South Florida has more high-rise balconies than anywhere else in the US. If you’re driving thru Miami Beach, Ft. Lauderdale or Sunny Isles you can see high-rise condos with hundreds of balconies. Some of the balconies face the beach and some face the city or intra-coastal waters. Since 2001 I have been living in apartments with balconies in Miami Beach which enabled me to observe how condo residents utilize their balconies.
Older buildings like the ones in old Millionaire Row which is roughly between 40 and 70th street on Collins Avenue have smaller balconies. Newer constructions seem to make bigger balconies in proportion to the apartment sizes. Good examples are the new buildings in Sunny Isles or the ones in south of fifth in South Beach. Apartments in new buildings are much larger and more luxurious and if you look at marketing materials for luxury properties they usually focus on balcony views. Balconies in marketing brochures are furnished with luxury outdoor furniture which automatically establishes a high status living. Balconies have taken their place in real estate brochures together with high-end bathrooms and kitchens. It’s not a surprise that we sell our most expensive lines of patio furniture to model apartments in new constructions where the developer wants to set a high luxury standard. These large balconies are just like patios which is an immediate extension of indoor living space thus making them an area that needs to be furnished accordingly. Most new buildings feature a modern design throughout the building. They feature large lobbies with marble floors and designer furnishings. Model apartments also feature modern kitchens, modern bathrooms and modern furniture. As a result most balcony furniture purchased for newer buildings are modern lines. We have customers in almost all new constructions in Miami and Sunny Isles areas such as Apogee, Continuum, Trump Palace, Trump Royale, Acqualina, Ocean 1, Ocean 2, Ocean 3, Ocean 4, Setai, Il Villagio, Portofino Towers, Murano, Icon Brickell and many others. These buildings have balconies where the balconies are at least 20 to 30 feet wide and 10-12 feet deep. That’s a lot of space which makes it easier to furnish. Modern patio furniture with club chairs, sofas, dining sets and even chaise lounges can fit these large balconies with great views. Our best selling collections for modern balcony furniture are Biarritz, Rivage & Riviera from Triconfort; Mirabella; San Michelle & Maxime from Caluco; Atmosphere, Delta, Maia, Venezia & XXL from Kettal; Monaco & Tangier from Kannoa; Montecito & Oasis from Whitecraft. These collections are highly durable for balcony use. They are designed by famous European designers specifically for large terraces and balconies. Collections have larger seating pieces and large dining sets as well as large deep seating units for extra comfort. We have sold these collections for the past 10 years with no problems and no negative feedback from customers.
There are lots of residents who use their apartments only a few months of the year as a vacation residence. Many times these clients try to minimize their costs of the balcony furniture and prefer lighter products for their prices. We recommend otherwise. If the balcony is high and large you have to choose the furniture thinking about winds. Winds can easily pick an item from the balcony and throw it out which is a huge liability. During hurricane seasons most buildings enforce removing of furniture from balconies however there are still many accidents that result from flying objects. Also even during regular seasons high winds can start without any notice. The best way to avoid problems is to choose heavier furniture for high balconies. These can be aluminum, cast aluminum, recycled plastic or wood furniture items. Unsecured glass tops on tables should be secured if possible since the wind can blow the glass over the table. Cushions must be secured if not removed. Lighter furniture items and objects should be moved indoors when not in use. It’s not safe to use light plastic chairs and tables on these large balconies if wind is a problem. If price is an issue we have some more affordable collections that we offer to our clients. They are not really modern lines but they are transitional by design. Some of these balcony collections are Captain & Club from Polywood; Shorea & Travira from Oxford Garden; Florence & Origin from Caluco; Dangari collection from Evolutif. Our all time best selling balcony chairs are Tangor multi position chair from Evolutif which is heavy enough for balcony use. Smaller balconies with no winds are a good fit for our Miami balcony furniture set with two chairs and a rectangle coffee table.
I’m fortunate enough to have balcony but not too large. My balcony is about 6 feet deep and 20 feet wide which makes it hard to furnish. The main problem is the depth. I have a 60 inch dining table with aluminum frames and wood top from Kore collection from Kettal. Table is heavy enough but when I level it to the railing I barely have enough space to seat four guests. If I center the table there is no space to go around. I’m sure many balcony owners in older buildings have the same problem. I should write about smaller balconies and how best to furnish them in one of my blogs. Let me gather some my thoughts together and we will have a separate article about smaller balconies.