Home Projects

Before and After: $1,000 Transforms a Bare Balcony into a Cozy Lounge Space

published Nov 13, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Before: empty patio with one chair
Credit: Jen Robinson

If you consider your outdoor area “a waste of space,” it’s definitely a sign that it’s time for a change. This was exactly how Jen Robinson felt about her small unfinished balcony. “The building is quite old and the patio looked tired and uninviting,” Jen says. “The stone was cold and not nice to walk on and there was a lack of seating for guests.”

Credit: Jen Robinson

All those factors made it tough to want to spend time out there. So, in a month, with a budget of $1,000, Jen and her boyfriend kickstarted the project to create a cozier, more welcoming outdoor escape.

Credit: Jen Robinson

Jen kicked the lonely green plastic chair to the curb, then got to work camouflaging the floor. Over top, Jen and her boyfriend applied tiles from IKEA to make it a space worthy of walking barefoot.

Credit: Jen Robinson

For seating, Jen added a small dining set and a totally loungeable sofa. “Having the high top table and couch options for seating is nice when entertaining friends,” Jen says. String lights, a bamboo screen, and a row of hanging plants boost the atmosphere and giving some privacy to the area.

Jen also threw in a space heater so the couple could continue enjoying the area a little while after summer ends.

The completed balcony could almost be mistaken for a trendy rooftop bar, with cool tables, chairs, candles, and twinkling lights. The best part, though? The redo was an easy transformation. “Surprisingly, this project didn’t involve any tools aside from a drill and Allen key!” Jen says.

Inspired? Submit your own project here.