What is a Juliet Balcony?

Every so often I hear terminology relating to a home or some type of construction that admittedly makes me stop and think, “Where have I heard that before?”

Recently I was asked by a Client for a bit of advice on a project involving a Juliet balcony.

When I brought the term up in conversation with a fellow tradesman whom I was describing the project to, I received a bit of an odd stare followed by them exclaiming, “What the heck is a Juliet balcony??”

It was certainly a fair question as this term is not really commonplace, even though we have our fair share of Juliet balconies kicking around in this part of the country.

A Juliet balcony often is not much of a balcony at all.

Many times, Juliet balconies are small platforms that cannot even hold a potted plant, never mind a person.

They are usually a rail system in front of a door or window that provides the protective rail and allows the door or larger window to be open and for whomever may be inside to hang out at the rail.

While they definitely can be large enough to hold a person or two, this does not necessarily have to be the case.

Sometimes the Juliet balcony is purely decorative and is not able to be accessed whatsoever.

In most cases, the rail system is made out of wrought iron, however these days it is quite common to see the balconies made out of composite material, aluminum, or even wood.

They are called Juliet balconies, as you may have imagined, because if you remember back to that English class in high school, in the play ‘Romeo & Juliet’, there is a balcony scene where Juliet is exclaiming, “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”, the Juliet balconies are balconies which resemble this specific balcony from where Juliet was cawing from in the play.

Juliet balconies are features on one’s home that I believe to be a pretty cool detail.

In areas where outdoor space is super limited (think New York City as an example), Juliet balconies offer folks access to outdoor space without pushing the envelope in terms of greatly extending off the building you are in and bringing into question permissible use allowances and things of that nature.

From the exterior view, a Juliet balcony adds a bit of European flavor to whatever building whose design they are incorporated into.

They can also look great from the inside too, as mentioned earlier, they are often paired with larger functional doors or windows.

Many people enjoy being able to open what often are floor to ceiling doors that allow plenty of light and airflow as well as a convenient and comfy view to whatever may be outside.

Although the terminology may not be that which is used every day, Juliet balconies are neat niches within architecture that when integrated correctly, can beautifully add to whatever home or property that they are assimilated into.

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