Before and After: An Under-$200 Renter-Friendly Refresh Turns a Bare Balcony into a Joyful Hangout

published Aug 31, 2022
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Credit: Sabrina Sosa

Looking to make a small, urban outdoor space feel a bit more welcoming? You might not be able to plant a real deal lawn like those living in suburban houses, but there are still ways to bring a bit more vibrancy to your balcony or patio. One way: Artificial turf, which might just be your balcony’s best friend.

Credit: Sabrina Sosa

A faux grass roll from Home Depot and less than $200 worth of accessories took Sabrina Sosa’s (@sabrinalsosadesigns) balcony from “dark and dull… only used to dry clothes” to a go-to getaway space “that will be inviting to spend time after work, to have friends over and have morning coffee,” Sabrina says.

“After my long-term relationship finished, I wanted to create a space that is feminine and relaxing,” she says. (After all, getting outside is a form of self care with proven benefits!)

“Even if you are doubting making changes to your rental, have in mind that there are a lot of small details that you can add to create your perfect spot without making permanent changes,” she says.

Credit: Sabrina Sosa

Her small details include the turf roll, which she trimmed to her balcony’s dimensions and says was easier than she thought. In fact, she ended up returning the extra roll she bought just in case. Then, Sabrina filled in her balcony with small-space friendly furniture and accessories.

“First I bought the conversational set and a few plants from Facebook Marketplace,” she explains. She added even more texture (in addition the turf) with a faux fur rug, a macrame plant hanger made by a friend, and she re-potted the plants (plus some she bought new) into new planters she found for cheap at Dollarama.

Credit: Sabrina Sosa

“The whole setup with the repotting of the plants took me less than three hours,” she says.

Sabrina says she’ll probably add more plants and might even spray-paint her secondhand patio furniture in the future to make it feel even more unique to her, but her advice for now is that balconies (and other small outdoor spaces!) shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to personalizing your space.

“Make it your own and have fun,” Sabrina says. Hear, hear! Check out 24 more ideas for making a balcony feel bespoke here.