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So you don’t have a sprawling yard replete with a she-shed and swimming pool. But if you do have a balcony, a little attention can turn it into a favorite outdoor hangout too. There are a few things to keep in mind before you revamp your outdoor space.
For starters, the materials you choose for furnishings are super important and can be the difference between a soggy mess and a long-lasting outdoor investment. Materials like resin wicker, wrought iron, teak, and plastic can handle most of the elements nature throws at them.
Aside from furniture, there are a few other elements 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.
Privacy can also come into play. If you live in an apartment or close-knit community, total privacy may seem tough to achieve. But there are a variety of methods to help you wave goodbye to nosy neighbors and claim more personal space. Tall plants, climbing vines, and shrubs are great instant fixes. 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. Or, depending on how large your space is, you could build your own screen lattice and deck it out with creeping plants.
Once you have all the right pieces, putting together the puzzle of a perfect balcony is much simpler than you might think. Check out the charming examples below.
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.
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.
A colorful, eclectic mix of styles is what makes this balcony in the Bay Area special. Established by the lucite chairs, the warm color palette is reminiscent of the ’70s. But the rug, planter, and chiminea give the space a subtle Mediterranean vibe. It’s a perfect blend of quirky, stylish, and soothing elements.
4. Jungle-like outdoor space
The stunning setup seen here looks stylish enough to be an interior layout, but is perfectly built for outside use. The plants provide a sense of tranquility and both the hanging circular mirror and orange marble tiles are cool personal touches.
5. Sleek minimalist balcony
If you have a small space, go for a minimalist look with a tiny outdoor table and chairs set like this one you can buy at IKEA. Just add some seat cushions and greenery and you’re good to go.
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.
7. 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
You love using a fresh coat of paint to zsush 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.
With rows upon rows of twinkling lights, as seen on this Brooklyn balcony, your outdoor space will look sharp any time of day.
Warning: This idea isn’t for design wallflowers. But from the bright yellow chairs to the cheery banana-printed cushions, we can’t help but smile whenever we see this apartment balcony.
Love having friends and family over? Give your balcony the host’s touch with plenty of seating. This L-shaped couch on Allison and Luke’s cozy balcony makes the most of the small outdoor space.
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.
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!
Keep things simple on your balcony with a set of chairs and a small side table. Let this Amsterdam apartment show you how it’s done.
Additional reporting by Carolin Lehmann