When Juliet rhapsodizes, “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” Shakespeare wrote that she stood at a window. Subsequent performances, though, depicted Juliet standing on a balconette and that romantic association led to the feature being forever known as the Juliet balcony.
A Juliet balcony is typically a balustrade on the exterior of french doors that open inward. If there is a ledge, it’s just big enough to stand on. Juliet balconies were historically popular features in European architecture, said Boston-based architect Patrick Ahearn, because they allowed light and air into the room without taking up a lot of space.
Today, Juliet balconies add “animation” to a facade and let you “introduce floor-to-ceiling glass, making a room feel more engaged with the streetscape,” said Mr. Ahearn. Sometimes, the feature can be found in the interior of the second story. “The Juliet balcony projects out maybe a foot or 18 inches into that two-story space, but allows you to stand and feel like you’re at the bow of the boat, looking down onto your interior,” he explained.
Dekisha Wilson, an agent with Marketplace Realty in Nashville, finds that a newly built property with a Juliet balcony stands out from its neighbors. In a house where a full-size balcony doesn’t make sense, she said she likes that the resident still has some access to the outdoors. “A Juliet balcony allows you to have that flexibility of having the outdoor area, but also staying within that certain style of the house,” said Ms. Wilson.
The Juliet balcony off the dining room looks over an English garden. The house, built in 1890, is 3,600 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and two half bathrooms as well as a family room and detached one-car garage with additional storage.