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Home visit: bring a holiday vibe to a city balcony

Holiday at home this summer. These sunny ideas will bring a relaxed holiday vibe to any outdoor space – even in the heart of a city. We went up to the roof terrace of interiors stylist Ashlyn Gibson for some outdoor living inspiration.

A city roof terrace with a patio table covered with leaf-print fabric, folding chairs, potted plants and coloured lanterns.
A city roof terrace with a patio table covered with leaf-print fabric, folding chairs, potted plants and coloured lanterns.

Fold and carry furniture

Summer is the season of spontaneity – no plans or lists, just doing what you feel on the spur of the moment. It’s a season to take advantage of the good things when they come – especially sunshine. So be at the ready with lightweight furniture and accessories you can pick up and carry to your outside space – and just as easily fold up and pack out of the way of the weather’s fickle temperament.

Sounds of summer

“That summer feeling of sitting out with friends long after the sun has gone down and the music’s playing is wonderful. We love to play music when we’re out here on the roof,” says Ashlyn. Portable Bluetooth speakers like ENEBY give you the freedom to carry a whole sound system to wherever you need it, and set up with no effort!

Outdoor kitchen

Upgrade your cook-outs by adding a cook-and-serve station outdoors. If space is limited, plan around a compact trolley that has room to BBQ up top, plus storage built-in for crockery and condiments, and handy hooks for tea towels and BBQ tools. Even better if it has wheels that mean you can move it around easily!

Summer is all about open doors, the breeze and fresh flowers. I love bringing that feeling back home so if I’m out walking, I’m always foraging. In wild garlic season, we pick armfuls from the forest then come home and batch-make pesto.

Ashlyn Gibson

Good fast food

Add quick-to-cook, healthy plant-based options to the BBQ menu. “I’m vegetarian and I try to eat seasonally,” says Ashlyn. “We use the wild garlic we pick to make pesto in exactly the same way you’d make basil pesto – blend garlic, olive oil, pine kernels and Parmesan, and instead of basil add wild garlic. Keep it in a jar in the fridge. It’s great with anything – toast, pasta and veggie hotdogs.”

Think of your outdoor space as an extension of your home – make it a space you want to be in by decorating it the same way you would a room indoors. If you love colour, make it colourful, if you love an eclectic mix, do that outside.

Ashlyn Gibson

Potted garden

Container gardens are a space-smart way to bring nature to the heart of a small outdoor space. Include fragrant plants, grow herbs and, in the city, have a few big plants to screen your space and create privacy. For a roof terrace or balcony, invest in some lightweight pots that are designed to be durable but also less weighty to offset heavy soil.

Long-lasting crockery

Bring the carefree nature of picnicking to your outdoor entertaining at home. Guests will walk about with plates full of food and cups will get left in odd corners. Instead of worrying about breakages, or buying throwaway plates, get a set of durable plastic crockery – unbreakable, good-looking and reusable!

Fun lights

Why have lights in the sun? They create a mood. Use them in the same way you use lights indoors – group LED candles to create cosy corners to sit and chat, hang string lights to add sparkle, and cluster oversized lanterns for brighter and decorative lighting. For a smarter option, pick solar-powered lights like SOLVINDEN. They soak up energy through the day, then come alight as night falls.

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.