Apartment living: creating outside space
I have talked a couple of times about creating a communal vegetable plot with my neighbouring friends who have a good size garden. This weekend past, we finally planted our seeds and congratulated each other on how amazing we are for ‘growing’ our own food! Optimism is what grows vegetables.
I myself live in an apartment. If I am honest, I never expected it. I am not sure what I did expect (as a 12-year-old, I thought by the time I was 16 I’d be Winona Ryder and everything would be taken care of) but it definitely involved owning a house. Then I moved to the West Coast.
I absolutely love my apartment, it’s a really good size but I would love to improve my outside space. Like most Victoria apartments I have a balcony, but I do absolutely nothing with it. So, I’m about to change that and have set myself a challenge, to clean up my balcony and furnish it with only upcycled, recycled or already used furnishings.
First up, I need to give my balcony floor a good scrub, two years of neglect have practically given me the outside ecosystem I have always longed for, just not in a good way. Referring to my blogging buddy Carly’s post about vinegar and how you can use it for just about everything, I am getting on my hands and knees with a baking soda and vinegar mix and a sturdy new hard bristle scrubbing brush.
Next up, the floor. On a recent trip to Oregon, I bought a mat made entirely from high grade recycled plastic. It’s called a Mad Mat and made from water bottles, milk bottles and other plastic packaging. As well as being an upcycled product, being made from 98% plastic means that it won’t mould or mildew outdoors, so it is perfect for a balcony space that is still open to the elements.
I found some wood on the side of the road last week and my husband Dave turned it into two plant pots. We plan to drill them into the rail to help drainage and to save them against the west coast winds. I still haven’t chosen the plants that will go in them – I was tempted by lettuces – but I think on each side of my balcony, to create a more private space I am going to go for morning glory. It takes a while to grow but I think it will create a really nice alternative to blinds. In the meantime, I am keeping my eye out for more curbside wood. Another man’s garbage and all that.
Because I am relying on garage sales, my local UsedSite and curbside finds to furnish my balcony, I don’t know how it’s going to turn out. This week, I intend to raid my craft boxes and make some windchimes and candles which I will share with you in my next post. In the meantime, here’s some inspiration for anyone else thinking of a balcony refurb!