It’s in and around Marseille that Claire Delahaye and her company Slowgarden redevelop what today is often called the “extra room.” Gardens, terraces, but also balconies are at the heart of her activity; she intervenes in your home on the design, the development and the choice of plants. A global approach that the designer shares with us by presenting the ‘bird balcony,’ a redeveloped balcony in a residential building in Marseille. Some little tricks and some big inspiration!
“The constraints linked to this balcony were interesting”, smiles Claire regarding this long and narrow space, typical of modern buildings. She emphasizes the fact that even in an important condominium, each owner has the right to develop his or her balcony if he respects the conditions laid down by the building. So they’re worth checking before you start dreaming about making changes. Birds are the guiding theme of this balcony’s decoration: the owner has a collection of bird related objects that inspired Claire, respecting the Slowgarden philosophy that sees the exterior as an extension of the interior. To respect the theme, she painted a discrete but graphic and striking fresco on the building’s wall, an effect that could also be achieved by applying stickers (her favorite address is the website art-sticker.fr).
In order to make good use of the long and narrow space, Claire decided to divide it into three, each section responding to the interior room opposite: a relaxation space is set up around a restored deckchair in front of the bedroom, a practical eating area is installed facing the dining room, and a storage area at the very end of the balcony allows you to stock things discreetly behind a decorated trellis. On the ground, to maintain the waterproofness as much as the necessary water circulation, Claire chose to place a wooden slatted floor over the original tiles, devoid of all charm. As for the furniture, vintage pieces are her first reflex: a wooden table and deckchair structures are spruced up and matched with new materials: striped fabric for the seats and elegant metal chairs to go around the table. And everything in matching colors: aniseed, nutmeg and taupe. “What’s important is to build coherence, with repeated use of color that creates a unity. And especially not saturate the space with bulky furniture! Everything needs to stay mobile,” explains Claire.
Once the decoration is installed, Claire gets down to choosing the plants, which she selects in accord with the owner’s wishes. “We wanted elegant and fragrant plants for this bird balcony,” tells Claire. She selected two types of mimosa, one for summer and one for winter, to perfume the owner’s mornings when she opens her window. Then she placed a bougainvillea for its color and generosity. And finally she chose a jasmine (rhynchospermum jasminoides) as well as some privets. Each element has been carefully selected, placed like a brushstroke on a painting, to create a unique and seductive décor throughout the year. If you’re lucky enough to have an “extra room,” don’t hesitate to explore it in every sense of the word.