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How to Make the Most of Your Apartment Balcony

You can do a lot with a small balcony space in your apartment. Using plants, decking, lights, benches, and tables, you can combine a unique set of apartment balcony ideas to create an inner-city oasis.

Find inspiration in these 18 different small balcony ideas to create the perfect retreat.

1. Bamboo privacy screen

Make a bamboo screen for your balcony

JessicaGirvan / Shutterstock

Buy some large pieces of bamboo and tie them together using zip ties. Secure this DIY privacy fence to your balcony railing for an added sense of seclusion — roughly $30.

How to get this look:

2. Live bamboo screen

Bamboo privacy screen

Jan Zwolinski / Shutterstock

Instead of taking bamboo poles and wiring them together to create your own screen, plant some live bamboo. This plant grows tall and is a great small balcony idea for those who want plants and privacy and want to save space.

How to get this look:

3. Railing shelves

Plants on an apartment balcony

Myimagine / Shutterstock

If you want to put some small potted plants on your railing, or make a little bar, get some wooden shelves to attach to the top. They are incredibly simple to install and immediately give you functional display space.

How to get this look:

4. Reed fencing

Reed fencing

Selina Irina / Shutterstock

Reed fencing is similar to bamboo fencing. Only these come assembled, and smaller pieces of wood have less space between them, so this balcony idea gives you more seclusion.

How to get this look:

5. Balcony planters

Apartment balcony planter with tomatoes

vaivirga / Shutterstock

Planters are a pretty, simple way to add a lot of color and life to any area. Put a few on your railing and/or some more on a large planter wall.

How to get this look:

6. Lantern lights or icicle lights

Balcony with cozy lights

FotoHelin / Shutterstock

Lights add a great sense of ambiance when used correctly. Buy some icicle or small lantern lights to hang on your balcony railing or ceiling, next to your balcony planters.

How to get this look:

7. Faux grass

Faux grass on apartment balcony

Jazmine Thomas / Shutterstock

Some faux grass intermingled with gravel, wood deck tiles, or on its own makes your balcony feel like a small yard. It’s relatively affordable, and you can just lay it out where you want it.

How to get this look:

8. Wood decking tiles

wood decking on apartment balcony

Sharomka / Shutterstock

For roughly $60 a pack, wood decking tiles are a warm and inexpensive way to make your balcony feel more like a deck.

How to get this look:

9. Outdoor rugs

Couple on a balcony with patterned rug

Look Studio / Shutterstock

A fantastic way to spice up your balcony is to add a patterned rug to the mix. This is a great balcony idea if you don’t want to spend a lot of time upgrading your space.

How to get this look:

10. Curtains

Curtains to window overlooking an apartment balcony

Dariusz Jarzabek / Shutterstock

Curtains are a beautiful, simple addition that creates privacy while dramatically altering the aesthetic. Use this apartment balcony idea to give you the feeling of being in a resort.

How to get this look:

11. Planter wall

Wall planters on apartment balcony

lulu and isabelle / Shutterstock

Put a wood, plastic, or metal planter wall on a wall of your apartment balcony. If you have two walls, putting one on both gives you plenty of space to start a balcony garden.

How to get this look:

12. Unique full cover privacy screen

Privacy screen on balcony

klikkipetra / Shutterstock

Put a privacy screen on the railing of your apartment balcony. This will give you an added sense of seclusion from the bustling city life below.

How to get this look:

13. Large potted plants

Large plants on a balcony

Gonzalo de Miceu / Shutterstock

Large plants, like kentias, ferns, and palms, immediately add a wistful balcony garden. With a minimal effort to install, these might be one of the best and most used balcony decorating ideas.

If you are looking for real plants, we suggest going to your local gardening store. Fake plants, however, require less effort, and you can find them easily on Amazon.

How to get this look:

14. Storage cushion bench

Bench on apartment balcony

Anusit Anukul / Shutterstock

Install a bench with storage underneath to maximize your small space while making it more comfortable. This is a great balcony idea if you also do some gardening and need a place to store your tools.

How to get this look:

15. Outdoor coffee table and chairs

Coffee table on balcony

Veera / Shutterstock

Don’t forget to provide a comfortable place to sit and eat! Get a fashionable table and chair set to expand your living space to the out of doors immediately.

How to get this look:

  1. Wicker cushion chairs and table
  2. Folding chairs and table

16. Outdoor cushions

Cushions on apartment balcony

eakkachai / Shutterstock

For a more Bohemian feel or if you like to sit low to the ground, opt for some tastefully decorated cushions. Combined with curtains, plants, and wood decking, beautiful floor cushions can be the final addition to a lovely balcony.

How to get this look:

17. Outdoor bed/pallet cushion

Outdoor bed made from wood pallets

swissdrone / Shutterstock

If you like to take naps outside, consider adding a wood pallet bed to your balcony. While you might not be able to stretch out fully if you’re tall, you can lay relatively flat and enjoy some sun.

To set it up, buy a wood pallet sized to your needs, and raise sturdy cinderblocks to rest and support the pallet.

How to get this look:

18. Hammock or hanging chairs

Hammock on balcony

Aga Murawska / Shutterstock

Who doesn’t love a nap or good read in a comfortable hammock? If you want to save space, get one of those hanging oval chairs to attach to your balcony ceiling.

How to get this look:

The bottom line

If you’re on the hunt for small balcony ideas to spruce up your outdoor space, combine a few of these on the list to create a unique retreat for you, your family, and friends.

Frequently asked questions

How do I decorate my apartment balcony?

Find what fits your style and start with the basics. Maybe buy some small planters. Then, branch out from there and get a matching table, chairs, and rug. Piece it together slowly.

How do I organize my balcony?

If you’re planning on keeping some supplies out on the balcony, consider getting a storage bench. That way, things are on hand but out of sight and away from the elements.

How do you screen an apartment balcony?

You can either buy a full screen off Amazon that attaches to your railing or craft your own out of bamboo or curtains.

How do I put privacy on my balcony?

Curtains are a great way to switch between a private or more public view quickly. You can also plant bamboo and nurture it to full growth or buy a privacy screen online.

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