Designing a small space balcony | The curveball | Week 3 ORC

small balcony

Designing a small space balcony | The curveball | Week 3 ORC

As you may know, I am once again participating in the One Room Challenge™ this spring designing a small space balcony. For week 3, I threw myself my own curveball. Yes, you read that right.

Week one was an introduction to our 61 square foot space. Week 2 was reviewing the design plan we have for this space.

One Room Challenge™

The One Room Challenge™, that is in its nineteenth season, is a widely anticipated biannual event every April and October. Each round, twenty design influencers are selected to take the challenge, as Featured Designers, and transform a space. Every week, the designers document their process while sharing their sources and professional advice over eight weekly posts. You can see the featured designers here.

The ORC is also open to anyone with a blog or Instagram account to be a Guest Participant by linking their own room transformations up during the weeks. Each Thursday, the internet and social media are flooded with interior design inspiration, ideas, and encouragement.

Once again, Better Homes and Gardens is the official media sponsor.


If you have been following along, you will know that the space we are addressing for the ORC™ is my daughter’s balcony in her downtown apartment. What you also may not know is that she does not own this property – she is renting.

When we came up with the zones for her balcony, I knew that sourcing small-scale furniture was going to be a challenge. Not only are we dealing with supply chain issues, everyone is wanting to make improvements in their outdoor spaces.

Plan 1 – Use local trades

When I decided to take on this project, I knew I wanted to use local trades. Sourcing local and using local trades and crafts people was my wish.

Designing a small space balcony
Inspiration for the balcony furniture

I contacted a local furniture maker to start the discussion. What was quickly going through my brain was a grocery list of ‘whats’.

  • Material for the furniture
  • Time for staining
  • Fabric for the cushions
  • Fabric for the toss cushions
  • Foam for the chairs

Out of the 5 items listed above, all 5 have extremely LARGE lead times. The other issue was IF I could get my hands on the materials listed above, what was the cost? The price of the materials is, how shall I put this, INSANE!

To have this furniture made along with the cushions, we were looking at $1000.00 +. For a balcony that is 61 square feet, and that is not a forever home for my daughter, we needed another plan. Say it with my, “Shit!”

Plan 2 – DIY

Ok – so maybe we could make the furniture. Scale it back a bit, book every weekend to get this done – sure, we could do it.

As the Mister and I were going over my drawings to make the furniture, he noticed that I had my shoulders above my ears. The more we discussed the plans, the bitchier I became. Why, for the love of God, was he not understanding what I wanted to accomplish.

Ahhhh….as a firm believe of the power of yoga, I was told to take a breath and just breath. After getting my shoulders down to where they should sit, it became evident what the issue was. Even though we could physically build the furniture, we were caught with a multitude of our own issues:

  • When were we going to fit this in to our already busy schedules?
  • Where would we get the lumber to build this? Everyone was short on supply.
  • What fabric would I source (and when would I source it) to ensure it would get here on time?
  • Who was going to sew the cushions (as I am not qualified to take that on).
  • How were we going to pull this off?

Say it with me, “Shit!”

Plan 3 – F$%k It and just buy it

Yep – that is exactly what we did. We happened to be in Lowes and there, literally right in front of us, was a cute little small-scale patio set. I could have sworn I heard angels singing!

While I’m not a fan of the cushions that come included (black or red), this set was the perfect size and I knew I could work with it.

Designing a small space balcony
Style Selections SS Ainsley 4PC Convo BLK/Red
We gave one of the chairs to my daughter’s friend for her balcony

The Pros

The price! This set is only $299.00 I knew that if we purchased this set, I could do much more for the balcony. Since momma is funding this entire project, I want to see if I can get this balcony all decked out (get it) for under $1000. So far, we’re off to a great start!

The Cons

For the love of you-know-what. Below are the directions and this set needed to be put together! While I would like to tell you that there were no swear words used, I would be lying if I told you that. I think at one point I had the legs of the table on the chairs and didn’t realize until I had to put the chair put together and was ready to tackle the table. Why I didn’t realize the chair was so low is still beyond me. Kind of funny – but it wasn’t at the time! While I didn’t race, I timed myself as I was curious. I’m happy to report that I was able to put together the 3 pieces that we will use in just under 47 minutes. Don’t ask about how many broken nails I had!

Designing a small space balcony
The instructions to put the furniture together

While this entire furniture sourcing caused me a curveball that I created myself, I am not anticipating any more curveballs (fingers crossed). Next week I’m going to talk about what we have planned for the cold, concrete floor on the balcony. I hope you’ll join me!

Outdoor Conversation Furniture | Shop the Look

Having a conversation area for your outdoor space is lovely. We have one in our backyard and it is one of the areas that we love to entertain our friends and family. I have always loved navy so I have rounded up a few nautical, navy pieces that may have you wishing for them in your own home.

The items below contain affiliate links. Any purchases, at no additional charge to you, are most appreciated and make this blog possible.


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