Making the Most of Your Small Balcony

If you live in an apartment or condo with a tiny balcony, chances are you have completely ignored your only outdoor space. Sure, it may not be much, but with these easy ideas, you can transform it into a mini-oasis to enjoy at your leisure!

Think About Furniture

Ok, I know your balcony doesn’t offer much in the way of space for furniture. However, you can squeeze a couple of simple and stylish pieces into the most cramped of balconies. First, determine the function of your dream balcony. Is it for dining al fresco, reading, sunning or simply a place for daydreaming?

You can purchase a bistro set with two chairs and a small table for dining under the stars. Or choose a comfy chaise lounge for sunning and afternoon napping. Maybe an all-weather wicker chair and side table is all you need for catching up on the latest best seller.

Bistro sets are the perfect dining option for a small balcony.
Bistro sets are the perfect dining option for a small balcony. | Source

If you are really cramped, consider topping a slender, teak storage bench with a bright cushion to create the perfect spot for quick cup of java to get your day started. Plus you’ll have a place to stash some of your outdoor supplies.

Add Pretty Accents

Once you have the furniture situated, you can get on with the business of accessorizing.

Drag your balcony out of concrete drabness with something colorful underfoot. If you own your condo, find out if the CC&Rs allow for tiling or painting your balcony floor. A textured tile or paint designed for outdoor use will not only keep you from slipping in damp weather, it will also add a bit of personality to your outdoor oasis.

An outdoor rug is the perfect way to add personality to your boring balcony.
An outdoor rug is the perfect way to add personality to your boring balcony. | Source

If you can’t tile or paint, ground the space with a colorful outdoor area rug. A rug will make your small balcony space more room-like.

Place a small fountain on the wall or in a corner to lend a sense of serenity to your meditation altar. The combination of an iron wall grille and Deruta urn will remind you of your Tuscan vacation. If your balcony has a cover, string fairy lights or lanterns above for a romantic evening glow.

A small fountain brings a Zen-like feel to your balcony.
A small fountain brings a Zen-like feel to your balcony. | Source

Lastly, keep your color palette simple. The last thing you need in a small space is a wild and disjointed color scheme. If you want shots of color, do so with cushions, throw pillows, a rug or flowers.

Give It the Green Treatment

Speaking of flowers, why not carve out a corner for a balcony container garden? If you have the room, consider a palm tree for a tropical feel. If extra space is truly an issue, buy a planter box that secures onto the railing of your balcony. They are a great for planting a small herb garden or seasonal plants and flowers.

Herbs, flowers and vegetables can be grown on a balcony with good sun exposure.
Herbs, flowers and vegetables can be grown on a balcony with good sun exposure. | Source

Before you go running off to buy plants, make note of the amount of sun and shade your balcony gets on any given sunny day. For example, don’t expect to have a fern grotto on a balcony with Western exposure. Nor will your sun-loving rose bush survive on your North-facing balcony.

Plant specialists at your local garden center will be able to help you with plant selection to suit your balcony's unique microclimate.

Set up a bar/beverage station on the balcony for your next party.
Set up a bar/beverage station on the balcony for your next party. | Source

Get Set for Entertaining!

I’m not saying you can have dinner for a party of eight on your diminutive balcony, but you can certainly use it as an extension of your indoor space.

Stage it as a bar, a spot for outdoor grilling or simply a relaxing place to catch a breath of fresh air after dinner.

Your guests will appreciate your attention to detail -- and when they depart, you can enjoy spending many quiet mornings, afternoons and evenings in the privacy of your stylish and comfortable outdoor retreat!

© 2013 lindacee

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Start a Conversation! 36 comments

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

What a lovely way to make a home even more enjoyable. Those small spaces are often the places we spend time reading and writing. Good tips and use of small space. Voted up.


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Teaches, I have a small balcony and the few months out of the year (when it's not too hot or too cold). I take full advantage of every square inch! Glad you enjoyed the info and thanks for the vote. Happy new year!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 3 years ago

Great ideas! I do have a very small balcony that can accommodate only 3 medium-size people. So far I have furnished it with a small grill and two little chairs. I think a cute outdoor rug would certainly be a stylish addition!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Om, I think the rug would be a perfect way to add some flair, although I'm sure it is stylish anyway! My balcony is about the same size, but my complex has a rule banning grills. :( However I do have two nice chairs and a side table which makes it quite nice. :)


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

We're getting ready for a move and although I haven't seen my apartment yet, I imagine a small balcony included. : ) I like the idea of a small entertaining area complete with outdoor rug, but the container garden intrigues me, as well. I'll have to check things out and hope to put your great suggestions to use! Thanks...voted up and shared.


Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy Goodfleisch 3 years ago from Planet Earth

I could have used these tips as a newlywed years ago, when we had a balcony about the size of a card table. I think you've given me ideas for patios & decks, too!


Crystal Tatum profile image

Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

Great ideas for making the most of these tiny spaces that really can become havens of peace and serenity. Voted up and sharing.


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

vespa, hope my ideas will help with your new balcony. I think an herb garden would be nice, but the sun is too intense here for such things. :( Good luck with the move. I have one coming up in my near future as well!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Marcy, these ideas can translate to larger outdoor spaces! Thanks for stopping by for a visit!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Crystal, mine would be a peaceful space if I could just get the traffic noise to quiet down! :S Thanks for the read, comment and vote!


Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi lindacee,

Really enjoyed this as I have a ground floor apartment I am repainting to rent out. Being a ground floor and next to the main door is unfortunately a disadvantage however I do love container garden on it. Thanks for more great suggestions, love the wall water feature and will be keeping these ideas in mind for the new pad! Votes and Shared!


vibesites profile image

vibesites 3 years ago from United States

I have a bare balcony in my house and I want to enliven it but I don't know where to start or to plan. It's just left in the dust, literally. But thanks for your tips, I now have ideas. Voted up and useful. :)


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Simple, useful and easy to do. I love the bistro table. I am looking forward to warm weather to "green" my deck up.


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

Great ideas for a small balcony. I just hate it when I visit someone who has a balcony like this and they use it for junk! It can be turned into something pleasing to the eye just like you Hub suggests.

I just bought a nice little Bistro set that folds up and is very lightweight. I'm going to enjoy that.

Voted UP, etc. and will share.


newusedcarssacram profile image

newusedcarssacram 3 years ago from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A

I love those small fountains and little plants.


starstream profile image

starstream 3 years ago from Northern California

Decorating a balcony or small outdoor patio space with your suggestions would be great. I loved seeing the fountain . It all looks so romantic. I love the suggestions! What a difference our surroundings make for setting up creative thinking and enjoyment.


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

That was an enjoyable article. I had a balcony at one of my apartments years ago, and it was so exciting. But at first I didn't know where to start to make it feel like an extension of my living area. I have great memories of the balcony. I brought out a chair and a very small table, which I used as a side table. I also started an herb garden, and brought a few plants out there. I went out quite often, to enjoy a cup of coffee or my supper and watch the outdoors. I would leave my door open, and my cat, Whiskers, would join me.

You have a lot of wonderful tips in your article, and if I have a balcony again I will revisit this to inspire my selection of furniture and finishing. Thank you for sharing this with us.


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 3 years ago from Illinois

These are great tips. It makes me regret years ago when I had a small balcony that I neglected it, feeling as if it was useless. You're right, it could be a wonderful oasis. I saw a product recently on some HGTV makeover show where they put some decking "tiles" on top of a small concrete patio. I can't think what they were called exactly, but you just put them on top of the concrete, snapping them together, and in the end it looks a bit like a wooden deck.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

Great ideas! Sitting at the balcony with beautiful flowers is indeed very relaxing. Then drinking a cup of tea while thinking of the next topic to write for HP is awesome. Thanks for sharing your ideas;-)


Mommy Needs a Nap profile image

Mommy Needs a Nap 3 years ago from Arkansas

Great ideas. I really liked the idea of running lights above the space and an outdoor rug below. Voted up.


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Suzie HQ, glad you liked these tips and are keeping them in mind for future projects. Thanks for the vote and share! Greatly appreciated! :)


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

vibesites, a blank slate is the best way to start. You can choose the ideas that make the most sense for your little outdoor space. Have a great time fixing up your bare balcony! Thanks for the read and votes! :)


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Rebecca, to me, there's nothing more welcoming than a petite bistro table and chairs on a balcony. They're just begging you to sit down and enjoy the view! The advent of spring is an exciting time to ready outdoor spaces for warmer weather! :)


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Mary, I see that all the time. People using perfectly good balconies to pile up their unwanted items. A blight on the community, I say! It is so easy to turn it around and take a little pride in their surroundings. I know you will enjoy your bistro set! Thanks for the votes and shares. Take care. :)


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

newusedcarssacram, a fountain and greenery will turn an ordinary small balcony into something beautiful! Thanks for stopping by. :)


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

starstream, it takes little effort to make a small outdoor space a place to unwind and enjoy. So happy you liked my suggestions! :)


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Kathryn, sounds like you employed most of my ideas for your long-ago balcony. Happy memories! It's amazing what a little creativity can do for a nondescript balcony. Always glad to share tips on decorating. You are so welcome! :)


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

ktrapp, aren't those decking tiles the neatest? I think I may have seen the same show. Think it was Property Brothers--they used them on a balcony off the master bedroom. Regardless, they are a fabulous product. Good of you to visit! :)


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Thelma, you are welcome. We all need a place to recharge and inspire. Although my balcony is small, it definitely gives me a lovely spot to think and daydream! :)


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Mommy, I think a small balcony is the perfect place to create an outdoor "room" to enjoy during balmy summer evenings! The lighting and rug simply add to the room feel! I am so glad you visited. Thanks for the vote! :)


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 3 years ago from Western New York

We live on an acre and are lucky to have so much space, but these ideas are great for our deck. I really want to get a bistro table and chairs so I can have coffee on the deck on warm summer mornings. I love the idea of a wall fountain!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Wow, that quite a bit of land, Leah! How wonderful! You're right, these ideas can be translated to outdoor living spaces of any size. Hope you get the bistro table to enjoy your morning coffee this summer. :)


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 3 years ago from Chennai, India

A wonderful hub packed with fantastic ideas! I have two super-huge balconies. The front one have a very few potted plants (or should I say scanty?) and the back one is bare - we use it for our casual walking exercise. I welcome your cool ideas such as bistro sets, zen fountain and mini garden. Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up, pinned & shared


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Thank you ishwaryaa22! Hope this gives you inspiration to add a few items to your outdoor balconies! :)


anuramkumar profile image

anuramkumar 3 years ago from Chennai, India

Excellent ideas. I especially like the garden and zen feel décor.


lindacee profile image

lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Thank you for reading and commenting, anuramkumar! :)

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