70% of the houses in Amsterdam have a small balcony, claims shop owner Frederike Joppen in an interview with Retail Design Blog. As people find it hard to decorate these places with the right furniture and plants that grow well in these settings, most of the balconies turn into neglected spaces where pigeons take a poop and household items are stored. According to Joppen, people will be happier when they create a private spot of green in the city, and with De Balkonie she wants to stimulate people to do so.
This first dedicated balcony store fits with the broader micro-living trend. With rapidly rising house prices in popular global cities, more and more people with a limited budget are bound to a well equipped but small house in the central urban areas. With no other choice, they have to squeeze the best out of the limited space and style every square meter to their benefit.
While shops around the world find it hard to compete against big online retail chains and formulas like Frugaa, that offers coupons for low prices for interior, household, and garden equipment, urban niche stores like the balcony store seem to have found the gap in the market, serving local people with the specific needs related to their local housing situation.
The Balkonie was developed and designed by Studio Mokum, that worked together with Peter-Paul Rauwerda for the store’s style and identity.