Sallie Twentyman, of Vienna, wants to do more with her 17-by-5-foot balcony. She loves to cook for her grandchil­-dren and wants a table that can seat six for family meals. And she’s got a green thumb, so baskets for her herbs are a must.


By adding a picnic-style table and a curtain for privacy, designer Christine Philp turns the bare balcony into a comfortable place for family.

Display plants on a cubby-style shelf. It can double as a buffet table during dinner parties.

Semi-opaque curtains make the balcony more private while letting in light. Outdoor curtains are

SallieTwentyman, of Vienna (Leah L. Jones/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

A chandelier made of Mason jars is a charming touch. To make your own, just fill jars with sand and place a tea candle in each.

Use benches instead of chairs. Benches provide plenty of room for people to sit without the clutter of individual chairs.

An indoor-outdoor rug comes in handy around children and pets. It’s easy to clean and resistant to mold, mildew, sun and water.

Philp, of Palindrome Design (202-361-9209, www.palindromedesign.net), is based in Alexandria.


Furniture: Cedarwood backless garden benches in white ($150 each, www.amazon.com); bench cubbie made from recycled materials by WaynesWoodworking ($160, www.etsy.com); stainless-steel patio table ($125, www.amazon.com).

Lighting: Antique lights Mason jar chandelier by TreasureAgain ($125, www.etsy.com).

Accessories: Outdoor curtain panels in orange and white (price varies according to size, www.improvementscatalog.com); indoor-outdoor Bimini terra cotta rug ($63 for 5-by-7-feet, www.overstock.com); Vallarta stripe table runner ($60, www.potterybarn.com); Room Essentials dining cushion set in orange ($25, www.target.com); Carlisle tablecloth ($33, www.instawares.com); Tropix shatterproof wine goblets ($16 for four) and Bird Brain Arani firepot ($38), both from www.amazon.com.


Louis Sage Le Cadeaux Melamine plates ($220 for a set of 16, www.touchofeurope.com).

Open Collection armchair with loose cushion in Bisque ($1,200 each, www.brownjordan.com).

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Amazon dinnerware set ($35 for 16 pieces, www.target.com).

Garden Treasures steel patio chair ($40 each, www.lowes.com).