The name Juliet Balcony comes from the famous scene in Romeo and Juliet, where Juliet stands looking out of her balcony talking about love. However, unlike the more traditional holiday-style balconies, Juliet balconies aren’t intended for patio sets and entertaining guests. Instead they are an extension of an interior room that is designed to add an outdoor feel to an indoor space.
A Juliet balcony is essentially a false balcony attached to the side of a house so that it surrounds French or double doors. Juliet balconies are often still made to fit the traditional model from the Shakespeare play: a short, narrow rectangle surrounded by stone balustrade that is supported by plinths and opens almost immediately into the adjoining room through glass doors. They are becoming increasingly popular, as more and more people convert existing windows to allow for increased light and ventilation. Obviously the doors have to open inwards to make the most of a feature like this. By changing windows to double doors or French doors, the balcony fixes to the external masonry to prevent anyone from falling out. Juliet balconies are more than just a safety feature however, with many homeowners installing them as nothing more than an external design feature.
The vast majority of Juliet balconies are made from iron due to its strength and sturdiness, and because it is easy to shape. Attaching a large iron feature to the side of your property can have pitfalls though – the sheer weight of iron Juliet balconies can lead them to pull away from masonry which can lead to costly repairs. This has lead some manufacturers to look to new materials with similar strength qualities to iron but with less weight. Aluminium has been adopted as a realistic alternative however it is much less easy to shape than iron so aluminium Juliette balconies tend to be a lot more functional with less ornate design than many of the iron alternatives.
In more recent years some manufacturers have been pushing the boundaries of Juliet balcony designs a little more, incorporating glass and other materials in modern designs. This new generation of Juliet balconies is obviously more befitting of modern architecture, with older homes and buildings preferring the more traditional iron versions.
Due to the Juliet balcony’s European influence and romantic heritage, these small exterior areas are becoming very popular very among buyers, particularly those living in cities where exterior space is at a premium. They can therefore add significant value to your property if used and displayed correctly. By installing railing planters, balcony boxes, or hanging baskets, a Juliet balcony space can quickly become a high-rise garden. This is not only practical for city dwellers, but by adding plant life right outside a room, a relaxed, natural mood is instantly created, by brining the outside inside. You could possibly even wind vines between the balustrades, partially enclose the space with a shaded trellis for more privacy, or seal the area with glass windows to form an impromptu greenhouse.
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