I’ll admit, I live in a city that’s sunny over 300 days a year. I love being outside and try to take advantage of the great weather as much as possible. Though I recently moved from a house, with a back yard and patio, to an apartment that only offers a small balcony, I take advantage of my sliver of sun whenever I get the chance. To inspire you to spend more time outside with spring hovering around the corner (even for those unfortunate souls who are still in the throes of winter), here is an image and link to Sunset.com that will bring hope of warmer weather and more time outside:

Gorgeous Decks
Gorgeous Decks

My own balcony is a work in progress; my husband needs to add a shelf to the railing so we can attach window boxes for colorful flowers this spring and we are in the process of ordering an outdoor pull-down shade since we face west. Think blaring sun come June and July that will come blazing into our living room – yikes! I knew this when we picked a west-facing apartment, but in the middle of October, we weren’t thinking about the summer sun. I’ll soon share a photo of my own small balcony once it’s finished.

Enjoy the slide show in the meantime!

Do you spend more time outside come spring? What areas of your house get the most use during the warmer months?


  1. Looking at that picture just made me feel good, take a deep breath and go AAAHHHH.

    We’ve had a long long winter and now it’s been raining and grey for days. I still can’t see my lawn though which is amazing. I wonder when the snow will finally be gone. I’m optimistic that spring will be here eventually.

    • @First Gen American – I’m sure you’ll be able to see your lawn in no time; surely it can’t stay gloomy and gray for much longer. Didn’t Punxsutawney Phil predict that spring was coming early this year? If you can’t trust a groundhog, who can you trust?!

  2. Our hammock is getting a lot of use.

    Ha! I had the opposite reaction to FGS with the picture of the deck… it rains a lot more here than it does in SoCal so my thought was… ugh, all that stuff you have to cover or bring inside or clean. (Also: all those potted plants that need to be watered when it doesn’t rain.)

    I do love spring. All our trees, including the new ones, are getting nice leaves.

    • @Nicole – Yes, we don’t get much rain here (only about 15 inches a year.) Though we do try to cover up our stuff when it does rain, so I can see that being troublesome in rainy locations. Love the idea of a hammock, unfortunately there isn’t room on our balcony – if only I could convince my hubby it would make a great indoor corner chair. 😉

  3. Eliza from Happy Simple Living Reply

    Ahhhh, those deck photos are truly inspiring. We definitely spend a lot more time outside once warm weather arrives. We tore our old rotting deck down last year and I’m hoping to install an arbor over the patio for shade.

    • @Eliza – I love arbors with climbing vines offering shade. With spring around the corner, you should be able to enjoy that patio quite a bit.

  4. retirebyforty Reply

    We live in a high rise condo and can’t wait for warmer weather. I BBQ on the balcony and hang out there a bit in the summer time. Play music and read, it’s nice to be outside. I can’t wait.

    • @Retireby40 – We’re just beginning to warm up here and I’m trying to hang out as much as possible on my balcony and soak up those rays. Spring is just around the corner. 😉

  5. Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter Reply

    Your picture reminds me that spring is coming…eventually. We spend a ton of time in our yard. In fact we eat on our patio every night in summer. We also read on our patio too. We try to get outside as much as we can.

    • @Miss T – We love eating on our patio during late spring and summer, especially with daylight savings and the extended evening light. Can’t wait to change those clocks this weekend! 😉

  6. Afford-Anything.com Reply

    Two cheap ways that I improved my outdoor space:

    1) Instead of building a fence (costly!) to seperate my yard from the view of the street and traffic, I planted evergreen trees. They’re much more attractive, do a better job at reducing street noise, stay green all year, and cheaper (if you buy them as babies).

    2) Buy outdoor patio furniture in the fall … I got it at 70 percent off last September, when store wanted to clear that shelf space so they could stock leaf-blowers.

    • @Afford – Anything – Thanks for these great tips! I love using plants as a barrier or fence instead of actual fencing (unless, of course you absolutely have to). It’s a much more attractive alternative. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Amanda L Grossman Reply

    We are fortunate in that it stays relatively warm year round here in Houston. Of course…in the summer it is stifling and humid (and the summer lasts much longer here!). Mosquitos too! Still, I enjoy being outdoors for longer each year. We have a wooden gazebo, and last year I planted three clematis vines on each side, but it never took off. I plan on growing new vines this year and hope that it covers the opened top so that we can put a hammock under it and bask in the shade.

    • @Amanda Grossman – It’s wonderful to live in a warm climate where you can enjoy the outdoors more often. Though I didn’t think about the bugs; we don’t have very many in CA. I wonder if there’s an attractive alternative to some sort of mosquito netting to place around your deck to keep the bugs out? Good luck on your clematis this year, I know it’s a beautiful vine once it gets going.

  8. There was 6 inches of snow on my ground yesterday, but today it’s mostly all melted.

    It’s been a nasty winter where I live and I’ll be glad when summer is here!

    I miss my deck, I like to go out at twilight and drink 1 or 2 beers, just to chill out after a long day at work…

    Perhaps this summer, I’ll take my laptop out and blog while I’m out there too!

    • @Money Reasons – I love hanging out on my deck with a beer or two during summer. It’s a great way to relax. I’m sure it would be a great inspiration for writing as well. Hopefully your region will start warming up soon, especially now that we’re so close to Spring with the time change (makes me think of summer!)

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