17 Ways to Turn Your Tiny Balcony Into an Irresistible Retreat

Tiny balcony deocrated as a retreat with hanging string lights, small patio furniture and garden plants

The Spruce / Cielito Vivas

Hey urban dweller, if your tiny apartment balcony feels more like a curse than an amenity, listen up. In many cities, even a modest terrace is considered a luxury. So what if yours is a small, blank, concrete slab with not-so-great views. With a little creative thinking, you can transform your bitsy balcony into an irresistible summer retreat.

  • 01 of 17

    Decorate With Patterns and Textures

    tiny balcony decorated with different patterns and texture boho vibes

    Hesti Novita Dewi/Instagram

    If you want your balcony to feel as luxurious as an indoor room, pile on the textiles. Layering cushy elements made of outdoor fabrics, like patterned rugs and plush cushions, will make your balcony super comfortable. This outdoor space uses a mix of bold patterns and textures to create a tiny bohemian paradise.

    For the most bang for your bucks, look for pieces that add function and beauty. For example, a set of linen curtains (shown here) is a protective element that also looks lovely. 

  • 02 of 17

    Add a Lounge Chair

    small balcony with lounge chair holding pillows and a throw

    Design: Jessica Bunge for Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    When working with long, skinny balconies finding furniture that fits well can be a bit of a challenge. Adding in a lounge chair is an ideal solution—allowing a place to sit that relax that works well within the parameter of smaller balconies. Adding some comfy pillows and a throw creates a simple and cozy relaxation space.

  • 03 of 17

    Make Room to Dine Al Fresco

    balcony with breakfast bar

    Making Wood Dust/Instagram

    When there just isn't quite enough room for a table, you still have options to work with. Whether you buy a premade option that hangs over your railing or go the DIY route like Making Wood Dust did and create something custom, the results are hard to beat. Simply add a few stools or chairs, and you have a gorgeous place to eat outdoors or a place to work when you want to switch up your work-from-home routine.

  • 04 of 17

    Add a Plant Shelf

    small balcony with small plants

    Tanja Sovulj/Instagram

    While you may long to add as many plants as possible to your space, the lingering question remains: where to put them all? If you have available vertical space, try using a shelf to hold a few smaller plants. This can work incredibly well for plants that like to grow down walls, like pothos or string of pearls, so they can be on full display without being pushed into a corner.

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  • 05 of 17

    Light Things Up

    small balcony with solar lights


    If you are hoping to enjoy your balcony in the late evenings and into the night, then you definitely should opt to include lighting of some kind. We're partial to these cute string light bulbs that create a luminescent atmosphere—they're both aesthetically pleasing and cast a soft glow that isn't too harsh. You can also opt for well-placed candles and classic-style lanterns if you prefer a different approach.

  • 06 of 17

    Use Curtains for Privacy

    tiny balcony with lounge bench positioned lengthwise


    Don't let a so-so view or your neighbor's prying eyes stop you from enjoying your precious outdoor space. Inexpensive curtains can add drama and privacy to a tiny balcony. You can Hang the curtain higher from a frame or overhang or can simply drape them over the railing, shown here, to allow yourself to see a view but still maintain some privacy.

  • 07 of 17

    Include a Hammock

    small balcony garden with hammock

    Xenia Dracia/Instagram

    When it comes to summer napping, what could be better than snoozing in a hammock? We think Xenia Dracia agrees with us—this gorgeous setup of a white hammock, throw pillow, and a good book makes us want to spend the day relaxing in this lovely retreat.

  • 08 of 17

    Conceal a Concrete Slab With Deck Tiles

    balcony with small dining table set and tiles on the concrete with solar lights

    Nordwind Hygge/Instagram

    You can hide an unattractive balcony floor using interlocking deck tiles. It's a rental-friendly flooring solution that's easy to install and a cinch to disassemble. You can find tiles like these at home improvement stores like IKEA, Home Depot, and Lowe's.

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  • 09 of 17

    Add Pops of Color

    tiny balcony with bright yellow chair

    That Yellow Trunk/Instagram

    There's no need to stick with neutral colors to create an inviting atmosphere. Adding pops of color can turn a drab balcony into something vibrant and inviting. We love this sunny yellow bench (and hot pink accent table) that are undoubtedly eye-catching and make the balcony feel one of a kind.

  • 10 of 17

    Include Wind and Sun Protection

    small balcony with white tent


    Spending time outside feels great on a glorious sunny day—until you get too much of a good thing. Items that protect you from the elements will make staying outside more comfortable. For example, an outdoor umbrella or canopy will shelter you from harsh rays—or you can even set up a white tent for a unique approach. Add a few pillows and a place to lay back, and you're ready for an afternoon in the fresh air without the fear of harsh rays.

  • 11 of 17

    Keep Things Grounded

    tiny balcony with seating on ground and artistic items on wall

    Mishy's Artsy Home/Instagram

    While furniture is a nice touch, it isn't always necessary—or at least not all of it. Rather than adding a couch or chairs, try using cushions, rugs, and throw pillows to create a comfy seating area instead (just ensure they are made of weather-resistant fabrics!). A minimalist approach that helps keep things grounded? Sign us up.

  • 12 of 17

    Go Wild With Plants

    A small balcony decorated with a small bistro table, two chairs, and tons of plants

    Black and Blooms

    Don't be afraid to add plenty of lush plant life to your balcony. Going for a wide range of different types, sizes, and arrangements can make the space feel like a private wilderness that only you have access to. Don't have the greenest thumb? Don't worry; there are plenty of durable and hard-to-kill options that will feel right at home with you.

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  • 13 of 17

    Work in Flower Boxes and Bouquets

    balcony with sets of flowers

    Bojana Bajac/Instagram

    If you don't have room to keep a ton of plants, keep in mind that you can always put your railing to good use. Mounting flower boxes on the top rail can allow you to cultivate gorgeous flowers and save space doing it. You can also add small bouquets of florals in cute vases and decor items to add freshness without too much hassle.

  • 14 of 17

    Create a Custom Built-In Bed

    small balcony with built-in bed


    If your space is exclusively a place you come to retreat from the rest of the world, then it only makes sense to make it as cozy as possible. Adding in a custom-fit bed—with mattresses, sheets, and everything—is an ideal setup to create a tranquil atmosphere that you will never want to leave.

  • 15 of 17

    Invest in Folding Furniture

    balcony with folding table attached to side

    Tanja Sovulj/Instagram

    We're in love with Tanja Sovulj's balcony—all the little touches work so well together. Particularly, the folding table stands out, with its ability to function as a small table when needed, then easily stored away when not in use. It's the unique features that truly say it all.

  • 16 of 17

    Glorious Solitude

    tiny balcony with privacy fence

    Dajana Home/Instagram

    If you want ultimate privacy, try installing a privacy fence made out of wicker or even bamboo. You can find the materials at certain home improvement stores to create what you need. Propping it up and securing it against your railing ensures no one else will bother you, and you can fully enjoy your solitude.

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  • 17 of 17

    Include Hanging Plants

    tiny balcony with hanging plants

    Milana Krneta/Instagram

    If you want to combine a love of plants with a desire for seclusion, then hanging plants may just be the ideal option for you. Hanging several in a row from the ceiling can create a lush canopy that shelters you from prying eyes and unwanted looks—and looks good doing it. With the bonus that hanging your plants saves space for the rest of your balcony, it's a win all around.