How to make this narrow outdoor area into a wow factor not an eye sore
June 16, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We are renovating our house and we have come across a bit of a challenge and would love some thoughts and ideas. As you walk up the stairs to our open living room/ kitchen area (modern with white walls, wooden floor boards) we have a very small narrow outdoor area. It is only about 1m wide by 2.5m long and hosts the air con unit which is terribly ugly. It has clear perspects which is approx 1.7m high to let the morning sun in and to keep the room private. I've tried to grow some plants in this area but they don't get much sun so they haven't gone too well. We won't use this area because on the other side of the room we have a massive terrace but it would be great to have something in this area to create a wow factor. I would love if anyone has any thoughts or ideas as my partner and I can't decide what to do.
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You could hang thin linen panels inside this area (filtered light). keep it closed and then hang art work or framed photos along outside of window (stairwell side). I like things even and uniform. Almost like gallery wall hung from ceiling string. I know I'm not explaining it right.
June 16, 2013 at 6:25pm   
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Hi dhiggs: I think you explained perfectly and I love the idea. There's just no great view there, let alone the AC unit! Some gauzy curtains would be just the ticket to keep the light and hide the view. For the wow factor, some framed modern art exhibit posters would be just the ticket: casual but impactful and nicely economical.
June 16, 2013 at 6:31pm   
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A Crew of Two
June 16, 2013 at 6:58pm     
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Kimberlina01: Here's a great idea for your dilemma. Found it on another thread and told her I was going to steal it for you!
Myra Nissen, CCH, RSHom(NA)I have glued rice paper to windows with laundry starch to make a nice tinted effect that just peels right off with a little water.
Isn't that great?
June 16, 2013 at 7:47pm     
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I would put as many live plants as possible in the area to hide the a/c unit. Use a variety of plants in different colours to make it interesting.
June 16, 2013 at 8:28pm   
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I have used a product I purchased at Home Depot here in the states. It is a temporary frosted look application specifically made for windows, comes in long rolls, goes up with a spray of water, and a smoothing tool (included in the kit) to get the extra moisture out. You could put a solid base at the bottom to disguise the AC, then cut pieces in a design of your choice (trunks/leaves, geometric) on the higher portion of the windows and door. A little uplighting on a timer on the balcony, and you would have something attractive during the day, and a wow! at night. Mine has been up for 10 years with no discoloring and still has excellent adhesion.
June 17, 2013 at 12:58am     
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Anne Gibney
Try planting bamboo in shallow planting boxes on the floor all around the balcony. A dramatic effect, needs very little maintenance and adds texture and color but screens the view but allows light.
June 17, 2013 at 8:06am     
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Thanks so much for all your suggestions, they have been very helpful. I really like the light idea with the industrial metal (just need to figure what to get it from) look and might even incorporate it with some plants... I will let you know how our the project goes!
June 17, 2013 at 8:27pm   
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Curb Appeal Renovations
Good ideas, I understand you needing something there. Keep pictures coming.
June 17, 2013 at 9:06pm   
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frosted glass on lower portion with some linear lines of clear glass
June 17, 2013 at 9:34pm   
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June 18, 2013 at 12:36am   
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LB Interiors
How about white carved filigree screens across the windows. Maybe something with more open light filtering. Here are some ideas. Lighting behind the screens. Lower walls white.
Hamptons Beach House japanese garden
Brighton Home

Cover the A/C with decorative screen box.

Two small lounge chairs or small chairs, at opposite ends of the space with bright colored pillows.

A runner rug.
Claire Murray Official Buttons Runner Surya Centennial Ivory Runner Rug

A folding tray for wine and cheese.
Lucas's Loft

Add a chandelier.
June 18, 2013 at 1:16am   
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If you like the idea of filigree on those windows, you might want to check out Fretwork overlays that are reasonably priced, with lots of choices, and they will make custom sizes if you need them.
June 18, 2013 at 8:30am     
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The old-fashioned way of dealing with this would have been stained glass windows: a very effective lipstick on a pig, turning something ugly into something most attractive. Nowadays ou can buy the modern stick-on version from HD, etc, which works rather well. Stained glass interiors 1 Stained glass interiors 2
February 18, 2014 at 6:53am   
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