants have died since then. A purple bouganvilla I bought from a neighborhood plant guy is presently all sticks, but I’m holding out hope because something green sprouted in it the other day. Thriving plants or dying plants, I often sit out on the balcony, reading, eating, watching people at the cafes below and relish in the luxury of having an outdoor place of one’s own.

To making the most of an outdoor space,

The Dame in Spain

Balcony before. (Yes, I may have taken just about the worst, dingiest picture possible to make the after more dramatic).
Balcony before.
balcony16
View from the dining room.

 

balcony11
Looking down at the cafes below.
balconyafter3
Why yes, I’d love some chilled lemon water, thank you.
A lovely balcony lunch of lentil burgers and mashed cauliflower.
A lovely balcony lunch of lentil burgers and mashed cauliflower.
A cozy reading chair.
A comfy reading chair.

 

Balconywall1
Back in the Spring, this Ikea wall held a more lush assortment of plants. Now, it’s a little sparse.
Back in the Spring, these budding herbs held such promise. They are no longer with us.
In the Spring, these budding herbs held such promise. They are no longer with us.
balconyafter1
These hardy fellows, one of which is a cactus, have thrived under my colorless thumb.

 

 

The Diplocats love the balcony even more than I do.
The Diplocats love the balcony even more than I do.

 

2 thoughts on “Before and After: City Balcony Turned Chill-Out Spot

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