These 25 Balcony Ideas Prove This Often-Overlooked Space Is Worth Decorating

published May 28, 2019
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For most people, apartment living doesn’t exactly come with outdoor space for luxuries like a swimming pool. But if your space comes with a balcony or patio, rejoice! You’ve got your own little slice of the great outdoors to customize exactly how you’d like. From finding the perfect mood lighting to creating your own balcony garden, there are countless ways to make any outdoor space your own. A little attention to detail (and of course, our expert styling tips!) can turn a small, drab balcony into your very own outdoor oasis. 

Tips for Decorating a Balcony

Here  are a few tips to consider when you revamp your outdoor space.

  • Start with furniture: The first thing you’ll likely want to add is some furniture. But remember, anything you put on your balcony will be exposed to the elements. Materials like resin wicker, wrought iron, teak, and plastic can handle most of what Mother Nature throws at them.
  • Decorate with plants: Next, it’s time to add some items that will help make your balcony shine. Plants are great for spicing up the space. Flowers like geraniums and begonias, sturdy plants like bamboo, and fresh herbs all thrive on a balcony garden. The list of outdoor plants is long—just be mindful of the hardiness zone you live in and how much light your balcony gets before making any decisions.
  • Invest in privacy: Finally, consider whether you’re looking for privacy in your outdoor space, and how much of it you’d like. Tall plants, climbing vines, and shrubs can help you wave goodbye to nosy neighbors and claim more personal space. Weatherproof textiles and fabric hangings are excellent for closing off your space a bit and adding some much needed shade, too. You can even buy privacy screens made of everything from metal to bamboo. 

By now, you’re probably realizing that there are tons of balcony ideas to incorporate, even for the tiniest space. Ready to get started? Check out the charming examples below.

Balcony Furniture Ideas

Furnishing your balcony can be a difficult task depending on the amount of space you’re working with. However, the perfect setup can make or break your outdoor area — so it’s the perfect place to start. 

Credit: Jen Robinson

1. Add ample seating.

One of the best balcony ideas is to use the space for more than one thing. If you have the room, why not add a spot for both dining and lounging? This balcony has ample seating and an outdoor rug and pillows for a comfy feel.

Credit: Liz Ferguson

2. Create a cafe.

If you’re looking for balcony ideas for an uber-small space, cafe seating might be the way to go. Check out this basic-turned-beautiful balcony: the facelift consisted of little more than a tiny cafe table and chairs, along with some beautiful flower boxes for a hint of added privacy. 

3. Add a tiny dining table.

Consider sprucing your outdoor area up with a dining table, plus a chair or two. Even if it’s small, a place to eat or sip coffee is always a great idea for a small balcony or patio.

4. Lounge away.

Come summer, you’ll be spending a lot of time on your balcony, so it’s important to design your outdoor space with comfort in mind. Designer Trent Hultgren’s has the coziest striped hammock, a great balcony idea for lounging outdoors in the warm-weather months.

5. Day (bed) dreaming.

What better way to embrace those lazy summer days than kicking back and relaxing on a daybed? Actress and artist Karen Racicot nails the look in her eclectic Toronto home.

Balcony Decorating Ideas

From colorful accents and vibrant furniture to seasonal flourishes and cozy touches, find balcony decor inspiration below.

1. Add a dash of color.

This bright and sunny Brooklyn balcony looks like it was plucked from a tropical paradise, with lush green plants and a fun teal-colored patio table and chairs. Dress up your drab space with a fun color like teal, coral or bright yellow for a dose of happiness every time you step outside. 

2. Decorate for the holidays.

Who says holiday decorations have to stay within the confines of your home? Dress up your balcony with festive attire for the season, like @thevictorianfarmhouse has done.

3. Add a cozy charm vibe.

Want to make your balcony feel as curated as the rest of your place? Take a cue from this Houston “tree house” by adding personal touches. The strategically placed shutters and delicate garland make this one outdoor space you’d struggle to leave.

4. Spruce up with throw pillows.

Want to revive your outdoor area without spending a small fortune? Then purchase some new throw pillows. In this Australian home, the throw pillows really spice things up on the balcony.

5. Add a pop of color.

You love using a fresh coat of paint to spruce up your indoor space, so why should your balcony be any different? The light green accents featured on this Chicago apartment’s balcony are perfectly natural.

6. A touch of texture.

No, you don’t have to limit the fabrics on your balcony to durable canvas and vinyl. This Hollywood Hills home takes the texture up a notch by adding some sheepskin to the outdoor space. Just be sure to bring the more delicate fabrics inside before a big storm!

Balcony Lighting Ideas

The importance of mood lighting can’t be overstated when it comes to balconies, whether you opt for twinkly string lights or classic candles. Light up your life with one of these inspirational ideas.

Credit: 17m2garden

1. Cozy up with lanterns. 

Lanterns are perfect for creating a warm and welcoming vibe, even on the coldest of nights. How cozy is this gorgeous balcony garden in Lyon, France? 

2. Set the mood with candles.

When all else fails, you can’t go wrong with good old-fashioned candles. A lit candle on this French-inspired balcony instantly feels like home. If you’re wary of open flames, there are plenty of battery-powered options that serve the same purpose. 

Credit: Minette Hand

3. Hang string lights.

When it comes to balcony ideas, could there possibly be a more popular one than string lights? They’re absolutely everywhere, from posh wedding venues to downtown apartment balconies. With rows upon rows of twinkling lights, as seen on this Brooklyn balcony, your outdoor space will look sharp any time of day.

Balcony Privacy Ideas

Everyone deserves to have a sense of privacy — whether your balcony is on the first or 10th floor. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to transform your open outdoor area into a private oasis. 

Credit: 17m2garden

1. Use plants for privacy.

Not only will container gardening bring a sense of nature to your balcony, it can also help create a sense of solitude. This French balcony features stunning flower boxes that create a DIY privacy wall. 

Credit: Nicole Boyd

2. Add a privacy wall.

Nicole and Clay’s California balcony was dull and uninspiring. So, they teamed up to revamp it, adding faux boxwood panels to the existing siding, and adding a wooden privacy screen above it. Personal touches like succulents and a cozy egg chair (a small balcony essential!) are balcony ideas that make the space their own.

Credit: Alexis Buryk

3. Utilize ethereal elements

As you can see, canopies aren’t only appropriate for the bedroom. In fact, they can exude a whimsical vibe when placed on your balcony. And when you consider the fact that this balcony idea also adds some much-needed privacy, it’s a clear win-win! 

Balcony Flooring Ideas

Believe it or not, dull cement floors aren’t mandatory for all balcony owners. From simple outdoor rugs to artificial grass, here are some ways to upgrade your balcony flooring. 

1. Fake a lawn with artificial grass.

No lawn? No problem. Use artificial grass to make your suburban dreams come true with limited space. Removable astro turf adds welcome (and renter-friendly) greenery to this West Hollywood balcony

Credit: Submitted by Vivienne

2. Incorporate fantastic flooring.

What’s black, white, and ridiculously chic all over? This posh balcony in Singapore. Not only is the polished black and white tile floor a sight for sore eyes, but we also love how the rest of the décor pairs with the flooring. 

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

3. Throw down a rug.

This just in: Adding a rug to your outdoor space is super cozy. In this warm, welcoming Toronto apartment, the earth-toned rug anchors the rest of the balcony.

Balcony Plant Ideas

Of course, any balcony isn’t complete without a little bit (or a lot) of greenery. Check out these gorgeous and functional ideas for a plant-filled outdoor space. 

Credit: Jack Spagnola and Alexandra Constas
Deck

1. Hang plants from the wall.

When your balcony is short on real estate, you may feel you have no room for plants. Take a cue from this Brooklyn balcony and hang your plants from the outside wall. Renting? No worries; just use a Contact hook and keep your plants on the small side. 

2. Make it a vertical affair.

Small space? No problem. You can still customize what square footage you do have by thinking outside the box. If you’re after plants, simply stack them and create a vertical garden rather than spreading planters out across the floor. Nesting tables and hanging planters are also great space savers.

3. Embrace all the plants

Plants make for the best décor on this colorful New Orleans balcony. 

“I started with just a few plants here and there, but then had the grand idea to turn it into a solid plant-filled patio for a little privacy and an outdoor escape,” renter Danielle Lindsey says of her design. 

Credit: Alexis Buryk

4. Plant gorgeous greens.

It’s no secret that a balcony is a wonderful place to put your green thumb on full display, but we dare you to get a little more creative than placing your petunias in a planter. In Elizabeth Tulipana’s Chicago space, she artfully hung plants from her balcony railing. Vertical gardening has never looked so chic!

5. Create an herb garden.

If you’re dreaming of being an herbalist or a small-scale gardener but you’re working with a small balcony, take a tip from San Diego residents Melissa Padilla and her partner. They used a wall panel from IKEA to create their very own vertical herb garden.