There’s something so special about having an outdoor space in New York City—even if it’s just a tiny nook or a fire escape or an unfinished rooftop accessed illegally (wink!). It’s like a small piece of suburban living in the middle of this crazy metropolis. If you’ve followed along here for any time at all, you know that I absolutely love interior design. While I’m no expert by any means, I get such a thrill out of sprucing up our space and making small tweaks as the seasons change. That’s why I wanted to give our small balcony in Dumbo a refresh after the long winter months, just in time for Memorial Day. Here, I’m sharing my tips for updating your own backyard or outdoor space, plus all of the pieces I purchased for ours.
1. Up Your Plant Game
Last year, we bought a fiddle leaf tree, which you can see in our balcony reveal post here, that didn’t even come close to fairing the winter weather. In fact, we were left with nothing but a stump, so we replace it with a boxwood, which is allegedly a great outdoor plant to survive the heat and snow. I’m a bit skeptical, but only time will tell! We also got these chic circular planters (drilled to the wall by yours truly!), and planted some flowers to add a little extra cheer to the space. GRDN in Boerum Hill has such a great selection of outdoor plants, if you happen to be Brooklyn-based as well, but Home Depot or your local nursery should have similar options in any city.
2. Change Out Your Pillows
A simple pillow swap can give your entire space a face lift. Last year, I had graphic black and white pillows on the sofa, so I went with more neutral tones in contrasting fabrics to switch it up. I love the subtle animal print of these pillows from One Kings Lane, and layered them with these natural pillows from Pottery Barn that are the perfect complement to any printed pillows that you may already have.
shop my balcony edit
3. Accessorize & Finalize
Once you’ve updated your plants and pillows, all you need to do is add a few updated accessories to finish up the space. I picked up these lanterns and replaced our outdoor coffee table with this amazing option from Target (for under $150!). Our table from last year just didn’t stand up to the winter weather, but I’m loving how the touch of gold looks in our space. I also love the finishing touch that these sphere sculptures add. In my opinion, this step is the most fun. Who doesn’t love accessorizing?
4. Make a Cocktail & Relax
There’s nothing better than that feeling of finishing a home project, so treat yourself to a homemade cocktail and relax. I created the delicious Blood Orange Basil Moscow Mule below for the occasion, and wanted to share the recipe here with you. Happy decorating!
Blood Orange Basil Moscow Mule
1 lime wedge
2 basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 ounces vodka
2 ounces blood orange juice
2 ounces grapefruit juice
4 ounces ginger beer
1. Place lime wedge and basil into a cocktail shaker and muddle.
2. Add vodka and juices and shake well.
3. Pour into a high ball glass over ice and top with ginger beer.