For homeowners with small patios or balconies, outdoor design options can seem limited. However, even the smallest slice of outdoor space can be transformed into a functional and tranquil retreat with a few key additions.

These homeowners in Chicago, Illinois, have limited square footage on their top floor balcony. They aimed to make the small space cozy, comfortable, and practical, without disrupting the impressive display of flora.

The Chicagoan green thumbs adorned the space with potted plants and flowers that breathe both colour and life into the area. To add privacy to the relatively open balcony, the homeowners erected a lattice fence on one side and started a green wall on the other.

The need to protect themselves and their thriving plant life from harsh weather encouraged the homeowners to look for shade. At first, they opted for a wall-mounted roll-out awning but quickly realized that it would interfere with newly incorporated privacy walls. This led them to ShadeFX.

A 10’ x 16’ retractable canopy in Ferrari Terracotta fabric was specified with a reduced canopy drop. Taking on the DIY project, the homeowners flange mounted the canopy between the wall and the center post of their rustic structure. The savvy homeowners then added side beams over the canopy wings to act as inboard stabilizers.

“One thing we did not appreciate before we actually used the canopy was how it interacts with the vegetation. Because the canopy retracts and extends so easily, we are able to provide just the right amount of sunlight to yield luxuriant growth and yet protect less sun-tolerant plants. This enables us to shade our deck only when we are on it, meaning that the plants get so much more sunlight than previously. We began training the vines that create the green wall only six weeks ago. And if it begins to rain, it’s trivial to deploy the canopy and continue to enjoy the deck. Our prior awning was much more difficult to adjust.

Thanks again for your help during the planning phases. Everything you foresaw has come to pass.”

– Martin Feder, Homeowner

As it rains, the water sheds off the sides of the canopy, naturally watering the plants. When more sun is required the system is easily retracted providing direct sunlight to the vegetation. Though a small space, the lattice, green wall, and retractable canopy turn this balcony into an intimate hideaway.

Don’t miss the opportunity to make your outdoor space into a relaxing oasis. Contact us today.