23 Ways to Make the Most of Your Small Apartment Balcony

small apartment balcony

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto 

On glorious warm sunny days and relaxing summer evenings, an unloved balcony is a tragic sight no matter its size. So if you are currently using yours as a graveyard for dead plants or broken outdoor furniture, listen up. There are dozens of great ideas for transforming a neglected outdoor space into an irresistible hangout for relaxing and entertaining.

  • 01 of 23

    Affordable Decking

    small balcony with foldable table

    Igor Josif/Instagram

    The typical apartment balcony has a concrete floor that is devoid of personality. Fortunately, you can spruce up a boring slab with interlocking deck tiles, the way Igor Josif did with here. They are very easy to install by simply snapping the pieces together. And if you are a renter, you should know they are a cinch to remove.

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  • 02 of 23

    Solid Fabric Privacy Screen

    privacy fence with curtain

    S.U.S.A.P

    Shield yourself from wind, sun, and prying eyes with a solid privacy screen such as this red one seen on this balcony from S.U.S.A.P. A simple cloth draped over the structure and easily secured can ensure some extra privacy without having to break your bank.

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  • 03 of 23

    Mini Pam Beach Oasis

    cute modern tiny balcony

    Design: Caitlin Higgins for EHD/Photographer: Sara Liggoria-Tramp

    Caitlin Higgins wasn't a massive fan of her tiny outdoor space, so she decided to revamp it—and the results are stunning. She added a set of pinstripe curtains that provide just the right amount of lighting—not too sheer, but not blackout either. The reflective brass table adds a layer of elegance, while the set of black chairs helps ground the space and add some serious contrast.

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  • 04 of 23

    Perfectly Placed Plants

    small balcony with mini plant wall/shelf

    Tanja Sovulj/Instagram

    Tanja Sovulj knows how to strategically place plants in her balcony space. The hanging plant boxes on the wrought iron fence, small potted plants on the table and in the corner, and a simple hanging structure that looks stylish and functional to showcase even more greenery.

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  • 05 of 23

    Balcony With a Planter Wall

    small balcony with wood palette wall

    Coffee Home Bea/Instagram

    A planter wall sets the tone for this lovely balcony by Coffee Home Bea. Vibrant florals add a festive touch. Wicker furniture and green astroturf create a decorative haven to retreat to when you want to unwind and relax.

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    Bamboo Privacy Screen

    small balcony

    _allezeitderwelt_/Instagram

    Who doesn't love simple projects that add function and style to spaces? Case in point: this super affordable privacy screen idea by Yeri at Allezeitderwelt. A simple addition of a half privacy screen made of thin bamboo strands still allows for a view without giving onlookers a full view of the space. The cozy fabric palette on the ground is nestled in the perfect spot for some relaxation in a refreshing atmosphere.

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  • 07 of 23

    Added Style and Function

    balcony with elegant plant stands

    Vidya Amberker Interiors/Instagram

    It's important to incorporate options that are both stylish and functional—like these plant stands on this balcony from Vidya Amberker Interiors. The various heights allow all the different plants to be seen, and it adds a decorative aspect as opposed to solely keeping the plants on the ground.

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  • 08 of 23

    Friendship Furniture

    tiny balcony

    Design: Jessica Bunge for EHD/Photographer: Sara Liggoria-Tramp

    Jessica Bunge from Emily Henderson Design took her extremely narrow balcony and turned it into a Parisian-style dream. The alternating deck tiles from IKEA were the result of a DIY project she took on to turn a concrete floor into something much more aesthetic. The vintage dining set was initially a set of four that she split with a friend—also known as friendship furniture. This concept works remarkably well for small balconies that don't have the space to accommodate a larger number of chairs.

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  • 09 of 23

    Egg Shaped Chair

    small balcony with small egg chair

    Kodikkaasti/Instagram

    Rather than sticking with an average set of chairs, it doesn't hurt to add in something a bit more whimsical—like an egg-shaped chair. This chair takes up the perfect amount of space—without being too overwhelming— on this balcony from Kodikkaasti. The stacked flower baskets in the corner and the paper lantern above add a stunning decorative element that ties things together.

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  • 10 of 23

    Outdoor Pallet Sofa

    palette seating small balcony

    Forgotten Charm Thrift/Instagram

    Adriana from Forgotten Charm Thrift on Instagram is proof that some items have truly serious potential.

    A wood pallet sectional frame that she found on the side of the road turned into the newest project to add to her balcony. She knew she would need some cushion to make this a viable seating option, so she turned to Etsy and ordered cushions that were specifically made to fit palettes—a perfect match. Adding in some pillows she thrifted, and the transformation is complete.

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  • 11 of 23

    Make It an Extension

    small balcony with open door

    My House My Decor 10/Instagram

    Let's be honest—small balconies can feel suffocating at times. While there is plenty of potential to create your perfect balcony space, one option is to make the balcony feel like an extension of your home, rather than an entirely separate part altogether. Opening up the doors and windows—like My House My Decor 10 did here— and keeping a similar theme between rooms can help make a smaller balcony feel much larger.

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  • 12 of 23

    A Little Urban Jungle

    lush plant balcony

    Gomes Höeppner Balkon/Instagram

    Indulge your green thumb by turning your balcony into a little urban jungle. This lovely outdoor space from F.R. Gomes-Hoppner is covered with beautiful greenery and seasonal flowers. Covering the railing are flower boxes. The tiny accent table and chair is a perfect space for one, overlooking the view of the city. The large umbrella brings the perfect amount of shade to protect from the Sun's harsh rays.

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  • 13 of 23

    A Pet-Friendly Balcony

    small balcony with cat

    Sad Fat Cat/Instagram

    Got a pet? Then take note of this balcony setup from Sad Fat Cat on Instagram on how to turn your balcony into a pet-friendly space. The typical white fence wouldn't be quite enough to keep your furry friend inside, but adding a surround of thin wire mesh can do this trick. To keep things from feeling too contained, use that added mesh to help support more decor—like these whimsical and colorful paper lanterns of various shapes and sizes.

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  • 14 of 23

    Add Personal Touches

    small balcony

    Mishy's Arrtsy Home/Instagram

    When designing a balcony, naturally there will be common factors between your and others' spaces—a table and chairs, plants, lighting of some sort. However, you shouldn't feel as though you have to make a carbon copy of other spaces to have a stylish balcony—it should reflect some of your personal taste as well. This stunning balcony from Mishy's Arrtsy Home is a great example. The small table is draped with a vintage-style tablecloth, and there are plenty of plants all around. Look at the wall, though, and you will notice colorful decorative plates, a mirror, and other small decor items that she hand-picked herself to create an eclectic, tasteful space.

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  • 15 of 23

    Keep Things Simple

    simple balcony

    Design: Caitlin Higgins for EHD/Photographer: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    When decorating a space, sometimes the best results can come from keeping things simple. This portion of Caitlin Higgin's balcony is absolutely charming. A two-seat rattan bench she found online is covered with a comfy white cushion and decorative pillows for personality. Worry about using white cushions, especially in an outdoor setting? Caitlin purchased her Sunbrella white cushion from Ballard Design and says the fabric cleans up immaculately—proof that you can incorporate white anywhere.

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  • 16 of 23

    Work With a Color Scheme

    small balcony

    Dazey Den

    Trying to discover how to decorate any space—particularly smaller ones—can start by figuring out a color scheme to work with. This peachy dream from Dazey Den uses the pinkish hue on the surrounding fence, as well as the table and chairs. Small pops of blue on the table create a nice contrast that is welcoming and vibrant.

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    Beautiful Floor Tiles

    small balcony with floor tiles

    DIY Doctorat 49/Instagram

    If you are looking for a permanent way to cover up an unattractive balcony floor, consider tile suited for outdoor use. Sophia of DIY Doctorat 49 realized the previous owner of her place had used indoor tiles on the outdoor balcony—so she decided to give the terrace a refresh with new, outdoor tiles. The delightful blue and white geometric pattern add a striking pop to the whole space, proving how much tile can truly make a difference.

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  • 18 of 23

    Colorful and Classic Bistro Set

    colorful balcony set

    Dazey Den

    Working with a small balcony doesn't mean you can't go all out with color. This space from Dazey Den is all about incorporating pink, and it does it well. The playful colors along with the large cactus and small surrounding succulents make this a unique, playful space to hang out and entertain.

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  • 19 of 23

    Cozy Up

    small balcony with bed

    Takinada/Instagram

    Whoever says seating has to be strictly table and chairs on a balcony space clearly isn't aware of the comfort of a lounge space. This balcony from Takinada has the perfect cozy setup—ideal for relaxation and overlooking the greenery surrounding the home.

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  • 20 of 23

    Play With Color and Patterns

    small balcony with bright furniture and patterns

    Studio Enass/Instagram

    Neutral not your thing? Don't worry—it's not a requirement for your balcony. Try experimenting with color, texture, and patterns, like this stylish space designed by Studio Enass. The primary color scheme comes into full effect here, and along with the patterned tiles and decorative prints on the pillows, the space is full of life and energy.

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  • 21 of 23

    Reuse What You Have

    small balcony with crates for seating

    Tarzmeselesi/Instagram

    You might be surprised by what items you have available that can be repurposed into something else. Take this gorgeous balcony by Tarzmeselesi: a set of wooden crates are propped up on the ends, covered with a cushion, and voilà! Perfect stools to sit at the bar and take in the views of the city. As a bonus, the crate can also serve as extra storage, which is always a win.

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  • 22 of 23

    Go With Durable Outdoor Furniture

    lush outdoor balcony with durable furniture

    Tanja Solvulj/Instagram

    If you live in a small apartment or house, chances are you do not have room to store balcony furniture during the fall and winter months. The good news is, some types of outdoor furniture can stay outside all year. Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for weatherproof pieces:

    • Wood: Outdoor furniture made of woods like teak, cedar, or redwood is naturally rot-resistant. Treating items made from these materials with waterproof sealer will enhance their weather-resistant properties and prevent graying of the wood.
    • Synthetic wicker: Faux wicker is typically made with weatherproof polypropylene, a type of plastic that stands up to moisture and extreme temperatures.
    • Furniture covers: When you are not using your balcony, water-repellent covers will help to protect your outdoor furniture year-round.

    Additionally, choosing furniture that can fold away when not in use can help with added protection—as well as space. This gorgeous balcony from Tanja Solvulj showcases plenty of wooden features that can hold under weather—but the foldable table is the perfect size for easy access, and can be put away when needed.

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  • 23 of 23

    A Balcony Table Doesn't Use Floor Space

    small balcony with balcony bar

    Ivy Paysagiste/Instagram

    When there is no room to spare for a table in your super tiny outdoor space, a shelf that you can attach to a balcony railing—often referred to as a balcony bar— can be a handy feature. Plenty of varieties exist, and they absolutely come in handy when you're dealing with limited space. This gorgeous balcony by Ivy Paysagiste shows how effortlessly it fits into the balcony scene—and can be used to support food and beverages, or even a laptop if you desire to work outside.