Private resort on a budget (Part 2)

Phase two of transforming your small space

We’re continuing on with tips you can implement into remodeling your rental space, no matter how big (or small) your outdoor space is. We redesigned a 6’x12’ balcony in Santa Monica, California, using only things we found at a home improvement store, and did it all in one day with a minimal budget. Once you install your base elements, it’s time to top it off with these final additions to give your space a luxurious, resort-like feel. 

Light it Up

One of the simplest and fastest ways to transform your outdoor space is with a quick lighting change. No matter the size of your space, strategically placed lighting features can unify the area without having to do any major construction work.

The Ambient Light Bars by Foxterra have the power to quickly and easily change your patio, balcony, or backyard with custom landscape lighting. Featuring the first of its kind LED and RBGW technology, the Ambient Bar is available in white or colored options so you can infinitely modify the color to enhance your mood. 

For this balcony remodel, we couldn’t drill anything into the walls, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t mount the Ambient Light Bars! We wanted the lights to sit flush against the walls, so we used a wood base, cut with precise measurements, to create a pressure wedge that holds the beams in place without any fasteners. The Ambient Bar comes with three brackets and we drilled those into the wooden beams to finish off the mounted light look.

A Plant Finisher

With a rental space, you want to make sure you can pack up your yard when you move, and that includes the plants. Instead of in-ground plants, accent the area with a few table-side or potted plants to bring color and life to the area. There’s something inherently cheerful about mixing live plants in with the artificial greenery. Seeing plants grow and flourish makes the house a just little homier.

Make sure you choose plants that fit the environment you’re placing them in. Many plants are fitted with instructions on care and consideration. Determine how much shade versus direct sunlight the area gets, and how much time you’re willing to care for your plants. Mind your home’s climate and the species of plant to determine how often to water, fertilize, or repot your plants.

Rental to Resort

There’s something relaxing about coming home to a place that feels like yours and creating an atmosphere that is distinctly your style where you can relax and recharge. It doesn’t matter if your rental boasts a sprawling yard or a cozy balcony because with a few simple changes you can redo your space yourself and capture that resort-like feel, right at home.


Private resort on a budget (even if you’re renting)

Transforming your small space

Recently, we overhauled a 6’ x 12’ balcony space in Santa Monica, California, proving that resort-style living can be implemented for anyone with an outdoor space.

Our goal for this DIY project was to keep the budget low (within a $5,000 budget) and make sure that everything we installed could be removed with no traces left behind.

Many people shy away from doing renovations with a rental because of lease provisions that prohibit alterations. Depending on the landlord or property manager, it’s best to keep the space in its original condition and form, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the space your own. By swapping out nails, screws, and permanent fixtures for removable, damage-free alternatives you can free up your options to entirely transform your patio, balcony, or backyard.

Create Privacy with Removable Hedges

For this remodeled balcony, we put up artificial hedges using—get this—zip tiesand staples as fasteners. This extremely inexpensive option opens up your space to an overhaul that is very easy to do yourself. First, we cut plywood to size and covered it with Vigoro WeedBlock to give a more realistic look to the finished product. Then, we affixed the artificial living wall pieces to the wood using a staple gun. We drilled holes in the wood and then slipped zip ties through the slots in the balcony glass, anchoring each piece.  These hedges bring an element of privacy that emulates a resort-like feel at a fraction of the cost and commitment. You can purchase this realistic hedge from our site here.

Build a Base

A key element of totally transforming a space is to consider every inch at your disposal. Don’t ignore the floor! If you have flat, concrete ground, installing turf is straightforward and delivers a luxurious look. Artificial grass can be very inexpensive and readily available at large home improvement stores—perfect for a DIY install. 

No matter the size of the flooring, artificial grass can be cut and contoured to fit the shape of the area. Make sure that your concrete is in good condition, flat, and free of large holes or deep cracks. Precise measurements are key because if the turf fits the area, no installation is necessary. Just place it down and tuck it into the edges of your space for a completely redesigned surface that’s cozy enough to lay on but durable enough to withstand harsh weather.

Furniture as a Focal Point

No outdoor space is complete without the perfect furniture. Right now, we’re loving the outdoor collections from Ledger Lounger. They have versatile outdoor furniture that will be the perfect accent to your newly decorated space. After all, what use is a beautiful outdoor space if you can’t sit back and enjoy it?

You don’t need a pool to enjoy comfortable, quality furniture. For this balcony, we paired this dining table with these dining chairs and this side table for a casual look that is perfect for any home. The Playnk collection is great for so many outdoor spaces because of the versality of its look. The mix of materials ties the side table and lounge chairs in with the overall aesthetic of the balcony.

Click here to check out part 2!