The balcony serves as a tiny little outdoor escape but is typically the most neglected area in a house or an apartment. Initially, you may have been thrilled to get a home with a balcony so you can enjoy fresh air and relax under the sun without needing to get out of the comforts of the indoors. But somewhere along the way, with the hustle and bustle of your busy life, you may have forgotten to make the most out of your home’s precious real estate space. Start rekindling your excitement with having your own balcony by decorating the space. Here are some tips on how to start and what to add:
- Get back to its purpose.
The design and decoration decisions for the balcony must be in line with its practical purpose. The main question is, what are you going to do with it? If you still have no idea, here are some other questions for you that can answer what items you can add to your balcony to make it look more livable.
- What type of activities do you want to do there (for instance, hanging out with friends, napping, lounging, reading, eating, barbequing, sun-tanning, or even working)?
- What time of the day are you likely going to spend on the balcony?
- Are you going to use it frequently or occasionally?
- How much direct sunlight, wind, or rain is the balcony exposed to?
Not only would these questions guide you in deciding what items to add to the balcony, but it would also help you figure out the required resilience of materials to use, the right type of lighting, and other things.
- Consider the size of your balcony.
In choosing the right furniture and items to fit the balcony, make sure you have the space for it. If you want to have a rectangular table with four chairs so your small family can dine “outdoors,” make sure it will be easy to move around even when the chairs are pulled out. If there isn’t enough space, you can opt for foldable chairs that can be hung on the wall or rails when not in use. The size of the seating and table you want to add depends on the available space of your balcony.
- Provide comfortable seating.
Enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning, or having a quiet moment reading your book while enjoying the fresh air and the view of the neighborhood is one of the most relaxing things people do on a balcony. Don’t settle for a basic metal chair, plastic monobloc chairs, or some basic wooden stools for your balcony if you want to relax there. Add a bench, a small loveseat, a small couch or any extra accent chair that doesn’t suit the style of your home inside, and place it in a corner of your balcony. You may also create a DIY daybed or DIY bench using wooden crates with cushions piled on top. Or if you want a cute alternative, why not add a hanging egg chair or a hammock? Enhance them with colorful pillows too for a vibrant and fun vibe. Placing comfortable seating adds to the coziness and “relax factor” of your balcony.
- Add greenery.
The balcony is an ideal place to grow houseplants. It gives plants access to a decent amount of sunlight and air. Plants can transform any space into a welcoming retreat where you can get away with the busyness of life once in a while.
The type of plants you can grow depends on the space available and the amount of sunlight the balcony receives, so it’s best to research about which plants are ideal for your balcony condition, before trying out plants. You may either use pots or planters – just decide on how you will distribute them around the floor, or create a vertical garden arrangement on the wall or on the balcony railings.
Plant flowering plants like roses and jasmine if you want a touch of color to brighten up your balcony. You can easily place flower baskets on the railings, or hang them from the ceiling for a unique presentation. If you want plants that would be useful for your home, plant fine herbs. Herbs are perfect for small balconies. But if your balcony allows some more space, you can add vegetables or fruit plants. Some plants that would give you easy harvest are tomatoes and lettuce. Whatever you pick, just make sure you have the time to maintain them. But if you don’t have a green thumb, opt for cacti plants – some of them are even flowering.
If you want to create a mini garden in your balcony, use planting of different heights and sizes. Vary their containers too. Like for instance, you can put up flowers in a plant box placed in the middle of the balcony, then add tall plants on the pot placed on either side. Hang some orchids or fern from the ceiling on the sides. The plants in your mini garden can also serve as a natural privacy screen for your balcony.
- Make the floor friendly to the feet.
Rugs are typically added later in modern balconies. Placing an outdoor floor rug will help you define your small outdoor seating area in a decorative, attractive and comfortable way. If you want to transform the whole balcony floor, buy floor decking from a hardware store. Or, you can install artificial turf for your space, especially if you have a garden planned for it. The artificial turf refreshes the look while making it cozy to the feet, and making the balcony feel more like an extension of the outdoors.
Before choosing anything, consider practical aspects like durability, resilience to foot traffic and sunlight, and weather resistance.
- Add lighting fixture.
More often than not, a lighting fixture in balconies is overlooked. People install simple overhead lighting, and that’s it – no one bothers to change or improve it. But nothing beats lighting in creating the right atmosphere. If you plan on hanging out on your balcony during the evenings and nights, make sure you consider lighting as part of your design. Think about the atmosphere and mood you want to create and the activities you want to do there. Get a pendant light with a strong bulb wattage if you would like to read on your balcony at night. Have a dimmer light switch and hang candle lanterns or fairy lights to create an intimate and romantic atmosphere. If you want a little more playful lighting, hang string lights or DIY your own string lights for a fun, personalized yet also romantic effect.
- Let it pop with colors and patterns.
Bring your balcony to life with fun accent colors and patterns. You can do it by painting your tables and chairs, or your plant pots. Show some personality with soft, cushiony pillows in your chosen colors and patterns to turn your balcony into a welcoming space. Layer vibrant colors with patterns, using a chair’s cushion or a rug to make a lively statement.
- Keep it simple.
Since a balcony is usually a small space, don’t cramp it with cumbersome items like tall vases, big potteries, or bulky furniture. You don’t also need to decorate its walls – your wall hangings might only get faded and even dirty. Just place the things you need like seating and matching table and be content with that. Put your extra things inside your home. Adding less stuff will also make your balcony easier to keep clean. And when rain or snow comes, having fewer items would make it easy for you to bring things inside, like those cushions you have to keep dry.