HGTV designers, stagers offer ideas for condo balconies, patios

Condo dwellers often cite the views as a main reason for purchasing a unit. Seeing the Atlanta skyline or landmarks can be even better when folks can step onto a balcony or deck.

At the Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, a luxury high-rise in Buckhead, the terraces are more than 300 square feet. The Mandarin was selected as the site for the HGTV Urban Oasis, which includes the condo in a prize package in a sweepstakes running through Oct. 10. House planner Jack Thomasson and interior designer Lindsay Pumpa didn't leave the terrace of the nearly 2,000-square-foot condo empty.

The terrace, on the 37th floor, faces east, with views including Stone Mountain, and boasts a stainless Viking gas grill and a tabletop bio-ethanol fuel fireplace by Irradia. Modern outdoor furnishings include Varaschin’s Summer Set cocktail table with Sandur Stacking dining arm chairs from OASIQ. Another seating area has a Babylon sofa and coffee table from Varaschin, and the Stratus lounge chair by Selamat. Organic elements include the Augusta end table, made from natural teak wood, by Jeffan. Accessories include a star statue from Kenroy Home and pieces from Alessi, Surya, DK Living, Alexandra Ferguson, Phillips Collection and Laura Ashley Home.

“It really is an outdoor room,” Karen Rodriguez, director of sales for The Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta.

Homeowners should arrange or stage furnishings to create outdoor spaces where people can lounge, chat and enjoy the views, said Krisztina Bell, owner of No Vacancy Home Staging. When Bell stages condos, she uses these items and steps:

Plants and flowers: Beyond adding color and depth to a space, plants and flowers can serve as a divider between you and your neighbors. Use different types and heights to add visual interest, Bell said.

Seating: Options for smaller spaces include a bistro or cafe table and chairs. If space allows, two chairs and an accent table can be used. If that's too tight of a fit, a bench layered with pillows can provide seating, along with a small ottoman.

Color: Decorative pillows and cushions in stripes or patterns can add visual interest. Outdoor rugs also bring in color and come in multiple sizes.

Accessories: Check with your community homeowners association rules first, but accessorize in a way that fits your personal style. Wind chimes, wall art, solar lights and battery-powered lanterns and candles all can liven up a patio or balcony.