weather icon Clear

Terrace makeover creates small extension of home

If your apartment or condo has a small terrace, the warm weather of summer should inspire you to make the most of that great spot for entertaining (even if you just have space for two!) Imagine stepping out onto your terrace to breathe in the fresh air, perhaps do your morning yoga, serve breakfast al fresco or welcome friends for a terrace cocktail party. Here are the top tips to make your small terrace an enjoyable extension of your home:

n Before you start planning your design makeover, it’s important to get permission from your building manager, as many buildings have strict rules about what can and can’t be changed. With permission granted, you may be able to remove rust and repaint your terrace for a fresh, clean, newer look.

n Choose a color palette. You might use the same color palette as your living room, so that the inside and outside share a space-expanding monochromatic look (a top trick of home designers for making spaces look roomier). Or, as SPG Architects’ design experts suggest, match the colors you see in the scenery and buildings around you, such as tan, brown and trendy gray neutrals. Or, as Cortney Novogratz, host of HGTV’s “Home by Novogratz” says, choose bright colors.

“To make your environment pop with character, invest your budget in bright throw pillows (and) a colorful carpet,” Novogratz says.

Some of the top colors for outdoor living spaces include magentas, jewel-toned purples and blues and Caribbean-ocean blues. If you prefer a more Zen-like space, sage green shades are popular.

n Upgrade your seating. Add a small wrought iron bistro table and two matching chairs, or a brightly colored plastic Adirondack chair or two for reclining. And include a low-set table for setting down drinks or your tablet next to your seats.

n Add flooring. An outdoor, weatherproof area rug adds comfort for your bare feet, and the rug’s color, pattern and texture provide a fresh foundation for your new terrace style.

n Add storage. Outdoor-specified ottomans can open up for storage space during the warmer months and provide extra seating for guests.

n Bring in textiles. Colorful, patterned outdoor-designated pillows placed on each chair or bench add visual flair to your space, and your bistro table can call for a new, small tablecloth in touchable fabric and coordinating color. And for cooler mornings or evenings, keep comfy throw blankets handy so that you and guests can enjoy the space even when there’s a breeze or chill in the air.

n Go green. Potted plants and flowers add life to small terrace spaces, whether set in planters on the ground or lining freestanding or hung shelves. You can also grow kitchen herbs in a planter for fresh ingredients in your foods and cocktails. One trend in garden design is the vertical wall — a shelving unit that holds an impressive, lush collection of potted plants and flowers and stands tall against a sidewall of your terrace.

n Add lighting. Strung white lights add festive lighting to your space, and LED light cubes or flameless candles create a cozy, romantic and relaxing feel to your terrace, avoiding any potentially forbidden open-flame candles. Some condo owners can install new lighting fixtures to modernize this space.

n Add sound. There’s no need to call in an electrician to wire your terrace for piping in music. Small wireless speakers can be carried outside and placed on a shelf to add your favorite tunes to your space. (Just bring them inside after each use.)

n Accessorize. Novogratz suggests decorating with unusual art: “It doesn’t have to be expensive. Cool accessories help define a space in an exciting way.”

Add outdoor-safe pottery pieces, interesting stones or geodes and Etsy finds such as stone coasters imprinted with botanical or seashell motifs. Wooden signs made from repurposed materials — purchased or made by you — add character and perhaps whimsy to your space.

One trend in terrace signs is wine-themed images resembling a wine barrel stamp. (And garden centers and vineyards also have wine barrels that can be used as tables themselves or as legs for a larger wood-topped table.)

Complete your terrace makeover by stocking up on one or two matching sets of colorful melamine (or other unbreakable material) plates, bowls, glasses, pitchers and serving platters. With your beautifully set table, you will be ready for a neighborhood party, a dinner for two or a calming night alone.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Wet spring, hot summer a perfect combination for pests

As the weather heats up, homeowners are seeing an escalation of ants and cockroaches in search of water, which, in turn, brings out predator pests like spiders and scorpions to feed on them.

Put your creative stamp on inherited items

Inheriting treasures from a loved one can be a win/win for all concerned. Changing the color or upholstery does not diminish your feelings for your loved ones or their possessions. You are simply putting your stamp on them.

Lie like a rug

An area rug can be an art piece that adds dazzle to a drab room or a blank canvas that highlights unique pieces in the room. There are a wide variety of materials, designs, heights and colors to choose from, and each requires

Fixing double-tapped circuit breaker is straightforward

When adding a circuit breaker or tandem breaker, you must prioritize safety first. You will be working inside your main electrical panel and if you lack experience at this, you may want to call in a professional.

Woodchips should be used as mulch not amendment

Adding woodchips to the soil as an amendment has gained popularity largely because of social media. Woodchips applied to the soil surface as a mulch is OK, but mixing these into the soil can lead to problems if you aren’t careful.

Make your home rock

Stone walls add to that contemporary, cool feel and let you bring the outdoors into the home. Stone also creates a beautiful contrast when placed next to soft fabrics in furniture.

Latest trends in home gyms

For those looking to build a home gym, there are plenty of ways to get the most of out of spaces and create great exercise experiences without leaving the house. The biggest home gym trend is home-assisted training, such as the Peloton stationary bike or treadmill.