When it comes to choosing a place to live, outdoor space is valuable; and when you’re in an apartment, private outdoor space is something truly special. If you live in an apartment and are lucky enough to have a private balcony all to yourself, you should absolutely make the most of it – even if space is a little small in size. With a bit of creativity, even a tiny balcony can be a space you’ll use for food, fun, and relaxation for as long as the weather will allow.
Our 3 Favorite Small Apartment Balcony Ideas
1. Get Out Your Green Thumb
One of the best ways to make use of small apartment balconies is to turn them into small gardens. This will give you the benefit of an area that looks nice not only when you’re outside enjoying it, but also when you look out your balcony door or window. Strategically positioned, plants can also add a layer of privacy that will allow you to enjoy your balcony without being on display. You can also think beyond decorative plants and grow herbs, fruits, and veggies for the ultimate way to go green.
If you’re short on balcony space, never fear! There are vertical planters and potted plants aplenty that will allow you to have a much greater number of plants than if you spread them out horizontally. Some vertical planters are free-standing, while others require you to hang them from a wall. Always check with your landlord before drilling into or making any changes to an exterior wall. From tomatoes to herb gardens and begonias to bougainvillea, there’s no limit to the plants you can grow in a balcony garden!
2. Fire It Up
Humans have an undeniable affinity for fire — whether it’s cooking over an open flame or snuggling up in front of one on a chilly night. Small apartment balconies are great for either of these activities. Installing a grill (charcoal or gas if you’re not a whiz at getting fires started) will give you a fantastic outdoor cooking space that’s perfect for steaks, grilled pizza, veggies, or whatever you care to toss on for dinner! If your landlord has rules against open flames on balconies, you can still cook al fresco; you’ll just need to opt for an electric grill.
If open flames are OK, another item to consider for your balcony is a small fire pit. There’s no need to fuss with large ones that require wood and create a lot of ash and mess; you can easily find portable fire pits that run on small gas canisters. This creates the perfect outdoor seating area when the weather is beautiful but chilly!
3. Create a Comfortable Seating Area
Even if your balcony is a small space, that’s no reason you can’t have a nice area for you, your roommate, and your friends to sit outside and enjoy. The key is finding furniture that will function well in the space. Low profile couches with throw pillows and coffee tables work well on small apartment balconies, as do smaller dining tables that can accommodate two or even four lounge chairs. Keep in mind that using individual patio chairs can make it easier to control and rearrange the flow of the space. You might also consider folding tables and chairs that can be stashed against a wall should you want a larger number of people to be able to use the balcony as an area to stand and mingle with drinks in hand.
Another apartment balcony strategy is finding furniture that can do double duty. This means nesting tables or tables that can hold storage bins or boxes underneath. Furniture like a storage bench offers more flexibility and an organized place to stash away items like grilling accessories or gardening tools.
Before finalizing any plant, grill, or furniture purchases, make sure you talk to your landlord to find out what restrictions exist in terms of what you can have on your balcony (in fact; these are good things to know before you rent). Once you’re clear on any existing rules, you’ll be able to turn small apartment balconies into your very own outdoor paradise!