Our Balcony

My husband was a 400m runner for the Mean Green during our college years. So, in the future, I'd love to have a beautiful, big man-cave where we can display all of his medals and track photos. However, since our current living space has a grand total of 5 rooms (pantry, kitchen, living, bedroom, bathroom) there's nowhere to show off the sports memorabilia. I recently realized that one of the spaces in our home that had been untouched was our balcony. 

Really, it has just been the keeper-of-the-crap lately. Picture frames, folding furniture, holiday decorations (colorful lights were also still wrapped on the railings...from December). You name it, it was there. I took a few hours and got to work on this mess. 

After tiding up the place and putting things in their correct place, I worked on the remodel. Using 2 cans of Krylon Fusion spray paint (graphite) I sprayed down the faded green folding table and chairs Montrell was given a few years ago. This particular spray paint bonds to plastic, so now they look brand new. I also swept the place! It's amazing how much dirt can get on a 3rd-floor balcony in just a few months. I should probably make this a regular chore...or not...I hate chores. 

I replaced the colorful Christmas lights with plain white ones, then IKEA-ed the place out. Really did. The plastic rug was originally intended for our kitchen, but decided it would be better for the outdoors, the BORRBY lantern was just a few bucks in the "as is" section (it's missing a glass panel), and the PANNΓ… place mat was originally on our bar. 

For the limited wall space, I hung some of my favorite framed pictures of Montrell running, using Command brand strips I found on clearance at Target. I tried nails first, but the walls are completely impenetrable. Trust me. A couple hundred swings of the hammer did absolutely nothing!

Of course, this whole redesign was a surprise for Coach when he got home from school. Since I didn't have a spare bare candle for the lantern, I added JT's new album instead to make the surprise a little more awesome. Plus, I made a nice dinner and we ate it out there during sunset, after the big reveal. I'm pretty sure he really loved all of it. 

It's so hard to photograph such a narrow space (I believe it is 5' by 10') and get a true grasp of what it looks like. Thanks to my iphone's 'panorama' mode, I have a little before-and-after action to help really see the difference. 

It's definitely not an ideal "man cave" (I mean, there isn't even a TV!) but it's what we have for now. Besides that, let's be honest: What's manlier than a grill?

Soon, I want to figure out some kind of medal-display. The Spring pollen is coming soon, so I don't want to just hang them up...the ribbons will turn yellow really fast. Maybe a shadow-box somewhere? If you have any suggestions, be sure to let me know in the comments.