Never as in the recent confinement period, people have changed their relationship with the outside world and with nature, feeling a strong need for larger spaces within the individual housing units. And the pandemia certainly helped us to see the world from another perspective. We can be sure that we somehow have felt the need to give more attention to a balcony or to a terrace, or at least we had directed a "design" thought to it, considering this filter space between our "nest" and the outside world, into a definitely different way. We got out on the balcony to cheer all the people fighting on the front line against the virus, to sing and feel closer to each other. We organised lunches, set up breakfast tables, improvised drinks to be shared with our neighbours, when instead during normal days, we couldn’t image to socialize over the ledge with them, accustomed to the rhythm and to the perverse logic of this world that runs fast.
Until a few months ago, the balcony was a result space for many people, left empty, often used like a closet, a sort of "no place". Someone, on the other hand, inspired by his green thumb, tried to decorate it with plants and flowers, then gradually forgetting to water and to take care of them.
We can say that today the balcony has become the symbol of our freedom.
One of the many post-pandemic purposes could be, why not, to give the balcony the same importance that we give to every other room in our home.
In order to reclaim it and make it cosier, let’s start with some spring cleaning: it’s time to declutter and make space for the new.
So we could try to imagine the specific type of space that we want to create, which could be an outdoor corner that could make us feel good: today the world of design offers lots of solutions and ideas, variable by type, taste, style and economic accessibility.
The first element to evalue is undoubtedly the size of the space, which can direct us primarily on the choice of the seat’s type: a large terrace will be equipped with deckchairs, tables and various accessories, while a small balcony will need only a few well chosen elements , to change its face and its functionality.
At the same time, it is necessary to understand well the use for this new space: for example an old person who will need a reading and relax corner, will decide to organize the space in a different way, if compared to a young couple with children, rather than to a single or to a student, or a gardening enthusiast. So you first start thinking about your needs, to keep in mind the sizes, and then the type of furnishings and their arrangement.
It is important thinking about your needs and the real function that you want to give to the new space, carefully evaluating how much time you have daily or weekly to devote to its maintenance and cleaning, just to avoid returning to the abandonment’s situation from which you want to stay away.
So before to have fun choosing some comfortable upholstered armchairs, chairs, chaise longues and sofas, let's really think about how practical and functional they are, as well as beautiful!
Then it’s the time to organize the green area: like in the first step, you have to think about your real needs, so you can choose wall hanging pots, which are perfect to optimise the space, or perhaps for having a small collection of aromatic herbs, useful in the kitchen.
It is not necessary to have large spaces to create a garden on the balcony, just choose the right soil and seeds, the right vegetables selection, plant them in a correct way, and keep attention to the sun exposure and to the light.
If possible, let’s include also some shrubbery, very helpful in creating shadow, as well as privacy, or floral plants for the simple pleasure of having colorful blooms during the summer.
On the other hand, everybody knows that nature is our helper, and during pandemic times it can helps us a lot, thanks to its photocatalytic and air purification function.
In the end we can finally wish everybody a lot of creativity, giving a soul to all the "filter" spaces in general, public or private, so they can play important roles in everyone's daily life, especially if they can to improve it and they can give us a better and healthier world.
architetto Nina Russo