Decorating a Small, Urban Balcony by Mandy of Fabric Paper Glue

Article Posted By: Mandy Pellegrin

of Fabric Paper Glue

In our Style Challenge series, we ask some of our favorite bloggers from around the web to surprise us with their ideas for creating a stylish and functional space using Home Depot products as a starting point.

For our Adirondack Challenge, we asked Mandy of Fabric Paper Glue to share her small patio decorating ideas using an Adirondack chair as the basis of her space. Read how she transformed an otherwise boring small balcony into a beautiful outdoor space with color and purpose.

For me, an Adirondack chair elicits thoughts of relaxation — whether I imagine a pair of them facing a serene ocean view or a set of four surrounding a cozy fire.

You know what absolutely doesn’t make me think relaxation? My friend Jillian’s small balcony.

Exhibit A:

Small Patio Decorating Ideas: A bland, colorless small balcony

Sure, a balcony around Washington, D.C., is a luxury, but like most of the balconies in this city, it’s small and bland. My mission? Bringing purpose and style to this space.

Luckily, I had ideas brewing just waiting for a blank slate like this one. The first of these percolating ideas was a reading nook — a perfect use of an Adirondack in a small space, if I do say so. It’s one of those home features that warms my little book-lovin’ heart, but unfortunately falls off the list of must-haves in my own 600-square-foot floor plan. My second idea was stripes. My veracious love of bold, black-and-white striped fabric shouldn’t surprise a soul who follows my blog (see my posts about a striped tote, a striped document envelope, another striped tote, and a striped clutch), yet it’s simply not a pattern that would work with my own home decor. You can read some more about my inspiration in a post I wrote about an urban bookish balcony.

Small Patio Decorating Ideas: An "Urban Booksih Balcony" with an Adirondack chair, patterned outdoor rug, striped pillows and herb garden

Well, folks, not only is this balcony everything that my stripey-reading-nook dreams were make of, it’s also got some other pretty fantastic patterns, a little luxe lighting, a few lush greens, a handful of pretty pink flowers and … GOLD!

Small Patio Decorating Ideas: Adirondack chair in Behr's chlorophyll green and a striped throw pillow

One of my favorite parts of working with the Adirondack chair was the fact that I could customize it. I went with Behr’s Premium Plus exterior paint in Chlorophyll, and I’ve gotta say that I think I kinda knocked it out of the park with my choice. It adds some extra green to give the space a lush outdoor feel, while providing the perfect backdrop for my beloved striped fabric. If you’re looking to paint your own Adirondack, give yourself a break and paint it before you put it together.

Small Patio Decorating Ideas: Image showing how to create DIY rope plant stand

In addition to sewing up the floor pillows, I also knocked out a couple of DIY projects to bring some unique details to the space. The first (and my favorite) was the striped plant stand. This project was as easy as wrapping a super cheap nursery pot in black and white rope. I started at the lip of the pot using some hot glue along the way and finishing it up with a nice little spiral into the center of the bottom.

Small Patio Decorating Ideas: An herb garden with DIY ombre plant markers

My other DIY was a charming little herb planter with some ombre markers. I combined a few herb plants into a nice, substantial ceramic planter and whipped up the markers using craft paint, a dab of wood glue, some wooden skewers, and — believe it or not — wood biscuits.

Small Patio Decorating Ideas: Bright pink flowers against an outdoor rug with a geometric pattern

Small Patio Decorating Ideas: An outdoor rug with striped throw pillows, a green Adirondack chair and flowers

I’m still sort of reeling over how lovely the stark black and white patterns work with the bright green and the feminine florals.

Small Patio Decorating Ideas: A small balcony decorated with bright colors and bold patterns

I’m glad I made those floor pillows for guests, because I have a feeling I might be visiting Jillian and her relaxing balcony a little more this spring. If you want to follow along with all my other crafty adventures, be sure to hop over to my blog — Fabric Paper Glue.

By day, Mandy is a Washington bureaucrat (and proud of it). At night and on the weekends, she’s a lover and creator of handsome crafts, delightful beverages, and fun stuff. Fabric Paper Glue is about all this evening/weekend stuff. And she does it all from a 603-square-foot condo that she shares with her husband, Michael, and their cat, Pete. 

To create her small patio decorating ideas, Mandy started with an Unfinished Adirondack Patio Chair from The Home Depot.

For more outdoor decorating inspiration, see other Patio Style Challenges as well as our Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest.

Style Challenge is a series of posts from guest contributors who aim to bring you fresh inspiration and ideas for your home and garden using a single Home Depot product as a starting point. Mandy received the Adirondack chair from The Home Depot and a gift card, but The Home Depot provided no other compensation. The opinions and ideas Mandy expressed are her own.