Find new ways to improve your balcony decor with handy hacks and easy ways to add color, grow vegetables, and transform a tiny space into a calming oasis.
With recent studies highlighting the mental health benefits of flowers (opens in new tab) and the importance of spending time in nature, more and more of us are looking for ways to spruce up our balconies, back yards, or even just our window sills, if you haven’t got any outdoor space.
We’ve got plenty of small balcony garden ideas from seating solutions, to small planting ideas and even the kinds of herbs and vegetables you can grow in a small planter.
If you have a balcony, big or small, there are plenty of ways you can create a calming space to relax, rest, and get your fix of fresh air. The first thing to think about is to really consider what space you have. Naturally, balconies don’t tend to be very spacious so it’s important to plan out what you’re going to fill your space with and ways to make the most of the area you’re working with.
Next up, a big clean. There’s no point making over your balcony without giving it a good clean first. After dusting, give the flooring a thorough clean using a vacuum (yes, we know it sounds crazy). Use an upright vacuum cleaner (opens in new tab) to deep clean the floor and pick up any dust, dirt, or small stones - it's much quicker and efficient than sweeping.
Thirdly, think about furniture! Above anything else, it’s likely that you’re going to want to sit down on your balcony, you might be eating outside or want somewhere to soak up a good book and watch the world go by. Opt for furniture that is comfortable but doesn’t have a huge footprint. Make sure the furniture is functional and if you’re going to be eating outside or even just reading, you’ll probably need a small table too. Tables with glass or transparent tops and fine metal legs will give the illusion that you have more space than you actually do.
If you do have a large balcony and it’s 100% safe to do so, a compact barbecue or one of the best gas grills (opens in new tab) can create a focal point.
Patio chairs from the likes of wayfair.com (opens in new tab) can really add a statement to your space or a fun pop of color if that suits your taste.
Balcony lighting ideas
Lighting is one of the easiest and most effective ways to create a cozy atmosphere. Invest in some string solar lights (opens in new tab) from places like amazon.com (opens in new tab) which will provide ambient lighting and won’t cost you anything to power. As well as string lighting, large lanterns with pillar candles are really effective and work really well placed at different heights.
Balcony planting ideas
No matter how small your outside space is, there’s always room for plants! The trick to creating a tropical haven of plants in a tiny space is to cleverly work with the heights and walls of the space you have.
While it’s great to have a few planters on the floor, save as much floor space as you can and instead, use shelving, rails and racks to position your plants off the ground. Think outside the box and repurpose buckets, vases even old ladders as new ways of displaying your plants, or alternatively invest in a planter like the one below, from homedepot.com (opens in new tab). If you’re DIY savvy, then have a go at building your own planters.(opens in new tab)
You don’t need as much space as you might think to grow your own veggies and herbs. Mint, oregano and lavender are super easy to grow and don’t require too much looking after either. Cut and come again vegetables such as lettuce and beans are great for small garden spaces because they will continue to grow the more you pick them.
Small space-friendly vegetables include shallots, garlic, kale, and tomatoes, to name a few. If you’re super short on space, tomatoes grow really well in hanging baskets and will help to create the multi-level planting we mentioned above.
Fabrics and textures for outside
Take your balcony from standard, to chic and sophisticated by layering textures throughout your design. Just because your space is outside, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be as cozy as your couch. Cover seating with cushions and blankets and look for a hardwearing rug that can be used to add some pattern and further texture.
Mix up your materials. For example, if all your planters are wooden, add in some metals and softer textures like wicker and foliage. Opt for some festoon lights, table runners and fabric baskets to really finish the look. Then, all that’s left to do is to enjoy your inviting space.