No patio left behind

'Tis the season of outdoor entertaining, but what to do when your condo's balcony or patio is lacking in the square footage department? Four design experts give their best small space tips.

“The most important pieces for small spaces are multifunctional. Perfect examples include ottomans or console tables that double as storage units, side tables that transform into seating, and narrow dining tables that also function as a bar or buffet.

Don’t forget to add warmth to your balcony. Define your space and create an outdoor room using shade products or outdoor space dividers, which also help for privacy. Bring the luxuries of indoors out with a carpet and floor cushions for comfort.”

Andrew Bockner, owner and co-founder, Andrew Richard Designs

Live Edge teak dining table ($2,795, Andrew Richard Designs, 571 Adelaide East, 416-601-1451,

Bamboo panels ($395, Andrew Richard Designs)

Paola Navone indoor-outdoor Party Turquoise rug ($49.95, Crate and Barrel, 3401 Dufferin, 416-657-4100, and others,

Vondom Pal table/stool ($420, YLiving,

Missoni Home Kew round floor cushion ($800, AllModern,

“One of our favourite solutions for balcony floors is to use click decking tiles. They’re a great way to warm up a deck’s look, yet cool down the space on those hot days.

Using artful planters of various heights is perfect for creating the layered garden effect. Think taller items in the back, lower in the front.

Seating is also always a challenge. We love fun, bright-coloured options that are still functional.”

Matt Davis, partner, the Design Agency


Source Contract Phoenix dining side chair ($55.99, AllModern)

Rustic plant pots ($12-$72, Virginia Johnson, 970 College, 416-516-3366,

Runnen floor decking ($19.99/9-pack, Ikea, 15 Provost, 416-222-4532, and others,

Kronos planters ($99.95, CB2, 651 Queen West, 416-366-2828,

Tropicalia armchair (without arms $2,220, with arms $2,420, Klaus, 300 King East, 416-362-3434,

“This season we’re thinking about ways to create a modern surf shack in the city. Mixing materials like stone and concrete with fun patterns and finishes is a great way to get a refreshed, beachy feel.

“For a small condo or balcony space, try a bistro-size table along with folding chairs that you can set to the side when not in use. Add some light to give a whole new feel to your space.”

Nicole Sutliff, West Elm


Industrial string lights ($49, West Elm, 109 Atlantic, 416-537-0110,

Mosaic tiled bistro table ($479, West Elm)

MÄLARÖ folding chair ($40, Ikea)

Cube lanterns ($34.95-$64.95, CB2)

Soba modern fire pit (from $3,200, Paloform, 74 Stafford, 1-888-823-8883,

“Don’t underestimate the value of good furniture on a balcony. Choose something that’s collapsible to save space when needed.

“You can also warm up your balcony by laying down decking. Use a colour-treated wood to add a warm, rich brown colour – without the messiness that comes with staining.

“Finally, green plants in bright containers are easy to maintain and introduce colour for longer periods of time than flowers whose bloom may only last two weeks.”

Carson Arthur, host of HGTV’s Critical Listing


MicroPro Sienna environmentally friendly wood ($5.89 per board, Lowe’s, 6005 Steeles, 416-940-4827,

Wilco rectangular boxes planters ($117.71 for set of two, AllModern)

FLISÖ parasol and BRAMSÖN parasol base ($29.99 each, Ikea)

Palma Bistro convertible bench/table and seats ($199, Rona, 110 West Toronto, 416-766-4663, and others,

Socker plant pot with holder ($11.99, Ikea)

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