Inspiring Interiors: Creating an Urban Garden Oasis

Have you ever been in a room and thought “I wish I could have this for my own home”? It happens to me all of the time! I’m constantly finding design inspiration everywhere I go. From a fabric pattern on a dress, to the sleek lines of a contemporary building, I always find myself daydreaming about how I can incorporate different looks into my space.

A recent stay at the boutique Library Hotel in New York had me swooning so hard. Their lounge was everything I wanted for my balcony back home. Here’s how I was able to take inspiration from the Writer’s Den and turn it into my own personal urban garden oasis.

INSPIRATION

After seeing, and falling in love with, the Writer’s Den lounge, I wondered how I could pull off an inviting urban retreat on my own small balcony. With an incredible view of downtown New Bedford, the fishing harbor, and the ocean beyond, I knew I wanted the view to be the star, while still having a private yet comfortable space to relax on warm summer nights.

EXECUTION

Scale is important when designing for small spaces. For my small balcony, I wanted to keep it feeling open and yet provide a feeling of privacy in the middle of a busy downtown.

By choosing seating that is low, the space doesn’t feel crowded and the view from the living room inside remains unobstructed.

I liked the use of plants in the Writer’s Den to create visual dividers and add a sense of intimacy while not blocking the views of the city. For my balcony, an old tool box was repurposed into a planter that allows for an urban flower garden. Taller plants were placed in the corner to add some privacy, while obstructing the view of the parking garage but not the harbor.

A bench tucked into the corner added some much needed storage for gardening tools. This bench also doubles as extra seating for when we have guests over.

An outdoor rug and trellises against either wall add color and texture while hiding the dull concrete floor and bland beige walls. Stringing outdoor lights from the trellises adds a touch of romance (and much needed evening lighting). These are simple and easy tricks to liven up a rental unit where painting walls is not allowed.

By keeping the incredible view the main focus, using low profile furniture, plants for privacy, bright colors, and multi-functional pieces, I created an outdoor space that feels like our own little garden oasis in the middle of a bustling downtown.

FINAL TIPS
For a small space, always draw up a scaled floor plan. Remember the rule “measure twice, cut once”? It applies double to buying furniture for small spaces. Pieces always look like they will fit when you see them in the store, but you quickly realize they are bigger than you thought once you get them home.Insider tips for hiring an interior designer feature image

This is the time to go bold! Bring in that zebra print fabric you love so much, or the fuchsia planters that are blindingly bright. Outdoor spaces scream for color and print, especially in an urban environment where the predominant landscape is concrete and brick. Adding these bright colors and bold prints will make dramatic changes to your patio.

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