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Balcony dining, or any type of outdoor dining, can be a wonderful and fun experience when the weather is right for it. There are some things to keep in mind, however, to make sure that the experience is pleasant for everyone involved. The first is the design of the balcony and the amount of space available; it is important to choose comfortable, sturdy furniture that matches the design of the home and which can weather the elements if it will be left out all the time. Consider other factors as well such as lighting, bugs, and other things that can make or break the balcony dining experience.
There are many different varieties of outdoor furniture available in stores or online. Some are better designed to withstand rain or sun than others, so be sure to keep this in mind. If the balcony is covered, however, which many are, this is less of a concern. Consider the style of the home and whether more modern or more traditional furniture would complement it best. This is especially true if the balcony can be viewed at other times through a glass door, for example. In addition, consider where the sun will be hitting at different times of the day; a well-placed patio umbrella might be necessary if the balcony will be in direct sun.
Another factor with balcony dining is whether or not the grill will be included on the balcony as well. On larger decks, this is a possibility; if so, make sure there is a way to direct the smoke away from the table where people will be eating. A small to medium sized fan can usually accomplish this task quite well. In addition, consider the lighting; for hot climates, installing an overhead light that includes a fan can be very helpful. Solar lights are another option, as well as decorative light strands that can really change the look and feel of the area, especially for holiday occasions. They are inexpensive and easy to change.
In cooler climates, some people find that propane patio heaters are a great way to enjoy balcony dining later into the evening, and for lengthier times, in the spring and fall. Lights and food will also attract bugs, of course, but a few citronella candles or torches mounted on the balcony railing can generally take care of this problem. Music is another way to make a balcony dining experience more pleasant; some people install speakers on the outside of the home, but if this is not possible, there are many other portable options for playing music outdoors.
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