How to create an outdoor living room with Kait Kucy
I’ve been dreaming of long, hot summer days and lounging in the sunshine with friends and family, perhaps while sipping a cool lemonade and taking a mid-day siesta, just because. Lucky for me, and along with every other Canadian, summer has officially arrived and life can finally slow down a bit. Whether you live in a condo, apartment, duplex or house, outdoor living space is coveted and beautiful outdoor living space, even more so.
Last summer we had just moved into our new apartment in a heritage building. I was so busy getting the house settled that I didn’t spend much time considering how the balcony should look and before I knew it, it was winter. And this winter was a long one, so my plan for a balcony makeover had been in the works for a couple of months before the snow finally melted away. I knew in advance I was going to shop second hand for most of the space, because in the past I’ve always been able to stretch my dollar pretty far that way, while finding some beautiful yet practical pieces.
Right away, I wanted the balcony to be very functional for my son, Jack, and I. My needs were fairly simple – I wanted an eating area and a lounging area, as well as plenty of space for plants as I am an avid balcony gardener. I made a list of furniture I wanted to get (table and chairs, an outdoor chaise and a utility shelf for plants) and started hunting for the perfect pieces. I was also keeping my eye out for unique or great-priced decor pieces to add to the balcony because the easiest (and most fun) way to add character to your space is by finding vintage, antique or one-of-a-kind accessories.
When I was looking for furniture and decor objects for my balcony, I set up several Kijiji alerts to assist me in my search. Patio furniture is actually one of the top search terms and listings on Kijiji in June – so it turned out to be a great time to start looking!
I ended up finding a beautiful wooden chaise lounge that fit my balcony perfectly. Then, I teamed up with my Mom to sew a gorgeous mid-century modern cushion for it, added some cute throw pillows and cozy blankets to finish it off. It now doubles as a daybed which is fantastic for entertaining, as you can fit about four adults sitting across.
For our eating area, I found a great long sofa table that also just happened to fit the space. There wasn’t much DIY to be done but I repainted it a fresh bright white to liven it up and provide a blank canvas for the beautiful outdoor meals to come.
Lastly, I found an unfinished wooden utility shelf to house all of my flowers and plants. To add a bit of charm, I wrapped wire LED twinkle lights around it – it looks gorgeous at night!
Beyond the furniture pieces, I was also able to source some gorgeous accessories including a blush ceramic plant pot, a metal wall planter and a lovely hanging LED candle lantern – all second-hand. The best part? Combined, these six pieces cost me less than one brand-new piece of patio furniture.
While I was able to find pretty much everything on my list by shopping second hand, the only must-have I wasn’t able to find was a pair of cute chairs for our eating bar. After selling a bistro table of mine, some festival chairs that I no longer had use for, as well as my son’s outgrown toddler-sized picnic table, I had enough extra cash to pick up a pair of white metal chairs that I had my eye on at a local shop.
This one-in one-out method proved to be a really effective way of using the second-hand economy and has allowed me to ensure I won’t end up with an excess of stuff, as well as help me justify another purchase!
With some time and effort (and only a bit of money) spent on the second-hand economy, finding everything you need for your dream summer entertaining plan is entirely possible! Don’t wait until next summer to find out.
Learn How to Get Involved in the Second-Hand Economy!
If you’ve bought or sold used items, swapped, or donated, you’re already an active contributor!