How to furnish a Terrace: 8 Tips for You

Furnishing a terrace is not as simple as you might imagine…

The most complex step is to organize the space according to your needs in consideration to the shape of the terrace. Sometimes you have to deal with large, irregular spaces. Other times, their dimensions are so limited that you tend to make the most of the smallest centimeter available.

However even a narrow balcony, for example, can turn out being very functional and cozy.

Let’s see in this article some design ideas which you can use to set up your own little paradise!

How to start making the terrace more beautiful and cozier?

When approaching the project, it is essential to create continuity between indoor and outdoor of your home.

It is sure, there must be harmony between the two contexts either for colours or materials. Through the use of symmetry, you will have a sense of tranquility whenever you look outside. Actually, when you are going to decorate or design your home, what would you like to perceive when you are sitting in your living room and looking through your windows?

When I renovate flats or attics surrounded by the beautiful skyline of the city, I tend to use natural colours. This serves to peacefully admire the panoramic scenery behind the curtains and to not distract your eyes by perceiving elements in the interiors whose bright colours draw your attention.

Having said that as premise, a good design involves organizing the various zones of the terrace, choosing the right style of furniture and enriching angles with plants. Obviously, many choices depend on the available budget: outdoor furniture can be very expensive!

Another key element in the design of an outdoor area is lighting: it must be planned to create scenic effects under green areas and to let the functional zones stand out.

Nowadays, bioclimatic pergolas are very interesting solutions against the sun during the hottest hours of the day: they allow partial coverage of the surface, especially above dining or lounge spaces.  They are versatile elements because they can be pivoted, open or closed depending on the climatic situation and help to create an outdoor environment in visual continuity with indoor spaces.

If you have a large terrace…

I can assure you can make a little piece of paradise! The only drawback is that as the available furniture options increase, so does the possibility of making the wrong decision too, and you risk to go over budget!

The project, therefore, plays a crucial role in proportion to the space to be designed.

So, before starting to choose furniture, you should pay attention first to the orientation of the terrace in order to understand how the sunlight arrives during the different hours of the day.

Then, you should consider whether to put in an awning, parasols, or think about making a pergola to provide shade during the day and a shelter from humidity during the evening.

Today more than ever, summer temperatures in the city can become unbearable. Especially if the terrace is south-facing, the furnishings should provide protection from the sun and heat.

And you should not forget the provision of electrical sockets and, where possible, of taps for watering plants and for a quick cleaning of the space.

If you have an attic…

And you want to use your outdoor space for intimate dinners, family meals, relaxation or parties with friends, it is better not to occupy all the space available to make room for different possibilities of use. In any case, regardless of the intended use, there are fundamental elements to consider as follows.

Furnish terrace with plants

There are many styles… For example, a more rigorous Scandinavian style with lounge areas. Or if you love the Mediterranean style with terracotta pots and geraniums, or choose aromatic plants for a more Zen style with white pebbles to match the modern green style with large leafy plants.

Whatever your preferred mood would be, don’t forget that the terrace is an extension of your home, so it is best to follow the same style as the interior.

We in Sicily often prefer antique terracotta pots and olive trees or evergreen plants that can maintain a consistent look in all seasons. Decorating with plants is fine, but it requires a lot of care and maintenance… So, think about it!

Terrace lighting

Light sources must be designed and organized according to different needs, and must never be too invasive or too strong. A good solution is to combine general lighting (wall lights or garden lamps) with more targeted lighting to enhance the most beautiful areas of the terrace.

Last but not least, do not forget soft scenic lighting (with spotlights underneath the plants or LEDs underneath the flowerbeds to give a light effect to the volume), which serves to create a softer atmosphere.

As far as furnishing a penthouse terrace is concerned, a comfortable sofa or chaise longue to relax on is a must. And a pergola is essential for the dining area.

How to furnish a small terrace

If yours is not a real terrace, but a small balcony, don’t give up on furnishings it either.

Here are some tips for creating your own design corner:

  1. Add a small table

All you need is a small table and a chair to enjoy your cappuccino on your little balcony.

  1. A couple of plants never hurts

Fill your balcony with lush planters. Add some herbs or flowers to make your balcony smell nice too. If there is no space at all: use planters that can be hung on the wall or railing.

  1. Use warm materials

The use of wood or furnishing fabrics allows you to give your balcony a homely touch. A wooden outdoor lounger or armchair helps to create a restful refuge for a few hours.

Modern designs do not involve excessive furniture; it is more about minimalism, functionality and sharp lines. About the colour palette, designers use cool, subdued colours, e.g. the contrast of white and grey, with the introduction of wood.

  1. And if you don’t like the existing floor?

Cover it with outdoor carpets. There are plenty of types and for all sizes.

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