Adding an artist’s touch

01 June 2015

‘My home is rented but it still has to feel like me,’ says Graça. ‘I wanted to bring personality to our bare brick and concrete balcony – now it’s a fun, colourful space for family and friends.’

View of outdoor space with bright coloured textiles, cosy seating area, colourful dining room table and chairs. View of outdoor space with bright coloured textiles, cosy seating area, colourful dining room table and chairs. View of outdoor space with bright coloured textiles, cosy seating area, colourful dining room table and chairs. View of outdoor space with bright coloured textiles, cosy seating area, colourful dining room table and chairs. View of outdoor space with bright coloured textiles, cosy seating area, colourful dining room table and chairs. View of outdoor space with bright coloured textiles, cosy seating area, colourful dining room table and chairs. View of outdoor space with bright coloured textiles, cosy seating area, colourful dining room table and chairs. View of outdoor space with bright coloured textiles, cosy seating area, colourful dining room table and chairs. View of outdoor space with bright coloured textiles, cosy seating area, colourful dining room table and chairs. View of outdoor space with bright coloured textiles, cosy seating area, colourful dining room table and chairs. View of outdoor space with bright coloured textiles, cosy seating area, colourful dining room table and chairs. View of outdoor space with bright coloured textiles, cosy seating area, colourful dining room table and chairs.
Outdoor balcony before the makeover Outdoor balcony before the makeover Outdoor balcony before the makeover Outdoor balcony before the makeover Outdoor balcony before the makeover Outdoor balcony before the makeover Outdoor balcony before the makeover Outdoor balcony before the makeover Outdoor balcony before the makeover Outdoor balcony before the makeover Outdoor balcony before the makeover Outdoor balcony before the makeover

Before ‘Our balcony has lovely views down to the sea but felt a bit sad and unwelcoming.’

Artist Graça painting in her sketchbook Artist Graça painting in her sketchbook Artist Graça painting in her sketchbook Artist Graça painting in her sketchbook Artist Graça painting in her sketchbook Artist Graça painting in her sketchbook Artist Graça painting in her sketchbook Artist Graça painting in her sketchbook Artist Graça painting in her sketchbook Artist Graça painting in her sketchbook Artist Graça painting in her sketchbook Artist Graça painting in her sketchbook

Artist at work ‘Whatever the medium, my work is nearly always full of colour!’

GRACA'S CREATIVE VISION

Artist Graça lives with two of her sons Sebastião (19) and Antonio (10) in Esposende, Portugal. For her, creativity and change are the air she breathes, a philosophy that shows in her home as much as in her paintings. We visited Graça just weeks after she had moved into her new home. She had already transformed the blank canvas of her modern house into a celebration of colour and personality filled with quirky details – and all on a limited budget. Her balcony updates are no exception.

‘Making small changes in an outdoor space can create a whole new mood.’

Artist Graça painting lampshades with red paint. Artist Graça painting lampshades with red paint. Artist Graça painting lampshades with red paint. Artist Graça painting lampshades with red paint. Artist Graça painting lampshades with red paint. Artist Graça painting lampshades with red paint. Artist Graça painting lampshades with red paint. Artist Graça painting lampshades with red paint. Artist Graça painting lampshades with red paint. Artist Graça painting lampshades with red paint. Artist Graça painting lampshades with red paint. Artist Graça painting lampshades with red paint.

How-to tip ‘Let each colour dry before starting on the next.’

Painted VÄTE lamp bunting with dining room table. Painted VÄTE lamp bunting with dining room table. Painted VÄTE lamp bunting with dining room table. Painted VÄTE lamp bunting with dining room table. Painted VÄTE lamp bunting with dining room table. Painted VÄTE lamp bunting with dining room table. Painted VÄTE lamp bunting with dining room table. Painted VÄTE lamp bunting with dining room table. Painted VÄTE lamp bunting with dining room table. Painted VÄTE lamp bunting with dining room table. Painted VÄTE lamp bunting with dining room table. Painted VÄTE lamp bunting with dining room table.

QUICK MAKE: PAINTED PAPER SHADE 'BUNTING'

‘Instead of using them for lighting, we painted these paper lamp shades to create decorations. Each one takes just a few minutes to do but they create instant impact and help define the space from the rest of the home. It’s lovely to watch them sway gently in the breeze.’

Customise place mats with a decorative roller. Customise place mats with a decorative roller. Customise place mats with a decorative roller. Customise place mats with a decorative roller. Customise place mats with a decorative roller. Customise place mats with a decorative roller. Customise place mats with a decorative roller. Customise place mats with a decorative roller. Customise place mats with a decorative roller. Customise place mats with a decorative roller. Customise place mats with a decorative roller. Customise place mats with a decorative roller.

Idea ‘Decorate each side of the place mat differently to create two looks from one piece.’

Outdoor dining table set with personalised placemats, colourful crockery, glasses and flowers. Outdoor dining table set with personalised placemats, colourful crockery, glasses and flowers. Outdoor dining table set with personalised placemats, colourful crockery, glasses and flowers. Outdoor dining table set with personalised placemats, colourful crockery, glasses and flowers. Outdoor dining table set with personalised placemats, colourful crockery, glasses and flowers. Outdoor dining table set with personalised placemats, colourful crockery, glasses and flowers. Outdoor dining table set with personalised placemats, colourful crockery, glasses and flowers. Outdoor dining table set with personalised placemats, colourful crockery, glasses and flowers. Outdoor dining table set with personalised placemats, colourful crockery, glasses and flowers. Outdoor dining table set with personalised placemats, colourful crockery, glasses and flowers. Outdoor dining table set with personalised placemats, colourful crockery, glasses and flowers. Outdoor dining table set with personalised placemats, colourful crockery, glasses and flowers.

Add small details ‘Freshly picked flowers and personal touches turn an everyday meal into a celebration.’

BRING COLOUR TO YOUR DINING TABLE

‘I’ve always found bright colours energising, so I make them a part of our family’s dining experience. You can add colour without a lot of extra effort or big cost.’

‘Painting the old outdoor table blue was a simple and cost-effective change. I then used a decorative paint roller over it to add pattern.’

‘I also applied the paint roller to my cork place mats for a colourful update to match the table.’

Layer textiles to soften and disguise

‘Tying strips of brightly patterned fabric to the metal railing softened the hard feel of the space and created a sense of privacy as well as adding colour. It’s a great way to use up old fabric.’   

‘Outdoor rugs help to create separate “zones”, break up the hard flooring and feel lovely underfoot. And lots of colourful cushions are always a must for me – I like a mix, nothing too matchy.’

 

No-fix fabric ‘Simply loop and tie the fabric strips on, so they’re easy to change if you want a new look.’

‘I love to explore my creativity at home. If I feel like trying something new, I just do it! And if I don’t like it, I’ll do it again!’

See how Graça made some of her creative and colourful balcony updates.