In every city apartment, especially if it is small, over time, a number of different things accumulate, which take up a lot of space, and thereby create a mess and cramped houses at home. Owners of their own houses, sheds, or summer cottages have the opportunity to store items that are not constantly in demand in a convenient place outside the living area.
But what about those who do not have such useful additional premises? When out-of-season clothes, winter preparations, or things needed for rare use are piled up everywhere and constantly take time and energy to rearrange and arrange them, a properly equipped balcony can help out. More precisely, a balcony wardrobe, created with your own hands.
Features and Benefits
A wardrobe on the balcony is not a new idea, but it is relevant today. Useful space does not stand idle, but is operated with all the conveniences. The peculiarity of this furniture is that it can be free from a clearly defined apartment interior design in color and style. This means, to have an arbitrary shape and appearance that fully corresponds to both the size of the balcony and the individual taste preferences of the owners. The advantages include the fact that, by assembling the wardrobe on your own, it is possible to make it as appropriate as possible to your needs, and not to adapt to the finished thing, supplementing or changing its original appearance and functionality.
Plus, this is a real chance to save money and practice your creative skills. A sufficiently spacious wardrobe for the balcony, as an additional storage space, significantly relieves the living space of the apartment, does not bother anyone, is always nearby, and makes the balcony look neat and well-groomed from the street.
There are two types of this furniture: freestanding and built-in. By types: open, sliding and swing.
Open cabinets are a series of shelves stacked on top of each other. It can be either a product made separately according to the specified dimensions and displayed on the balcony, or built into the free space of the end part of the insulated balcony, away from the exit to it. These cabinets are often equipped with curtains or shutters that cover the contents of the shelves from the street and from the front. The number of shelves is chosen at your discretion, but it is better, for ease of use, to place the upper shelf no higher than the arm's length.
Wardrobes can also be free-standing or built-in. They differ from open ones by the presence of doors. Doors can be single or double. Sliding wardrobes have sliding doors in the form of a compartment. The choice of model is determined by its convenience for the owners and the features of the balcony.
It can be either all shelves that are completely closed with one or two doors at once, or each pair of tiers that can be closed separately. Wardrobes and sliding wardrobes can be equipped not only with shelves, but also with clothes hangers. In the case of storing clothes, shoes, equipment, and expensive necessary things on the balcony, it must be insulated and protected from moisture. Open and closed shelves can be combined in the same cabinet, depending on the intended function. For example, when planning to grow flowers on the balcony, they can be partially placed on some open shelves or on the cabinet on top.
Catch cabinets can be open, hinged, or a combination of both. Most often they are built into insulated balconies or loggias. They are shelves fixed in the corner between the balcony and the wall of the house. These cabinets are more spacious. It can be one wide cabinet that takes up the entire corner.
Also, you can combine two separate cabinets of smaller width, one of which occupies directly the corner itself, and the second is located side by side, filling all the remaining free space.
If the corner balcony is very small, or vice versa, after installing the cabinet there is still enough free space, then it is advisable to place a bedside table under the windowsill, level with it. It will not close the window, and several shelves will be useful for storing homework and other little things. On top of it, you can place flower pots, or use it additionally as a table.
Balcony cabinets are made of natural wood, plywood, plastic or chipboard panels. Their combination is possible. For decoration, lining or PVC panels are usually used. If the balcony is not insulated, then it is wiser to use natural wood, you can combine it with weather-resistant facade panels. Coated with waterproof street paint or varnish, or otherwise treated in an appropriate way, a wooden product can serve, despite temperature changes and precipitation.
If the balcony is well insulated and protected from moisture, then you can use any materials at your discretion, since nothing will damage them.
How to do it yourself
It is necessary to take into account the peculiarities of the installation site of the cabinet, since it completely depends on what type and from what material the product will be made. Open air, or protected space, as well as the size of the balcony, as well as the level of craftsmanship, dictate different approaches.
For a completely inexperienced master, you can build the simplest one, for example, start with an open cabinet - whatnots for location on any balcony or loggia. To create it, it is enough, using a tape measure, to take all measurements from the balcony without errors and, on their basis, prepare a drawing with detailed dimensions of each detail of the future product: their height, thickness and width.
When drawing up a drawing, it is necessary to think over the purpose of the cabinet step by step, since the dimensions of the shelves and the distance between them will depend on this. After that, buy the appropriate materials and, referring to the drawing, make accurate markings on them. Then, using a saw, a building level, a plumb line, a hammer and nails, or a screwdriver and screws, assemble the frame and place the shelves on it.
The frame is assembled from below. Having exactly fixed the base, the vertical parts of the cabinet are attached to it. Then horizontal parts are attached to them, fixing the rigidity of the structure. Next, the protrusions are attached, on which the shelves will be held. You can make them a little more than is needed at the moment, in order to be able to change the height of the shelves in the future to meet current needs.
The main thing is to carefully monitor that the design is even and symmetrical, which ensures the accuracy of its appearance and the reliability of the location of things for storage on it. The cabinet, which will stand on the open balcony, should preferably be treated with special compounds for wood, painted with street paint, or covered with a resistant varnish to increase its service life without damage.
To create a more complex product with doors, you will also need a drawing. It should indicate in detail all the dimensions of each part for assembly, and think over the sequence of connecting them together. All dimensions of the cabinet must correspond to the dimensions of the balcony and to the intended purpose. Depending on what is planned to be stored in the cabinet, its depth, height, and distance between shelves are determined.
Having thought over the details and nuances in advance, having prepared the drawing, a choice of materials is made, including small details - handles, hinges, and fasteners. It also depends on the type of balcony and the desired type of product. Having purchased all the necessary materials, you can get to work. First, according to the drawing, parts for assembly are prepared, then, using a step-by-step diagram, it is necessary, using a building level and a plumb line, to assemble them into a finished product. It is better to use cladding, it looks good in a room that is sheathed with the same material - be it plastic or lining.
The lower parts of the frame, its support are installed first, then, in turn, its longitudinal and transverse parts are fastened. The shelves are inserted last and the doors are hung. Their size is determined by the assembled cabinet doorway, taking into account the installation of hinges. It is necessary that the structure is flat, without distortions. At the very end of the work, handles are attached to the doors. Of the tools for assembling such a cabinet, you will need, in addition to a saw, a screwdriver, screws, a level, a plumb line, a chisel and a drill. With their help, holes are prepared for attaching handles, and recesses at the points of attachment of door hinges.
Interesting ideas in the design of the balcony
Regardless of whether the balcony is wide or narrow, with the proper use of space, you can not only get additional storage space, but also design it in a very functional, beautiful and creative way.
The built-in monophonic wardrobe looks very interesting, consisting of many closed modules, which combines plastic doors of different heights, widths, opening directions with drawers.
Convenient, similar to it from the inside, a swing cabinet, containing many sections of all kinds of sizes for objects of various sizes. But it is equipped with only two outer doors in its entire height. Its convenience lies in the fact that when using doors, you can see all the contents of the cabinet at once. The beauty and shine of such a cabinet can be given by lining with plastic clapboard.
The cabinet with frosted glass inserts looks very nice. This makes the balcony look like an extension of the kitchen, which brings coziness and harmony to the space. The cupboard-shaped cupboard makes the same impression.
An unusual balcony wardrobe is a compartment with mirrored doors that visually increase the size of the balcony.
A bedside table in the tone of the balcony trim, built under the window sill in its entire width, is completely invisible, but at the same time it is quite roomy. Looks good both wooden and plastic.
A cabinet equipped with slatted doors assembled from lining according to the principle of blinds is not only beautiful, but also has the ability to access air inside when it is closed. This allows natural ventilation of its contents and prevents the formation of mold and odors.
The idea of a balcony cabinet as a workplace is interesting. With the doors closed, this is just an ordinary cabinet, inside which, on shelves of the appropriate height, a computer monitor, a system unit, a keyboard, and a printer are located.
A wardrobe of several sections, built-in, like a home furniture wall, along the perimeter of the window, is functional and looks great on the insulated balcony. The structure is turned by doors to the street side and surrounds the window without blocking it. The side cabinets reach the top frame in height, the width corresponds to the width of the balcony, and there is a built-in bedside table under the windowsill. The entire structure and the balcony are sheathed with clapboard, which creates a complete image of a single stylish space. Such an embodiment is also possible from plastic.
A spacious warm loggia with a side exit, equipped in the style of a living room, looks very cozy. A wardrobe with many shelves is attached to a free wall up to the window, its lower tier is replaced by a sofa equal to it in width, and the loggia window sill is completed with a table in the form of a rack. All this is complemented by folding chairs.
If the loggia is large and well insulated, then a dressing room with hangers for clothes, shelves for shoes, and a mezzanine for hats will fit in it. You can add mirrors, a rug and soft ottomans.
And a simple tall double end cabinet can look very nice from the outside if you equip it with narrow consoles from the street side, and place flowers or soft toys on them.