Above: the end result! Below: before and after photos:
 Above: my view, the neighbors across the alley.Below: the wooden rafters where I was able to install hooks for the curtain panels. Also, tossed up a string of white lights for ambiance!

My apartment in LA has a small balcony. When I moved in last summer I was thrilled to have a place where I could easily sit outside and enjoy some solitude or entertaining. As you can see in the photos my view was not very appealing. I spent hours on line trying to come up with a DIY (do it yourself) solution to create a beautiful, private space. Here’s how I did it:
Curtain panels:
The length of the balcony is 104 inches; too long for a tension rod. And with stucco, it is very difficult to nail anything to the wall or ceiling. So, I discovered a just enough wood on the outside rafters to hang brass tea cup hooks. Then I took some measurements and bought some cream and black Sunbrella (indoor/outdoor) fabric. I sewed two panels and added the large black stripe down the center of each to create height and a sense of spaciousness. I also added a section of black fabric to the bottom so that dirt would not show. Finally, I sewed button holes along the top and spaced them so that they would line up to hang on the tea cup hooks.(The panels hang on a total of 17 hooks) I hung one set of white lights, and then hung the panels. They hang so that the hooks and button holes are high enough so that all of that ” button hole work” is hidden.
Table and chairs:
Next, I spray painted the vintage, wrought iron furniture black, and had a piece of glass cut for the top. I got the furniture for free in San Francisco (someone was taking it to the dump and the table didn’t have a top!)
Finishing Touches:
Finally, I added a fountain, 2 small metal and glass topped accent tables and a bakers rack all of which I already owned and some potted flowers. The result is a chic, cozy and inexpensive tent-like effect! I just love how it all turned out!
The cost for the fabric was about $ 100, (at FandS Fabrics in LA on Pico) the glass table top was $ 85 and the spray painting supplies, $ 25.  If this helps or inspires you with any outdoor space, I would love to hear about it!

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