Before and after: this dated balcony is now an urban jungle with a retro aesthetic

The space combines the swinging sixties with contemporary garden trends – and the transformation is unrecognizable

Balcony makeover in Warsaw
(Image credit: Agata Rochowska-Hławka)

A Warsaw-based garden designer has transformed her tired balcony into a retro sanctuary that mirrors the vibrancy of the surrounding neighborhood. 

Agata Rochowska-Hławka had picked up a trove of balcony garden ideas through her position in the industry – but there was no better place to experiment with them than in her home. The result is a multi-hued space that combines stylish statements from the 60s with modern garden trends in a celebration of the colorful Ursynów district.

If you have a similar small garden, urban balcony, or window box, you can mirror the balcony's style in your own mini makeover. Here, Agata from Projektant Zieleni (opens in new tab) shares more about the design process. 

Retro balcony makeover – before 

Balcony makeover in Warsaw

(Image credit: Agata Rochowska-Hławka)

Agata explains that she handled the majority of the work alongside her husband, who is a DIY enthusiast. 'We wanted to mix contemporary trends with 60/70s vintage feel that would fit our neighborhood,' she explains. 

The designer focused the process around retro furniture, including a stool by Polish wicker master Wladyslaw Wolkowski (opens in new tab)

Balcony makeover in Warsaw

(Image credit: Agata Rochowska-Hławka)

The couple found the chair in a dumpster near their apartment and decided to make it the focal point of their new space. They also collected iron decorative dog figures from their friend's summer cabin and picked up rusty farm feeders for their succulents.

Retro balcony makeover – during 

Balcony makeover in Warsaw

(Image credit: Agata Rochowska-Hławka)

The couple made their furniture and lamellas in their small workshop – including a storage bench made from birch plywood and painted with wood glaze. 'For the lamellas, we used Siberian larch also painted with wood glaze,' Agata says. 

Balcony makeover in Warsaw

(Image credit: Agata Rochowska-Hławka)

To complement the furnishings, Agata played with container gardening ideas to settle on the tones that best accentuated the space. She used Hydrangea paniculata, Salvia nemorosa, and Senecio 'Angel Wings', amongst other colorful blooms, to truly bring the area to life.  

Retro balcony makeover – after 

Balcony makeover in Warsaw

(Image credit: Agata Rochowska-Hławka)

What was once a dated balcony is now an inspiring space – whose style will endure through the seasons. She paired her Fragresia robusta 'Formidable' with a Sedum and Sempervivum mix before adding light fixtures for when night falls over the capital city. 

Balcony makeover in Warsaw

(Image credit: Agata Rochowska-Hławka)

Finally, Agata introduced soft accents with a patterned throw and rusty-hued pillows that further emphasize the retro theme. 

Balcony makeover in Warsaw

(Image credit: Agata Rochowska-Hławka)

The makeover has just reset the bar for small garden ideas – and we're wholly inspired.

Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Gardeningetc, Livingetc, and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.