New Delhi: No matter how small your balcony may be, you can always do something to make it look cool. And all you need are your favourite plants and a few lamps. So, if you’ve decided to do up your balcony, here are some quick tips to enhance it

* It’s very important to first find out if you have a good view from the balcony. If you do, don’t do anything to obstruct it. Having a nice view is a rarity in large cities, especially in a city like Mumbai.

If you don’t have a proper view, for example, if your balcony overlooks the backside of your neighbour’s house, try hanging plants over the entire length of the balcony, from the ceiling in little round pots. Hanging plants will still lend the illusion of space, while somewhat concealing the bad view. If the view is truly terrible do all you can, like bamboo blinds, to completely conceal the view with taller plants.

Have a glass door leading into the balcony. If possible, you could consider having two glass doors, in the center of the wall leading out. This gives an illusion of space, without you having to actually enclose the balcony.

* Nothing looks as striking as a shining brass sculpture amid green plants. If you’ve put up big plants in the balcony, place a slightly large brass statue. If you have glass doors leading to the balcony, let the statue face indoors. On the other hand, if you have a good view, consider placing a few plants in one corner of the balcony, and place a smaller brass statue.

*One or two well-placed lamps or lanterns are really all that is needed to give your balcony a designer touch. Hang a large paper lantern from the ceiling or place a tall lamp on the floor. You could also consider nailing two coloured lanterns to the walls in your balcony. Mood lighting is essential, and is far preferable to functional lighting.

* If you would like to spend some time in your tiny rectangular balcony, opt for divan-type seating, using the three corners of the balcony as backrest. Take an old trunk, cover it with bright phulkari embroidered cloth, throw on a couple of matching cushions for a perfect seating arrangement. You could also put up a cane armchair or bench. Hang a lamp just above, to sit out in the evenings and read.

Balcony decor
* Put up some waterproof blinds or plastic chik blinds on your balcony for protection during the monsoon or for shade from the sun. You can roll them up in the evenings.
* Consider growing vegetables or herbs in your balcony
* If you have a very tiny balcony, consider an ottoman or cane or wrought iron stools instead of chairs
* Give your balcony a cool, crisp look by using deep shades of blue, green, red or orange which don’t dirty easily.

(Courtesy: City Plus)