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Eat out for lunch

Turn breaking for lunch into a habit by making it something to look forward to. Create a spot away from your desk to sit and eat. Make it special. Having a sandwich? Put it on a plate! Use cutlery, drink from a carafe… “When you work from home, you need discipline to sit and get the job done. But also to switch off!” says Kelly Ekardt, who works from home as a fashion stylist and designer.

“I work from home. Having this balcony as somewhere nice to go to during the working day helps me relax. It’s lovely to sit out here with a drink and some music playing and feel the sunshine.”

Cultivate calm

Be inspired by the Japanese practice of Zen gardening and develop your green fingers. The act of nurturing and growing plants has been linked to reducing stress and boosting happiness. It’s doubly satisfying when you can eat what you’ve grown! Start with herbs. You can plant a herb garden in the smallest space, for an on-hand source of fresh herbs to garnish your lunchtime sandwich or salad.

Design a garden

“We started with two flower boxes,” says Kelly, of her balcony garden. For a space smart way to garden on a small balcony, go vertical! Shelves for potted plants, hanging baskets, trellis… Whatever your preference, growing up is a great way to go green on a city balcony.

IKEA Ideas - Home visit: a balcony to escape the daily grind
 

Add a spark of joy

See the things you use to decorate your balcony as opportunities to give your eyes a visual treat. What we see can affect how we feel and it only takes a small thing to create a happy vibe. A cushion in your favourite colour, a flower that reminds you of a holiday, colourful string lights that recall laughter-filled nights with friends. Some days, your working day needs a little escapism!

IKEA Ideas - Home visit: a balcony to escape the daily grind

“In spring and summer it’s so beautiful on our little balcony. It’s not huge but it works for us. We face the zoo and in the morning we can hear the lions and the peacocks! Whenever we’re home, we keep the glass doors to the living room open.”

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