With the holidays fast approaching, you need all the space you can get—especially as many of this year’s celebrations will move outside as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In any case, whether you’re hosting a small number of family members or just want to make your balcony area a little more festive, these holiday decorating ideas can help.
Clean Off and Prepare Your Balcony Area
First things first: Start with a “clean slate” by cleaning off and preparing your balcony! Sweeping, mopping, and organizing are recommended at the start of every new season, especially if your balcony has been busy during the summer months.
You can also use this opportunity to store summer furniture and other seasonal items that might not be useful during the fall and winter months. The extra space will not only maximize the potential of your balcony but will also make it the perfect time to invest in waterproofing and other balcony treatments.
Know How Much Space You Have
With your balcony cleaned and organized, you’ll have a better idea of how much space you have available. Balconies vary greatly in size, ranging anywhere from small platforms to patio-sized outdoor areas. As a result, how you’ll be able to decorate—and use—your balcony space will largely depend on the size.
If you don’t have a large balcony but still want to entertain, however, make use of railings and walls: Using running lights, garlands, and other decorations is a great way to decorate any size of holiday balcony!
Determine Your Holiday Style
Though the decorations at the store might all look the same, that doesn’t mean yours have to look like everyone else’s! Use your taste and that of your neighborhood as a guide toward developing your unique holiday style and decorations. There’s no wrong answer, here; whether extremely subtle or extremely festive, following your instincts and tastes will always deliver a perfect result.
Lights are one of the most effective ways to create a holiday balcony, and there’s plenty of options to choose from when it comes to holiday decorating—from Jack-o-Lanterns to long strings of Christmas lights and everything in between, every holiday usually has some sort of festive light fixture to choose from.
Balconies, in particular, benefit from string lights and lanterns, especially if it’s possible to hang them overhead. If you’re decorating for a winter holiday like Christmas, for example, try wrapping Christmas lights around your railings and posts!
There’s more to holiday decor than hanging lights! Try some of these options to make an unforgettable holiday balcony:
Wreaths are an extremely versatile decoration for almost any holiday. While most people associate wreaths with Christmas, that doesn’t mean one has to be Christmas-related—a tasteful arrangement of pine boughs, pinecones, bows, and other winter-related trimmings can be satisfactory holiday decorations. You can also try an arrangement of fall leaves or twigs for an autumnal twist.
Whichever type of wreath you choose, try hanging it from your balcony railing or a balcony-facing door or window.
Trees are another great way to decorate your holiday balcony—holiday season or otherwise. While a Christmas tree is perhaps the most common holiday-related outdoor tree, other trees can be just as festive for the holidays. If you live in a colder climate, consider an artificial tree for even more options.
Ornaments are not only festive holiday decor options but can also help “break up” otherwise monotonous decorations. For example, while stringing your balcony railing with garlands and lights will certainly deliver beautiful results, imagine how much more beautiful it would be with ornaments regularly spaced along with them!
A garland is an easy and effective way to add holiday flair to … well, just about anything: From balcony railings to door and window frames, wrapping your balcony trims with a garland makes for beautiful results. You can also easily apply holiday lights and ornaments to a garland for an even greater effect.
Beyond Decorating: Holiday Balcony Maintenance
While the holidays may be fun, they’re also the busiest time in the year; between holiday parties, religious observations, and just the general “hubbub,” you may not have as much time to take care of essential maintenance such as balcony waterproofing.
For more information on balcony waterproofing and treatment services, call our team of professionals at (424) 339-0953.
Enjoying Thanksgiving “al fresco” can lend a new and pleasant twist to the annual holiday, especially in areas used to mild autumn temperatures. Hosting Thanksgiving outdoors has also become a necessary safety measure in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as public health officials have advised against hosting guests indoors.
Even if you live in a colder area, it’s still possible to have an outdoor Thanksgiving dinner while keeping everyone—and the food—warm, comfortable, and happy. Check out this quick guide to learn more.
Prepare Your Outdoor Living Areas
Whether it’s a deck, a patio, or a backyard, your outdoor space will be serving the purpose of both a living area and dining room. As a result, you’ll want to prepare your outdoor space to ensure that everyone stays warm, entertained, and out of the way of food preparation.
A deck is a perfect place to hold an outdoor gathering, especially if you already have an outdoor living and dining furniture. In any case, you’ll want to keep your furniture organized and set the dining table before guests arrive. Make sure that everything on the table is weighted down—think napkin rings!—in case of wind.
The deck itself may also need some attention. Since your deck will likely receive a lot of traffic—and spills—during the big event, make sure to touch up any worn-out finish or waterproofing before having guests. Since refinishing often isn’t practical during the winter months, you should consider a waterproof deck coating just before you host your outdoor Thanksgiving dinner.
If you live in a warmer region with green grass year-round, then you may want to designate certain guest/entertaining areas to protect your lawn from heavy foot traffic. This concern isn’t as important in colder regions where grass has already gone dormant for the winter.
Those in warmer regions should also make sure that their grass is freshly mowed and/or raked before having guests. However, mowing should be done at least a day in advance to help prevent unnecessary grass stains or allergic reactions.
There’s a good chance that Thanksgiving Day will be a bit chillier than what’s usually comfortable for outdoor entertaining, even if you live in a warmer region. As a result, you should heavily consider something to keep your guests warm—apart from the food and wine!—such as a firepit or some other heating element.
Thankfully, firepits and chimineas—standing fireplaces—are relatively inexpensive and low-maintenance. Plus, products like self-igniting firewood and built-in gas burners make it effortless to keep your guests warm and toasty—and, of course, they up the ambiance.
Have Proper Lighting
With the sun setting earlier in the day, there’s a good chance that a portion of your Thanksgiving, if not all of it, will have to be enjoyed while it’s dusk or dark out. In addition to keeping your table well-lit with candles and/or lamps, be sure to provide ample lighting for the surrounding areas as well. Your guests might feel underwhelmed if the only Thanksgiving outdoor lights are on the dining table!
One benefit of hosting outdoors is the greater possibilities of entertainment options, such as lawn games and other outdoor activities. If you have enough space, try laying out leisure games such as croquet or badminton, or even a simple game of lawn football. Of course, “traditional” indoor Thanksgiving activities are still possible!
While you can still prepare a classic Thanksgiving menu with turkey, stuffing, and so on, hosting an outdoor Thanksgiving dinner presents a few extra considerations.
Keeping the Food Warm
Unfortunately, your food will likely get colder much faster outdoors than it will indoors. As a result, you’ll need to find ways to keep your food warm, both during serving and while it’s on the plate.
To keep food warm while serving, consider warming devices such as steam trays with chafing dishes. These are not only inexpensive to purchase but can also be rented from most party supply stores.
To keep food warm on the plates, place stacks of dinner plates in a warm oven for a few minutes before serving. By keeping the plates warm, your guests’ food will stay warmer longer while outdoors.
Extra tripping hazards and the increased travel time between your kitchen and the dining area will increase the risk of breaking dishes and glassware. If this risk is a concern for you, consider using durable outdoor serve-ware such as plastic plates, cups, and glasses. Many newer examples are designed to resemble the feel and weight of the ceramic, allowing you to maintain the “feel” of a formal dinner without sacrificing your fine china.
Final Preparations and Setup
With your outdoor area warm, well-lit, and properly decorated with outdoor Thanksgiving decorations, you’re ready to receive your guests! Final preparations should include treating your surfaces and outdoor area for additional foot traffic and/or liquid spills, such as applying a waterproof coating to your deck or patio.
Thankfully, deck waterproofing is quick and easy with the right service. For more information on our waterproofing services, call our expert team at 424-339-0953.