Even though winter is on its way for the Northern Hemisphere, let’s still give some applause to tiny, beautiful balconies. Not everyone is lucky to live in a tiny house or even a traditional larger house. In fact about 1 in 8 people live in apartments with no outside space to call their own—unless they have a balcony.
The basic apartment balcony doesn’t have to be boring.
Balconies (or even small decks) are a great place to practice living with a tiny space. The average U.S. apartment balcony is about 4×10 feet and usually open on one side with a railing. In their basic sense, they are pretty boring, but they don’t have to be.
Exercise your decor muscles on a tiny balcony.
During the initial pandemic lockdowns in 2020, many apartment dwellers could only retreat to their balcony. Making it as comfortable and comforting as possible became a hot design trend that hopefully will continue. With very little money, some creativity, and with a few tips listed below, any apartment-dweller can create a beautiful outdoor space for living (at least while the weather cooperates).
With a small budget and a little creativity, a tiny balcony can be a relaxing haven.
Tip #1: Create privacy while still embracing the public space
A beautiful balcony should be a retreat from the indoors as well as from public streets and spaces, so creating some sort of privacy is key. However, when creating privacy, don’t completely block off views or even access to public view. Balconies (especially ones in cities) offer an eye to a city’s unique culture and its people. Make sure your privacy options (shades, plants, curtains, etc.) give a peak into the public space beyond the railing.
Tip #2: Create comfort while keeping it simple
If your balcony is as small as most of them, there is not going to be a lot of room for many activities. A tiny balcony is either going to be a lounge area, a dining space, or an entertaining space, but probably not all three. Make sure to create comfort first for yourself and second for your guests.
Tip #3: Bring in plants without overwhelming the space
No balcony is complete without plants, but don’t let them take over. Pick just a few plants that will work with the amount of light and wind that your balcony gets. Remember that these plants may also have to come inside during inclement weather, so make sure they fit inside your apartment as well.
Tip #4: Use simple decor that can be put away if necessary
With all the fun design ideas out there, it can be tempting to go overboard with balcony decorations. Since these items are exposed to the elements, they should be able to take some abuse and be tucked away if necessary. Instead of putting in a whole floor, opt for a rug or two. Instead of overly large furniture, use some plush cushions or simple folding chairs. Instead of long strings of lights, put out a few solar lights. Instead of too many decorations, concentrate on one wall, a few colors, or items that won’t blow away in the wind.