One of the sacrifices you make as an apartment dweller is not having a backyard. If you're lucky enough to have an outdoor space at all, it's likely to be pretty small. But there are plenty of ways you can make the most of a small outdoor space, and make it just as lovely and inviting as any giant suburban backyard. Here are ten tiny balconies that get it right.
Above: The most appealing thing, to me, about this balcony from Pretty Nice is the plants. Planter boxes all along the railing and plants clustered on the left side of the balcony give this tiny spot the feeling of a lush garden retreat. On the right is a small bench, suitable for curling up on warm summer days, and a side table for drinks. An outdoor rug helps to tie everything together.
One solution for a particularly small balcony (like this one from IKEA) is just to fill it up with plants. You won't be able to go on the balcony anymore, but you can still open the doors to let the outdoors in, and you'll have a view of some beautiful greenery. If your balcony is sunny enough, a citrus tree is a lovely choice (although you may want to put it on wheels to bring inside during winter freezes).
This little balcony from Marie Claire Maison takes a completely different approach, prioritizing furniture over plantings. A small loveseat, table and chair turn this tiny balcony into an inviting spot for outdoor gatherings.
This balcony from Nooks goes for a little bit of everything — planters and a small dining table. The wood tile floor is a option for covering up an unattractive balcony floor, and placing the planters at different heights adds an extra bit of visual appeal.
This balcony from At Mine, while still on the small side, is large enough for an Acapulco chair, a few scattered plantings, and a small dining table. The little rug helps to cozify the space, and the hanging planters add extra planting area.
This balcony from Nordic Design goes for simplicity, with a single small table and two cafe chairs.
The cabinet-style greenhouse on this balcony from Brit + Co. is a great option for growing plants in particularly cold climates (or starting seedlings to get a jump on spring planting).
This balcony from Historias de Casa has the ultimate luxury — a hammock. You might be surprised to find how little space you actually need to hang a hammock.
And finally there's this balcony from Historiska Hem, which feels like a little outdoor living room, thanks to the sectional sofa (a surprisingly good choice for outdoor spaces), and, of course, a rug to tie everything together.