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For most apartment owners and renters, the fastest way to step outside to enjoy fresh air is to visit the balcony. While a balcony is an incredible and convenient amenity for your living space, chances are that you are not using it to the fullest potential. If you are lucky enough to have a balcony and live in the city, we hope these ideas help you realize that you can do so much more than place a lawn chair and a rug and call it a day.
For those with larger balcony spaces, it’s easy to get carried away with too much furniture and decorations. As with the makeover of any room, it should start with determining how you want to use the space. Will you host cocktail parties and use the balcony as the bar? What about relaxing and private yoga sessions or romantic dinners?
So, what are the special tricks and how can you outfit your balcony to maximize the space, functionality, and design to enjoy it more all-year round? Read on to find 9 balcony ideas and learn how to transform your hideout into a space you’ll never want to leave.
1. Make it Comfy With Floor Pillows
Even though the best part of a balcony is to soak in the views, there is nothing wrong with lounging around with a great book and cuppa of your favorite drink. While we usually look up for inspiration, this idea is all about the ground. Incorporate bean bags and pillow sets into your balcony to create a social and chilled out vibe.
Not only will pillows and bean bags help you save from having to invest in balcony furniture, but there are some truly impressive models that are more comfortable than any lawn chair or bar stool. And after all, something about sitting on the ground feels natural, allows conversation to flow and the spacious floor area doubles as a convenient (large) table for your stuff!
2. Deck it Out With Greenery
We believe the best place in your home for natural botanicals is your balcony. Try packing your balcony with lush plants, vines, and planters to create the backyard (in miniature form) that you have always wanted. A great way to get started with botanicals is to place the early growth of plants around your balcony ledges and beams so that the vines naturally grow and take shape.
Try hanging planters from your balcony ceiling which hang above handrails, but make sure the pots hang low enough so that they’re easy to water. Two perfect places on your balcony for large pots are the two corners furthest from your apartment. This location ensures the plants receive a maximum amount of sunlight and creates a natural enclosure for your space.
3. Make Room for Built-In Seating
Before purchasing furniture, take a moment to survey your balcony space and agree on the activities that you will engage. Built-in seating, in the corner of a balcony, is the perfect way to maximize the square footage of your space. Install built-in bench seats which make use of your walls for backrests and pull up a chic table in the middle for a complete dining space.
With built-in benches, you’ll never have to worry about high winds blowing over your furniture, plus some built-in benches incorporate storage space underneath to give you more functionality. Once installed, get creative with colorful and matching pillows and cushions to complete the look.
4. Add a Table Set for Two
A balcony is never complete without the presence of a table and a pair of chairs. From morning cups of coffee, lazy Sunday afternoons to romantic candlelit dinners all you need is a simple coffee table and a set of chairs.
For smaller spaces, we recommend fold up furniture that can be collapsed to preserve more space on your balcony and even stored inside. Choose furniture that matches the structure of your balcony space. Go with a wooden slat set of chairs and a table to match darker shades of side paneling or sleek metal for an industrial look.
5. Make it Roomy With an Outdoor Rug
Whether indoor or outdoor, rugs have a magical way of generating more visual space. The bigger the rug, the better the cover. We recommend covering as much space as you can but make sure to use an outdoor rug designed to outlast the weather.
This balcony idea is mainly an aesthetic upgrade, but a large soft rug creates a comfortable space where you can hang out with your shoes off. Go for bold and colorful patterns, but alternatively, green faux turf is a neat option for those looking for a more recreational purpose.
6. Maximize Space With Folding Furniture
For apartment dwellers with balconies that are short on space, the best invention you will come by is fold up furniture. Our top three ideas to incorporate fold up furniture into your balcony are wall mounted tables, fold up chairs and collapsible coffee tables.
Mount a foldable table into the cement or wooden beam structure on a balcony wall to free up space when you’re not using it. Zero gravity chairs are relaxing, but they occupy too much space since they cannot be folded up. Make sure that your lounge and dinner tables chairs can be folded up and leaned against the wall when not in use.
7. Drift Away in a Hammock or Hanging Chair
Create a backwoods getaway environment right outside your living space by installing a hammock or hanging chair on your balcony. It’s the best way to escape the hustle bustle city stress by drifting away like you’re on vacation. Look for a treated wicker or hemp hanging chair that contrasts with your rug or furniture. While hanging chairs may look cuter than stretching out a hammock on your balcony, nothing compares to sprawling out in a cocoon on a hot summer day. Call it ball camping!
8. Make it Private
If your balcony is nestled against or between your neighbors, add boxed planters full of bamboo to create a natural wall. Growing thick and strong, bamboo is the perfect material to use for balconies and privacy, as it has properties that stand up to weather. Try draping bamboo shades on each side of your balcony that can be raised and lowered as needed.
9. Add Shade
On one hand, balconies that are wide open to the sun are perfect for sun tanning and generally provide the best view. But the scorching heat of hot summer months makes you avoid the balcony at all costs. Install a sun-blocking canopy to your roof and handrail to blanket your balcony in shade. There are a variety of heavy duty weatherproof balcony shades designed to cool off your space, add privacy and create a pretty look. Try plaid patterns, pinstripes or go with bold colored and lightweight linens!