balkonzept: Creating Space on Small Balconies

balkonzept is a clever flower box for the balcony that doubles as a desk or a small dining table.

The balkonzept can be easily hooked onto any balcony railing up to a size of 65 mm, no matter if the bars are round, flat or rectangular shaped. It sits tight and the raised sides protect from the wind. It is 60 cm in width and goes about 40 cm into the balcony. This makes enough space for a laptop, so that one can get some work done, watch a movie or play some games while enjoying sitting outside. The flowerbox can be filled not just with soil and plants but with anything that is needed outside, for example icecubes and bottles for a party or kitchen utensils for a BBQ.

The balkonzept is made of weatherproof and recyclable polyethylene. It is available in the colours graphite, lime, orange, red and blue. The installation is simply made with an included locking screw and binders or wire.

The inventor of balkonzept and founder of the designstudio !idee, Michael Hilgers from Berlin, Germany, distributes his products over his designlabel rephorm. He is also the inventor of the “Steckling”, the first flower box integrated in the balcony railing, which he presented at the spoga+gafa in 2005 and 2006. You can see some of his other outdoor designs in the picture gallery below.

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Plant Islands by Weishäupl

The newest products from the work benches of the Weishäupl factory in Bavarian Stephanskirchen are weatherproof “Plant Islands” (Pflanzeninseln) in two different sizes. The body is made from massive teak wood and the supporting structures from stainless metal.

The Plant Islands can be equipped with any plant containers, it doesn’t matter if they are clay pots or plastic buckets because the wooden frame hides them and only the beauty of the plants is emphasized. Only a minimum of space is needed for the Pflanzeninseln and they enhance the look of terraces and balconies.

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Corsica Bird Garden by Elho: A Flowery Birdhouse

Probably every garden owner who cares about his own green space loves to have lots of birds around his house. But sometimes it seems that the birds just don’t want to visit. Many people don’t know that you can arrange your garden so that birds feel invited.

One way would be to grow hedges where they find safe places to nest or berries for them to eat. But it is also very important to care for them throughout the year by providing them with bird seeds. The Dutch company elho developed a birdhouse combined with a plant container. The Corsica bird garden was developed together with bird specialists and gives small birds like house sparrows great titmouses and blue tits a spot where they can find shelter and food. At the same time you can use it to decorate your garden wall or patio with plants. The bird garden is double walled, ensures a good breeding climate and is easy to clean. Two colour combinations are available.

There are other clever ideas in elhos Corsica line: For example the Corsica vertical garden – a threefold flower pot that can be stacked on top of each other if you want more plants on less space. And the Corsica flower bridge is a innovative solution for decorating balcony railings and fences. It can be clipped onto the frameworks without an additional platform. The flower bridge pots come in several trendy colours which can be combined.

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Nominated for Unique Youngstar Design Contest at spoga+gafa 2013: Pflix by Christian Heufelder

15 design projects by young talents are nominated for the unique youngstar award 2013. The theme of this year’s competition is “outdoor living”.

The nominated projects will be exhibited at the international garden trade fair spoga+gafa in Cologne, from September 8th to 10th. Between now and spoga+gafa we will introduce the nominees in the garden unique category of this blog.


  • By: Christian Heufelder
  • Material: Wood
  • Size: 100 x 60 x 100
  • Website:

Pflix is a modular and very flexible plant system that can be adapted to different kinds of areas such as balconies, terraces, roofs, yards, facades, etc.

The size and design of the planting vessels allows almost all conventional vegetable plants to grow, even miniature fruit trees.

The winners of the competition will be announced in Hall 10.2 of the koelnmesse in Cologne on September 8th 2013 at 5 p.m. during the unique hour event. There will be three prizes awarded by a jury and an audience award which will be determined by online vote at

Outdoor Living: Homey Furniture for the Garden

The sun is shining, the bees are humming: This is the best time to go outside, relax, read or have a barbeque in the garden. People are spending more time outside of their houses and they want to use their garden as an extended living room. This means that furniture and accessories normally used in the house find their way into the outside. Couches, standard lamps and armchairs especially designed for the garden are the attractions of the coming seasons.  

The borders between in- and outdoors are vanishing bit by bit, you can tell that by looking at the furniture materials. “Covers for pillows and couches in the garden will have the same look and feel  as interior materials”, said Kathrin Münker from spoga+gafa regarding to the coming seasons. The Czech company Todus, for example, uses especially processed weatherproof leather for its chair “Aldeco”. In combination with stainless steel and UV-resistant textiles it results in comfortable seating furniture which can be left outside without worrying about the weather. The materials, colours and seating types can be personalized to match individual environments.

The Danish designers of Skagerak also use special materials for their seating furniture. The Virkelyst outdoors line combines teak with Barriere, a thick and resilient textile . The chair and the sofa come with soft, comfortable cushions that do not absorb moisture and do not develop unpleasant odours. This makes it possible to have a relaxing brunch or tea  on your own lawn.

Todus is exhibitor at spoga+gafa 2013 from September 8th to 10th.

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