Just because your balcony is on the smaller side doesn't mean you can't enjoy this outdoor space all spring and summer long. After all, there's nothing better than coming home from a long day at work and kicking back outdoors while the weather is nice and sunny.
If you're looking to take on a bit of a refresh in honor of the warmer days ahead, be sure to keep the following designer tips on the top of your mind. Below, experts weigh in regarding ideal furniture pieces for small balconies, what to keep in mind and avoid when it comes to decorative accents, why outdoor rugs are key, and so much more.
Meet the Expert
- Kristen Nix is the founder of Kristen Nix Interiors in Austin, Texas.
- Jenny Reimold is a content creator and blogger as well as a HomeGoods style expert.
- Billy Ceglia is the founder of Billy Ceglia Designs, based in Connecticut and Florida.
Choose Chic, Comfortable Seating
Whether you live alone or envision spending quality family time out on the balcony this summer, you're going to want to invest in some seating for your space. Kristen Nix, the founder of Kristen Nix Interiors, suggests opting for "a comfortable chair, hanging chair, or built-in seating in a great fabric or texture."
There are so many outdoor seating options available online at a range of price points, so you shouldn't have a hard time scooping up a piece or two that speaks to you.
When selecting what type of seating is best for your balcony, think about how you intend to use the space. Love to sit outside and read solo? A hanging chair may be calling your name. Plan to use the balcony to dine al fresco with a friend or family member? Built-in seating or a set of outdoor accent chairs with a small table in between are likely the most practical.
Add Some Plants
Don't worry, your small balcony isn't the place to set up a full-on garden. Rather, Nix suggests going low maintenance here; she's partial to the foxtail fern. But no matter what route you go in terms of species, plants will add welcome color to your balcony and make the space feel a bit lusher.
However, if you plan to spend a large portion of the warm weather season traveling or just don't trust yourself with live plants, note that you can always opt for something faux, too. There are many convincing options on the market these days—retailers such as Nearly Natural, Amazon, and Target are full of affordable, life-like picks that will transform your space in an instant.
And no matter whether you bring home something real or fake, why not jazz up your plants a bit? "Make the plants part of your party decor by draping them with garland or twinkling lights," suggests Jenny Reimold, a content creator and HomeGoods style expert.
Don't Forget a Rug
Rugs certainly aren't just for indoor spaces. "Create a cohesive foundation for your outdoor space by using boldly patterned, woven, and weather-resistant rugs," Reimold says. And don't forget to layer if you wish. "You can make a smaller space feel bigger by placing the ends of furniture on the edge of the rug then add visual appeal by layering a neutral, natural fiber rug with a colorful, patterned one on top," Reimold shares.
Plus, she notes, rugs are a wonderful opportunity to liven up your balcony with a fun print. "For a space that has solid colored furniture and/or cushions, add an extra pop by styling with a patterned rug," she instructs. You really can't go wrong, no matter what style of rug you choose.
Be Intentional With Decor
Designers agree that keeping clutter to a minimum is an extra factor when working with a small balcony. "Keep it edited to elevate the look," instructs Nix.
Looking to add a little intentional flair? "Consider incorporating decor pieces that serve multiple functions," offers Billy Ceglia, the founder of Billy Ceglia Designs. "For example, a decorative basket can be used to store throw pillows or blankets when not in use, while a multipurpose storage bench can hold gardening tools or serve as a side table."
Reimold also appreciates the versatility of baskets. "I used a $20 lemon-shaped resin basket I found at HomeGoods and styled it for various uses, from holding napkins on a table for hosting, serving up fresh blueberry muffins as a grab-and-go summer snack station, or holding sunscreen poolside," she shares.
Another multipurpose piece Reimold loves? The pouf ottoman. "They are sturdy and comfortable as an extra seat, footrest for an outdoor sofa, or chair and can be instantly transformed into a side table when topped with a tray for food or drinks," she explains.
Install Mood Lighting
You'll want to be able to enjoy your balcony at all hours of the day, and as a result, incorporating multiple lighting sources is a must.
"Balcony lighting can add a warm and inviting ambiance to your space," says Ceglia. He offers a few fixtures to consider. "Choose string lights, lanterns, or candles to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere," says Ceglia. "Consider solar-powered lights or battery-operated options for easy installation."
Play With Scale and Texture
While you'll want to be mindful of your small balcony's limited square footage, that doesn't mean you need to fill the space with dollhouse-like furniture.
"While it may seem counterintuitive, incorporating larger decor pieces can actually make a small balcony feel more spacious," explains Ceglia. "To balance out your large upholstered sofa, consider adding a large-scale rug or outdoor artwork that draws the eye upward."
Once you've set out all of your main pieces, accessorize with textural finds. "You can play with texture by incorporating woven or natural materials such as wicker or rattan, which can add depth and interest to your decor," the designer adds.