One of the best parts about renting? Almost all apartments these days have balconies! Don’t pass up the chance to jazz it up this spring, as the weather warms up, you’ll be glad you did. Even balconies that seem cramped or uninspiring can transform into sanctuaries of serenity with a few easy pieces.
Looking for the perfect balcony inspo? You’ve come to the right place. These 15 easy and cheap ideas are guaranteed to upgrade your space.
1. Start with the basics: a table and chairs. A small dining set is perfect for morning coffee, intimate dinners, cocktail hour, and quick lunchtime breaks. Go for something small and space-efficient or even furniture that can be folded up and easily leaned or stored.
2. Showcase your view. Situate your seating or furniture so as to make the most of your view.
3. Use color. Color is a quick way to add personality and mood to your area. Do you want it to feel festive? Think oranges, reds, and other bright colors (look up “complementary colors” or check out Pinterest for palettes). Or would you rather make the mood quiet and relaxing? — then go with subtler, neutral, or more muted tones. You can always mix it up too, going for a muted palette but with bright accents. Get creative and make it your own!
4. Create a garden. A balcony filled with planters, climbing vines and other foliage creates a lush garden scene. You’ve got a million choices to choose from. Want plants that are fragrant, such as flowering citrus? Or ones that attract hummingbirds and pollinators? Adding herbs (cooking or decorative) will also add some lovely scents. Make sure all pots have saucers to prevent water damage.
5. Add flowers for instant color appeal. Flowers and blooming plants add a sunny vibe to any balcony. Trailing blooms (think Tuscan verandas) add an extra touch of luxury.
6. Check out floor pillows. If you’re on a tight budget or don’t intend to stay in your rental long, you can still dress up your outside digs. Instead of investing in furniture, look into floor pillows – usually inflatable and outdoor-friendly, these will let you enjoy your place for as long as you’re there.
7. A place to park your drink. Remember to add little side tables or even stools to hold your book, drink, sunglasses, phone, or anything else you’ll want to set down while relaxing outside.
8. Throw down a rug. A patterned rug will open up the space visually and add a decorative dimension. Check out indoor/outdoor options.
9. Make an accent wall. Painting or hanging a decorative piece on the outdoor exterior walls will add a sophisticated design element. This could be an art-type piece, lights, or even a “living wall” add-on of ferns or other plants.
10. Add lighting. Outdoor lights will immediately up-level your balcony and give it evening ambiance. Options include strung lights (for that fairy light effect), LED candles in lanterns, and hanging or standing lights.
11. Consider bench seating. Bench seating is a bit more of a commitment than moveable chairs. It usually saves space and sometimes doubles as a storage element.
12. Hang a swing or hammock. Lazy swing-time isn’t just for vacation. If you have a lot of space, consider a hammock or swinging bench. This may even nudge you to do more of that self-care relaxing that we all know is so important!
13. Create privacy. Using a room divider or a row of tall bamboo can create a nice illusion of privacy if your balcony directly abuts another.
14. Go full recline mode. If space allows, think of getting a lounge chair. Perfect for curling up with a book, working on your laptop, or soaking up the sun, you can make it even comfier with outdoor pillows.
15. Throw shade. If your balcony gets a ton of light (maybe sometimes too much?), look at shading options. This could mean a standing umbrella, shade sail, or a more involved retractable awning.
Before you start on your balcony transformation project, be sure to check in with your roommate and your landlord about anything that might affect your plans. Then design around those and create your own little outdoor oasis – as spring rolls into summer and the warm weather beckons you outside, you’ll be so glad you did!
For more ideas to transform your balcony or outdoor space check out our Pinterest Board “Apartment Balcony Inspiration“
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