Private outdoor space is a dream of most people living in city apartments—even if it's just a small balcony. (Or, let's face it, a fire escape.) If you're lucky enough to have a balcony, then you owe it to yourself—and all your friends—to make the most of it. This means doing more than putting out a lawn chair and calling it a day. No matter how tiny it is, your balcony has plenty of design potential. In search of balcony ideas? Read on to find 14 balcony ideas and see how you can transform your outdoor space from top to bottom.
1. Add a Caf´´´é Table
All you need to enjoy your morning coffee on your balcony is a café table and a chair. Choose one that folds up easily so you can store it inside if necessary.
2. Install Built-In Seating
Maximize your square footage with built-in bench seating. You'll also never have to worry about high winds knocking over your furniture—or worse, sending it flying.
3. Bring in Greenery
Pack your balcony with planters filled with lush plants to create the feel of that backyard you've always wanted. Add some herbs to make your balcony smell as good as it looks.
4. Opt for Floor Pillows
There's no need to invest in outdoor furniture—especially if you're just renting. Get some colorful and comfortable floor pillows that can do double duty inside.
5. Add Pattern with an Outdoor Rug
Amp up the look of your balcony with a patterned rug or runner. Be sure to choose one that will stand up to the elements.
6. Use Your Wall Space
Hang planters or weather-resistant art to help your balcony feel like an extension of your apartment.
7. Light It Up
Give yourself plenty of light for late-night hangouts by installing an outdoor pendant or sconces. If you're renting, go for string lights or outdoor lanterns.
8. Hang a Chair or Hammock
You may be in the city, but there’s no reason your balcony can’t feel like you're on vacation. A hanging chair or hammock create a laid-back vibe.
9. Opt for Folding Furniture
If you’re short on space, try installing furniture that can be tucked or folded away when not in use. This folding table disappears to free up floor space.
10. Design a Spot For Cocktails
What’s better than happy hour outside? A coffee table and two low chairs are all you need to create a space to kick back and catch up while the world passes by below. Or go for a pouf topped with a tray so you'll always have extra seating.
11. Surround Yourself with Flowers
You may not have room for a dining area (or even a chair), but there’s always space for flowers. Install planters along the balcony railing to sweeten your view and add to your home’s curb appeal.
12. Add a Spot to Recline
Whether you want to soak up the sun or curl up with a book, an outdoor daybed or lounge chair is all you need for a restful retreat. Add some outdoor pillows to make things extra comfy.
13. Give Yourself Some Privacy
If your balcony is right up against your neighbor’s, add tall plants like bamboo to create a natural wall. You can also hang bamboo shades that can be raised and lowered as needed.
14. Add Some Shade
Enjoy your balcony in any weather with a retractable awning that will protect you, rain or shine. Go for a classic stripe, or opt for a bold color to make your balcony stand out.