My Bohemian Balcony Makeover: Built a Mini Deck, Stained & Stenciled..

11 Materials
1 Week

Hello again from sunny Malaysia :) Just wanna say a big thank you to all who have visited and liked and commented on my 2 previous projects!! :)

This is to be my 3rd makeover of the year! And this time, I have chosen to do an outdoor space. Living on the 8th floor, our only outdoor space within the apartment would be the balcony. We have a relatively small balcony, probably about 12 feet x 5 feet give and
Before     >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>     After
Before >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> After
I decided to give our balcony a Zen Bohemian look, if there is such a thing ... because my husband and I have been quite into yoga lately, so I thought it would be nice to bring in the same sort of vibe into the home as well.

I began by building a mini deck.

We had a table which was one of the first things that came into this home with us some 12 years ago, and I have never been able to part with it. So after many different uses, this table has now become the foundation of my deck. However, it wasn't enough to cover the whole deck area, as such I had to build extra framing to fill the whole space.

Framing till sunset
Framing till sunset
After framing up the extra area, I began to lay the 4x1 timber on top and secured them to the table/frames. I must mention that after my 2 previous makeovers, I got the attention of a local online hardware store ATKC, and they offered me all the wood I needed to build my deck for free! I only had to document my process on video so that they can put it on their website. Of course I was delighted with the offer!! As such, my deck costed me close to nothing to build :)

my balcony makeover
If you look at the photo, I have made a removable panel on the left of the deck. The reason is because my drainage outlet is there, so I thought I'd better make that part removable in case something needs to be fixed. Who knows!

On the right, I have added like a flip up panel with a magnet just for some extra storage space for unsightly object that we want to hide :)

So that's the deck done! I have also stained it with a mixture of 2 different stains which I had leftover from other projects.
my balcony makeover
And then, I designed and drew out a stencil of a stylized Lotus and simply stippled it onto the stained deck. After which I coated the deck with 3 coats of polyurethane to make it sufficiently waterproof.

And here is the finished deck. It is important to mention that the height between the floor of the deck to the top of the rail is still within the safety specs of 1 meter, as I do have a 7 year old.
my balcony makeover
Next, I decided to make a table so that my husband would have a proper surface to write on. But I didn't want the table to be there all the time. As such I thought the best solution was to make a fold-up table.

I first cut up some block board which I had left over from my kitchen makeover, for the tabletop. And then painted it turquoise. I was determine to use brighter colors here, colors that I have never dared to use inside the home.

I made the legs with 2x1 timbers, and made it so that when the table is folded up, the legs would look like some sort of frame.
my balcony makeover
Within the frame, I stenciled the Sanskrit symbol "AUM" to go with the Zen Bohemian theme. I also fashioned a 'stopper' to hold the table up when it's folded against the wall.

The table sits comfortably at the edge of the deck so that there's plenty of space still to move around on the deck. I was pretty pleased with the results :)
Fold up table
Fold up table
These were the 2 main things I wanted to do to the balcony. Of course before that, I did paint some walls a deep brown-grey to give some accent to the stark white walls. I could only paint on the walls that would not affect the facade of the apartment block when viewed from outside.

After building the deck and the table, I decided that it was time to beautify. I had a friend who was also doing some reno to her bathrooms and when her contractors ripped off all her old bathroom cabinets, I told her to save 2 doors for me. I had something in mind for the doors.
my balcony makeover
First I cut some windows into the slates of the cabinet door. Then I took some recycled wood and fashioned a shallow shelving. Attached the door to the shelving units and voila I have a vertical planter!

So this becomes my new succulent planter and I even kept the doorknob!
my balcony makeover
As for the other door, I cut it into half and made them into shelves for my potted herbs.
my balcony makeover
Oh! not forgetting also, another planter I made out of recycled wood and cake tins I bought from Daiso (our 5 dollar shop)

my balcony makeover
I added some floor decal which I bought online. Stick and peel tiles that were easy to apply, and remove should it fall out of favour :)
And the money I saved from the deck (it was sponsored) I bought a beautiful bamboo plant and those potted herbs in the photo above, some succulents and ferns. All in all I am a happy girl!

And here are some photos of my balcony now.
The deck and the floor decal
The deck and the floor decal
My bamboo plant and herb shelves
My bamboo plant and herb shelves
My favourite corner
My favourite corner
Another green nook & my succulent planter
Another green nook & my succulent planter
You can see the whole makeover process in the video link below.
Thank you for reading :)
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 10 questions
  • Jessica Serrano-Gregg
    on May 16, 2018

    Hello! So awesome!! Love the flip up storage, brilliant. That looks like an amazing place to meditate, read, just be one with your surroundings..

    i love the lotus stencil you created. I would really like to use that design and obviously I could copy it but as a fellow creative person, I have a huge amount of respect for your artwork and original design and the hard work that you put into creating that design so incase you did trademark it, I thought I’d ask if you sell the stencil or do you have the design pdf that you’d be willing to sell? I’d love to purchase this! Thanks!

  • Dorothy Sittler
    on Nov 22, 2018

    Very pretty use of plants but what finishes did you use to avert the rains?

    • Winnie Luthien Thye
      on Nov 22, 2018

      I used 3 coats of waterproof polyurethane. Also honestly my balcony is quite sheltered and doesn't get a lot of splashes from rain. Just a slight misting.

  • Lisa West
    on Nov 29, 2018

    So beautiful. This gives me some ideas for our out door space. We just moved to an apartment from a house. So down sizing has been very difficult for me. We have a shared porch out back. So I could spruce it up. That much I know I'm allowed. Live the lotus flower as well. Do you have this in a pdf,? I would live to borrow for my dresser if possible. Thank you for sharing this wonderful space with us.

    • Winnie Luthien Thye
      on Nov 29, 2018

      hi Lisa,

      Thank you for the kind comment!

      I don;t have the design on a PDF as I drew it straight on the artblock and then cut from there. But I have taken a better photo on it and posted it a few posts up from yours, also in the Questions section. If you scroll up you would find the photo. Hope that would be of some help. :)

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4 of 257 comments
  • Christine Petersen
    on Jan 15, 2019

    This is amazing!!!!!!!!!! I am in the process of re-doing my front porch and I'm going for boho-chic as well. Unfortunately the project has been stalled due to crummy winter weather. I am an avid gardener and I love all of your plants. Looks like such a beautiful and peaceful place to relax! Excellent job!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Winnie Luthien Thye
      on Jan 16, 2019

      thank you Christine! I hope the weather gets better for you soon and you can continue on your DIY. I have since added a LOT of plants :p now it looks like a mini jungle out there lol!!

  • Kat
    15 hours ago


    Live & Love Out There In Happiness & Excellent Health~ Kat

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