Even in the notoriously tight confines of apartment balconies, there are ways to change you neglected outdoor space in a cozy retreat for relaxation and entertainment. Here are 25 balcony ideas to help you up your balcony game with some easy upgrades and decor tips.
Balconies are to city dwellers what yards are to suburbanites and country dwellers. They are a bite-sized piece of outdoor living to decorate and call your own. And since they tend to have great views, these small spaces can be a huge asset in the midst of a busy urban landscape. And yet all too many homeowners use their balconies as glorified storage units or slap a few folding chairs on them and call it a day.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! With a little creativity (and Instagram inspiration), you can turn your apartment balcony into a reading nook, a meditation nook or even an extension of your office space. After all, what’s better than taking Zoom calls outside when you’re working from home on a sunny day?
Trust us when we say this: we’ve scoured the depths of the internet to bring you the most Instagrammable and stylish apartment balcony ideas out there. So whether you have a small Juliet balcony or a spacious roof deck, there’s sure to be an idea or two (or twenty) here that will inspire you. Enjoy it!
And for more apartment decorating ideas, check out these 25 Low Lift Apartment Decorating Ideas That Look Chic.
Add privacy with Vines
Fast-growing vines can protect your balcony from unwanted sunlight and nosy neighbors. Just look at this lush, intimate corner of @aletuladnie! For a dramatic effect, get hold of several backyard plants and let them roam your space. A trellis or wire can help support them as they grow, and you can even use them to drape fairy lights around your space for a magical touch.
Entertaining Al Fresco
If you’re lucky enough to have a rooftop balcony, make the most of it with a festive setup like this one from @parvinsharifi. The view is obviously the star of the show, but the string lights and garden furniture really elevate the space. And what about that sheer curtain blowing in the breeze? We are totally stealing this idea for our next outdoor gathering!
Plant an edible garden
Is there anything more satisfying than being able to step outside and pick your dinner ingredients straight from the source? We don’t think so. This neat idea from @mika_lavien_home shows us that even the smallest balconies can host an edible garden. All you need are some lightweight pots, some good quality soil and your favorite herbs or vegetables.
Light it up!
You should never underestimate the power of ambient lighting – just ask @girlandtheword! Hers has to be the most reposted balcony on Instagram, and for good reason. Twinkling lights falling from the ceiling give the space an ethereal, dreamy quality, while the clear glass railing ensures that the bright cityscape beyond is still very much in view.
Use vertical space
Even if your balcony doesn’t have a lot of square footage to work with, you can still dress it up to the nines by utilizing your vertical space. Hang plants and wind chimes from the ceiling or balcony railing, or prop a mirror or artwork on the wall. A disco ball? Why not! Just make sure you secure it properly so it doesn’t come crashing down on windy days!
Set up a home office
If you work from home, there is no reason why your office space should be limited to indoors. Make the most of your balcony by setting up a temporary workstation. Fresh air and natural light will do wonders for your productivity, not to mention the amazing views you’ll enjoy while you work! A folding table, a chair and a cup of coffee is all you need to get started.
Bring out the indoors
One of the best things about balconies is that they blur the line between indoor and outdoor living. So why not make yours feel like an extension of your living room by bringing some of your favorite indoor pieces outside? A vase of fresh flowers, some cozy textiles and some well-placed candles are all you need to create a style that will flow easily from inside to outside.
Take Cover With Canopy
Canopies aren’t just for bedrooms – they can work on balconies too! This dreamy example from @domatorka.blog proves that a few meters of fabric, some fairy lights and a floor cushion can turn a small outdoor space into a private oasis. For those who want to relax from the hectic city life without leaving home, this is the way to do it!
Go bold with color
Nothing says summer in the city like a balcony drenched in color. This cheerful space from @happyknoten packs a punch with its red-and-white color scheme and bold, geometric patterned rug. We love how the colors reference the surrounding architecture – a pro tip if you ever feel stuck on how to style your outdoor space!
Say Yes to Bamboo Screens
If privacy is a concern for you, consider adding bamboo screens around the perimeter of your space. @strefa.agnieszkachlebda used them to create a secluded nook where she could curl up with a book and be thoughtful without distraction. Notice how the horizontal striped rug also visually expands the space! Something to keep in mind if your balcony is narrow and long.
Choose a statement plant
Choose one super-sized plant (maybe even a tree) and use it as the visual centerpiece of your balcony design. It may sound counterintuitive, but a single large plant can actually make your small balcony feel larger, draw the eye and create the illusion of more square footage. Tall plants also help create a sense of privacy. Sounds like a win-win to us!
Swing in a hammock
Small balcony ideas don’t get much better (or more summery) than this! If your ceiling can handle the weight, set up a hammock and enjoy some well-deserved R&R. Unlike a lounge chair or a pallet bed, it takes up none of that precious floor space and looks effortlessly chic. If you don’t have room for a full-sized hammock, try hanging a macrame swing instead!
Opt for folding furniture
Choose furniture that can be stored away when not in use. That way, you can have your cake and eat it too—a place to sit when you want it and more room to move when you don’t. Think folding chairs, stools and tables that can be hidden away when you don’t need them. Add some seat cushions or a tablecloth to make them feel more like permanent fixtures.
Lower your lighting
With balcony ideas, the lighting is everything. It can completely change the atmosphere of your space and make it feel cozier, brighter or more romantic. If you’re not sure where to start, try adding different levels of lighting to create a layered look. Lanterns, rope lights and floor lamps help create pockets of light that make your balcony feel warm and inviting.
Get your DIY on
Outdoor furniture can be expensive, so if you’re looking for balcony ideas on a budget, try your hand at some DIY projects! This could mean refurbishing some old furniture you have lying around or building something from scratch using recycled materials. Pallet beds, repurposed wooden crates and refurbished coffee tables are all great options that won’t break the bank.
Consider hanging a set of light and airy curtains for a private balcony that doubles as an outdoor lounge. They will provide protection from wandering eyes (and the sun, if hung at the right angle) and instantly make the space feel cozier. If you want to take things a step further, throw on some globe lights for extra ambiance.
Put up a planter wall
Speaking of balcony privacy ideas, try adding a vertical garden wall to create an intimate space protected from the outside world. Not only will it make a dramatic backdrop for your lounge area, but it’ll also give you the chance to show off your green thumb! Plant it with small, robust plants such as succulents, herbs or ferns that can tolerate being in direct sunlight.
Front porches and fireplace mantels aren’t the only places you can get creative with your seasonal decor. Your balcony is the perfect place to show your holiday spirit! Decorate it with spooky Halloween decorations, or turn it into a winter wonderland with festive lights and greenery. Changing things out a few times a year is a great way to keep your space feeling fresh and new.
Invest in a plant ladder
Balconies are made for vertical gardening, and a plant ladder can help you make the most of your limited space while letting your green thumb shine. Use it to display potted plants, herbs or even miniature vegetables. Stacking your outdoor plants in tiers adds some dimension to your balcony. Plus, it’s the perfect way to show off your collection of pretty planters!
Sit in an egg chair
Is there anything dreamier than lounging in an egg chair? If you’re looking for some cozy balcony ideas, this is definitely one to consider. It’s the perfect place to curl up with a good book or enjoy your morning coffee while taking in some fresh air. Decorate it with some comfy throw pillows and a blanket, and you’ll never want to leave!
Hang a decorative mirror
If your outdoor area is feeling a little bland, adding a statement mirror is a great way to turn things around. @my_hygge_my_home chose a round bamboo-rimmed mirror and hung it on an accent wall to create a distinct focal point. It adds so much to the boho vibe of the place and has the bonus of making it feel more open and airy.
Bring out an umbrella
It turns out that the perfect outdoor dining setup is this: some shabby chic chairs (and a coffee table to match), a pop of greenery and a striped umbrella to keep the sun out. It’s one of those balcony ideas that looks straight out of a catalog, but it’s actually pretty easy to recreate with some second-hand furniture, some flower boxes and a vintage beach umbrella.
Dress up your walls
Dream catchers and macrame hangings are not the only things that can liven up your balcony walls. Adding wall art is a simple way to make a big impact in your small space. And since your balcony will likely be exposed to the elements, opt for something that can take a beating and still look great—like Displate metal posters! As sturdy as they are stylish, they are perfect for outdoor spaces.
Lay an outdoor rug
If your concrete balcony feels more like a dungeon than an oasis, try trimming it with an outdoor rug. Not only will this make the space feel more inviting, but it will also help define your seating area and give your feet something soft to land on when you sit on the floor. To take things up a notch, try layering several rugs on top of each other for that bohemian look.
Jazz up Your Flooring
Instead of hiding it under a carpet, why not make your balcony floor part of the design? For an easy (and relatively inexpensive) update, try adding interlocking deck tiles. These clip tiles can be laid on top of just about any surface, giving your outdoor space an instant makeover. Plus, they’re easy to take with you when you’re on the move. Apartment tenants, take note!
Over to you!
An apartment balcony is an often overlooked space, but with a little creativity (and some elbow grease) it can be transformed into a stylish and functional oasis. These balcony ideas should give you plenty of inspiration to work on your own outdoor space. So what are you waiting for? Get started on your own Pinterest-worthy balcony today!
Are there any apartment balcony ideas we missed? Let us know in the comments below.