One of the perks of owning a single-family home is having a yard with outdoor living space. Some yards are small and others are large, but even the tiniest space is better than none at all.
When you live in an apartment, you don’t have a yard. But you do, most likely, have a small balcony. And if you’re smart about how you design and optimize this small slice of outdoor living space, you can enjoy many of the same benefits homeowners enjoy (without the yard work and upkeep).
Try These 6 Apartment Balcony Design Tips
Apartment balconies can range from 20 square feet to more than 100 square feet – so you’ll have to be intentional with how you design your space. Having said that, here are some simple solutions that renters often use to spruce up their balconies and enjoy their time outdoors.
Spruce Up the Flooring
The average apartment balcony has a boring slab of gray concrete. For some people, this isn’t a problem. For others, it takes away from the aesthetic appeal of the space. If you fall into the latter category, you can spruce up your flooring by:
Installing interlocking deck tiles
These tiles are easy to install and can be joined together by simply snapping in place. They also look good, are incredibly durable, and can be removed as easily as they were installed. (IKEA sells these decking tiles, which run $24.99 for nine square feet.)
Laying down artificial turf.
Laying down artificial turf
In the past, tacky astroturf was the only option. Today, it’s hard to tell artificial turf apart from the real thing. And at just a few bucks a square foot, you can cover your balcony floor with grass that never needs to be mowed, weeded, or edged.
Prefer a homey look to a natural look? Find two or three small outdoor area rugs and layer them on top of one another for an attractive look that reflects your style.
Whether it’s overlooking a busy street in the heart of Manhattan, or it rests high above a quiet public park, your balcony should be a mini oasis. One of the best ways to achieve this is by introducing some greenery in the form of plants, flowers, hanging baskets, etc.
Buy a Fire Pit Table
Depending on the apartment, the height of the roof/ceiling above your balcony, and local restrictions and city ordinances, you may be allowed to use a controlled fire pit table on your balcony.
“A fire pit table is a combination of a fire pit and an outdoor dining table,” eFireplaceStore explains. “You get the best of both worlds – patio furniture with fire! The tables come in a variety of styles and materials. The fire feature is often in the center of the table and the base may include an enclosure to conceal a fuel tank for propane models.”
Again, the key is to check with your apartment building and to abide by the rules. If an open flame isn’t allowed, you might find a way to integrate an electric fireplace into the space.
Enhance the Lighting
Fun lighting can do a lot for a balcony. It turns an otherwise dull space into somewhere you want to spend time – particularly in the evenings.
There are tons of cool li lighting options for balconies and porches. This includes string lights, lanterns, and even hanging fixtures.
Make Privacy Look Good
A lack of privacy is one of the primary reasons behind why people don’t use their balconies. Thankfully, there are ways to achieve a higher degree of privacy without compromising the look or feel of the space. In fact, you can achieve more privacy and simultaneously improve the design.
Stylish options for balcony privacy include hanging tapestries, bamboo screens, vertical gardens, shrubs, and drapes. You can also use a combination of these elements to create a beautiful, layered look.
Make it Comfortable
The final suggestion is to make your balcony as comfortable as possible. Having a stylish space that’s private is one thing. In order to actually use it, it needs to have some comfortable and inviting furniture that allows you to relax.
Putting it All Together
A balcony – no matter how small – gives you the best of both worlds. It allows you to enjoy the perks of outdoor living without the upkeep of a lawn. Hopefully the design tips and tricks included in this article will allow you to fully embrace the space you have.