You can pretty much guarantee that there will be at least a few references to the famous meeting of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers at Juliet’s balcony. In addition to providing the location for this seminal romantic moment in literature, the term ‘Juliet balcony’ also comes up quite a lot on home improvement magazines and blogs. But what is a Juliet balcony?
Put simply, a Juliet balcony is a very narrow balcony or railing which sits just outside a window or pair of French doors on the upper storey of a building. Also referred to as balconets or balconetes, they’re designed to give the appearance of a full balcony in locations where it may not be possible or suitable to install a larger feature.
As their name suggests, Juliet balconies are a common architectural feature in Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Spain. They come in a wide range of designs, from decorative Victorian style railings and infill panels to simpler, minimalist designs.
Juliet balconies are becoming an increasingly common feature of many UK properties, both old and new. One of the primary reasons for this is that they can typically be installed without the need for planning permission. In many cases this can remove the need for an architect to be involved, reducing costs. In addition, the balconies can usually be bolted to an existing wall, making them quick, cheap and easy to install.
Letting the light in
Whilst a Juliet balcony does not expand the floor space of a property, it can help to change how you use an existing space. By replacing windows with much larger French doors, the room is filled with light, often making it feel larger and more pleasant. When the doors are open the outside air floods in it effectively transforms the room into an enclosed balcony, ideal for warmer days. The narrow balcony ledge can also offer a location to grow small plants and improve your view.
Of course, Juliet balconies aren’t right for every property. If you have the space and budget, we’d always recommend considering the further benefits that a full balcony can bring. We offer both full and Juliet balconies in a wide range of designs and styles and are more than happy to discuss your vision and the particulars of your home to ensure you are delighted with the finished results.