Call: 01473 430963

History of Balconies

Over the past century, balconies have gone from a humble necessity to something that adds value, safety, security and beauty to our homes. That’s why we’d like to delve into the past with this article to take a look at the history of balconies and how they came to be such wonderful creations that have spawned many different varieties.

Early Balconies

Ancient Balcony

Balconies are thought to be used around ancient Greek times. During these days, balconies were thought to be functional and used only for their intended purpose such as increasing air circulation in hot climates or allowing more natural light into a building’s interior.

However, a balcony is actually an integral component of a building’s look and feel. That’s why it’s become such a crucial element in architectural design and balcony styles have evolved over the past century to reflect changes in how buildings are now constructed and also the types of building materials that we now use.

For instance, Juliet balconies (named after Shakespeare play) don’t actually protrude much from the balcony. They’re often part of the building itself and are usually only seen on the upper floors. This has become an iconic balcony design that is often used to portray love and romance. Juliet balconies are still widely popular thanks to their simple design and ability to open up and provide an outdoorsy feel to a room.

In fact, these early balconies were seen as very popular decorative styles even during the 19th century in Britain. During the Regency period, mass production led to cheaper cast iron and this resulted in many fancy Juliet balcony designs that we still see today. However, technology advanced and we started to see balconies that stretched across multiple windows, and the humble Juliet balcony is now experiencing a renaissance thanks to modern design choices and its timeless ability to introduce more of the outdoors into a room.

Sun Balconies

Juliet balconies

While Juliet balconies were popular in most of Britain, hotter climates preferred larger sun balconies. These are balconies that actually contain platforms that aren’t just for walking, but for actually lounging. This is because hotter climates typically see more of the sun and having a balcony that faces the sun is a fantastic way to enjoy the weather without having to head out to a beach or a park.

Nowadays, we see a combination of both sun and Juliet balconies, in addition to special balconies that are designed for specific homes on a job-by-job basis. There are countless different balcony types, but the important thing to remember is the functionality it provides. Some people want a place to lounge and enjoy the outdoors, much like a replacement for a traditional garden for those that live in high-rise apartments. Others prefer to be able to open a window or glass pane and allow more fresh air, sunlight and nature into their home.

There are countless balcony designs nowadays, so it’s best to look at what’s available, see what you enjoy and get as much inspiration as possible before you set out to plan a balcony revocation or installation.