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Ideas for Transforming Your Apartment Balcony

Ideas for Transforming Your Apartment Balcony

Renters treasure private outdoor space, and this area of your apartment becomes more valuable during the warm summer months. However, private balconies offer limited space, making it difficult to customize the area into a unique at-home oasis. The following tips can help you transform this concrete slab into your new favorite hang-out spot.

Acquire Apartment Balcony Furniture

If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to add some furniture to your outdoor balcony.

Table and Chairs

A table and a couple of chairs make a simple addition to your balcony, providing opportunities for relaxing and catching up with friends and family. There are various styles of furniture you can choose from, and many online retailers offer products specifically designed for outdoor spaces. Depending on the size of your balcony, you can add a side table or dining table to the space, providing opportunities for outdoor meals.

Grilling on the Balcony

Your landlord or management company may have rules against grilling on your outdoor balcony. Consult with your lease or directly ask your landlord about permitted activities to ensure you do not violate your agreement. While a large grill will take up too much space on a balcony, tabletop, and camping grills can make an exciting addition to your outdoor space.

Weatherproof Furniture

When purchasing outdoor furniture, make sure the pieces are from an outdoor collection with water-resistant fabrics. Additionally, if you live in an area with a harsh off-season, you may consider storing your outdoor furniture inside during the winter months. Your apartment complex may offer storage at an added cost, or you can purchase foldable chairs and tables to make storing the items easier.

Apartment Balcony Decorating Ideas

You can customize the area with outdoor decor once you’ve added essential furniture pieces to your balcony.

Soft Lighting

String lights, lanterns, and other decorative lights can add the finishing touches to your space and make it accessible during the night. While candles are appealing, using fire outdoors and close to your building can increase the risk of an accident, especially on a windy day. Outdoor battery-powered candles create a similar effect while keeping you and your neighbors safe.

Some lights may need access to an outlet, so double-check your setup before purchasing a new strand of lights. Many modern light fixtures offer battery-powered options, providing more control over placement.

Add Plants

Let your inner plant parent shine by adding some outdoor plants to your space. If you’re looking to test your green thumb, you can create a small herb and vegetable garden that will grow produce in the late summer and early fall. Large trees, tropical plants, and bushes with many leaves will offer widespread coverage, protecting you from the sun and creating a private space hidden from onlookers.

Larger plants like tomatoes and vines may try to take over your outdoor space. However, you can purchase trellis materials to give the plants room to grow. In extreme cases, unattended vines may attach themselves to the structure of your building, so make sure to periodically check on them and pull them away from the wall to avoid a deduction from your security deposit for damages.

Incorporate Rugs

Rugs may be more difficult to find for balconies, but some distributors offer outdoor-friendly floor decorations with weatherproof materials. The easiest way to clean outdoor rugs is with a hose or other pressure water system. However, you may not have access to this kind of system in your apartment, and you may need to wash rugs gently in a washing machine or by hand.

Unique Ways to Customize Your Private Balcony

If the traditional table and chair setup does not appeal to you, the following less common options offer their own advantages.

Create an Outdoor Sanctuary

While a backyard sauna may not be in the picture, you can customize a balcony with battery-powered water features like a portable waterfall. Lean into natural materials like stone, bamboo, and twine to create a soft and welcoming environment. Swap the table and chairs for a hammock, or use a plethora of cushions to make comfortable floor seating. A small desk-size Zen garden can make an appealing addition to your at-home escape.

Customize Your Balcony for Entertaining

Hosts can use their balconies to create additional space for get-togethers and celebrations. Use a foyer entry table to add enough space for drinks and snacks, or purchase a table that also serves at a cooler. Some retailers offer small counters with barstool seating, which you can use as an outdoor bar for a small group of guests.

When it comes time to entertain guests, notify your upstairs and downstairs guests to let them know you will have company outdoors. When notifying neighbors about social gatherings, you can leave a note outside their door with your phone number.

Work from Outdoors

While the at-home office remains an appealing option post-pandemic, the confines of a small bedroom may not be as enticing as an outdoor setup. You can purchase a room divider to create a stable and non-distracting background. Depending on the volume of meetings you attend, you can also look into noise-reducing microphones to help limit the noise of nearby traffic.

Remember that access to power, your internet connection, and the strength of the sun against a screen can create additional challenges compared to working indoors. Additionally, you’ll likely need to go back to working inside during the cooler months, meaning you’ll still need an indoor office space.

Tips for Renting with a Balcony

If you’re looking for an apartment with a balcony, consider that these apartments may charge a higher rent than apartments without private outdoor spaces. In a city, outdoor balconies can be rarer and, therefore, more expensive. Additionally, furnishing this additional space can also become expensive, especially if you don’t have existing outdoor furniture.

Besides the price point, there are additional considerations to take into account. Balconies can be dangerous if you have a small pet or younger child, especially as the floor count increases. Even if your pet or child is not permitted on the balcony, there are still risks of accidents.

Finally, you will likely spend time purchasing furniture, decorating, and maintaining your outdoor space. During the warmer months, you can expect to spend time cleaning off pollen and other allergens, rearranging furniture to help it dry off after a storm, or covering furniture from rain if needed.