How to Transform a City Terrace Into a Tropical Oasis

In this episode of Outdoor Upgrade, designer Riche Holmes Grant adds a tropical touch to a windy blank-slate balcony.

Starting with a blank-slate balcony or patio can present a bit of a challenge, especially when you're trying to stay on a budget. On this episode of Outdoor Upgrade, designer Riche Holmes Grant tackles a balcony for Dia, who had a long wishlist for her 400-square-foot balcony. Dia was hoping to create spaces for entertaining and dining, plus get plenty of storage to hold her items during the winter. She was also hoping to include some no-maintenance greenery to give her some privacy and a bit of a tropical look.

Riche came up with a bold plan, which used multitasking items—like a deck box and storage coffee table—to provide space to hide away cushions and accessories when they aren't in use.

Faux greenery was installed over the partition walls and in planters so Dia won't have to worry about maintenance. She "planted" the plants in larger pots and weighted them down with stones to keep them in place.

To help ensure Dia's furnishings can survive whatever Mother Nature dishes out, Riche recommended she protect them with teak oil and metal sealants, and invest in furniture covers to shelter them when winter comes.

Watch the video above to see the full upgrade, then check out some of the products used to create this cozy and inviting outdoor space.


Outdoor Teak Sofa

outdoor teak sofa

A classic patio sofa with sturdy teak frame and white Sunproof cushions is the perfect blank slate—you can easily change up throw pillows and rugs to give it a different look.

Safavieh Outdoor Living Vernon Rocking Chair


Looking for a perfect spot to cozy up outdoors? Gray outdoor-friendly cushions soften up a sleek eucalyptus wood rocking chair.

Villaggio Geometric Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug

Villaggio Geometric Navy Beige Indoor Outdoor Area Rug

A bold blue and beige rug draws from Ikats, Shibori, Chinese Batik, English Cotswold, and Japanese textiles to create the pattern.

Cantilever Solar LED Offset Outdoor Patio Umbrella

Cantilever Solar LED Offset Outdoor Patio Umbrella

A cantilevered umbrella offers plenty of shade by day, and LED lighting to light up summer evenings.

Hammered Metal Storage Patio Coffee Table

This stylish outdoor coffee table has plenty of storage under the lid for your pillows, blankets, and other accessories.

Nahua Indoor/Outdoor Rectangular Lumbar Pillow

Nahua Indoor/Outdoor Rectangular Lumbar Pillow

Brighten up your accessory game with a bold-hued pillow—a pretty abstract pattern mellows the orange hue.

Trixie 20" Ocher Outdoor Pillow

Trixie 20" Ocher Outdoor Pillow

A subtle check pattern adds interest to this ocher outdoor pillow.

Outdoor Woven Arches Pillow

Outdoor Woven Arches Pillow

You don't have to go crazy with color or patterns to make a bold style statement. The textured pattern on this throw pillow adds interest without overwhelming the other design statements.

Dori Indoor/Outdoor Pouf

dori indoor outdoor pouf

This jute-inspired pouf is made of weather-resistant polypropylene, and makes for extra seating (or the perfect place to put up your feet).


Forest Gate Olive 6-Piece Outdoor Acacia Extendable Table Dining Set

Forest Gate Olive 6-Piece Outdoor Acacia Extendable Table Dining Set

Consider extendable tables, like this acacia wood set, for your outdoor patio to maximize space for entertaining.

Outdoor Lantern Candle Holder

Outdoor Lantern Candle Holder

Lantern holders keep your candles lit—even in windy conditions.

Marina Tribal Stripe Area Rug


This pretty, tribal-stripe area rug gives the deck a pop of color.

Keter Westwood 150 Gallon All Weather Outdoor Patio Storage Deck Box and Bench

outdoor storage box bench

This wood-look resin deck box is an outdoor multitasker, offering ample storage space for cushions and other accessories, and a broad top that can become a bar, buffet, or additional seating.


Assorted Foliage Landscape

Assorted Foliage Landscape

If you don't have a green thumb, faux foliage can still give you that lush landscape—and this green wall helps give you privacy, too.

Faux Palm Tree

faux palm tree

Give your patio a tropical vibe with these lavish faux palm trees—add rocks into the base to windproof.

Tall Planters

tall planters

These stylish planters are great for your favorite greenery. Or you can use them as Riche did—anchoring in poles with cement to act as a base for stringing lights.


Outdoor String Lights

outdoor string lights

Strands of bulbs give your patio or outdoor space a romantic glow.

Glaze Melamine Dinner Plate in Blue

Bee & Willow™ Glaze Melamine Dinner Plate in Blue

Save your breakable dinnerware for indoors and opt for beautiful melamine plates instead.

Glazed Melamine Small Bowl in Blue

Bee & Willow™ Glazed Melamine Small Bowl in Blue

These bold blue melamine bowls are perfect for a summer salad.

Home Rectangular Platter in Blue

Bee & Willow™ Home Rectangular Platter in Blue

A generously sized serving platter lets you serve up barbecue, charcuterie boards, and other treats

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