From Drab to Fab: Balcony Makeover

When I’m not working my full time job as the Director or Marketing at Harrell’s, LLC , or helping my Tina Newberry Design customers with their website and marketing needs, I like to spend my time creating in other ways. Usually a home hands-on improvement project!

The weather has warmed up quite a bit here in Florida and it’s time to enjoy the outside. Unfortunately, my balcony has been neglected lately and it’s that time of year when the sun beats on my back in the morning when I’m sitting out here enjoying my coffee and in the evening when I sit out here to eat my dinner and read my book. I was in need of some shade.

I’d been thinking of a curtain solution for quite a while. Being a townhome, I didn’t want to screw into the outside wall to hang curtain rods, but something had too give! Enter the shower tension rod! The openings where I needed to block the sun were only 5′ wide, so a shower tension rod is my solution.

Then I had the issue of inexpensive ‘curtains’ that MIGHT withstand the wind, sun and torrential downpours we get here in the Sunshine state. Oh and they needed to be 90″ tall. So out were shower curtains and regular drapes. I thought about canvas dropcloths with clip curtain rings, but worried about rusting and being too heavy when they got wet. I opted for MainStay full flat sheets in an ivory color. I just picked the seem and thread them right on the rod. Perfect, easy to clean. Light weight.


I really like the privacy they provide. I have noticed in addition to light they block any sort of breeze, so that’s not good. I tied them a bit low to allow some circulation without giving up my privacy. I do enjoy not seeing the neighbors and their dumpy balcony now when I sit out here.

Curtain problem solved. Now it was time for some homey accents.

My plants had all died. I get the kind that do well with part sun, which doesn’t work in winter when they get full sun. So needlessness to say my plants are about dead each May. And my planters were peeling and had all cracked when my bird feeder shepherds hooks got jammed in a little too hard. I found some pretty teal color planters and picked up some new plants. I may regret it when it takes over the balcony and the HOA complains, but I bought some mandevilla hoping the greenery and flowers would fair better than the previous occupants.

Next,  I found some cute $5 outdoor pillows in pretty colors, added some citronella tea lights in mason jars, painted a homely looking 8 year-old Ikea planter turned side table and voila! Patio makeover complete.  I love it.

For anyone looking to repeat the look, the shower curtainrods, sheets, pillows, planters and most of the plants came from my local Walmart. We just got a brand new one that is actually quite nice. The bird feeders, mason jars and furniture I had already.

As a tip- I use hulled sunflower seeds in my bird feeders. The Cardinals love them the most, but I get a tufted titmouse every once in awhile. Watching the birds keeps the cats happy and the hulled seeds don’t make a mess that could end up in either neighbors’ driveway below.