I admit. This is an entirely selfish post. I am an urban dweller with a balcony and am in the process of redesigning it to get even more out of it. Hopefully, despite its tiny nature, the balcony can become a relaxing space, a work spot, an outdoor gym and a TV room. I also occasionally would like to walk out and feel grass under my feet. That makes quite a tall order so the hunt for ideas is on! The challenge is trickier than I thought. Though new designs for gardens and large spaces have flooded the market, balconies still lag behind in the revolution.

Fortunately as part of my job, I am coincidentally a jury member on a contest that may help me find the holly grail!

Garden Unique is a new premium outdoor section of spoga+gafa opening in September in Cologne, Germany. As part of the show, they are organizing a creative contest. Designers, young or established are asked to come up with fresh ideas for that very precious space: the balcony. The contest is open for another 14 days. The reward is 12,000 euros and an introduction to manufacturers.

Amongst the ideas already up for votes is a very cool idea of how to add grass in a realistic and stylish way. Like many fellow apartment owners, I dream about having coffee outside with my feet on a mini patch of lawn!

I was doomed to love this design: the Grass Mosaic.

From the designer:

It is a very flexible system of shallow pots made of acrylic stone or similar material. They can be filled with prefabricated lawn grass or with wooden panels. The bottom of the pots allow water fluctuation. They can be arranged freely, walking paths can be dominated by wooden bits while corners can be fully grass. One can design ones own pattern.

If you have clever ideas to make the most of tiny spaces please take part and submit ideas too!