Tips & Guides / Apartment Life

8 Decor Ideas for Apartment Balconies

By Camryn Rabideau | May 17, 2022
Ideas for Apartment Balconies

During the spring and summer, you likely want to spend as much time as possible enjoying the great outdoors. But if you live in an apartment, your outdoor space may be limited to a small balcony or patio. While this space may not be ideal for hosting big backyard barbecues, you might be surprised at how much you can do with a balcony with the right design tricks up your sleeve!

With a can-do attitude and the right decor, you can turn the compact outdoor space at your apartment into a comfortable, welcoming oasis where you’ll want to hang out all summer long. Here are some ideas for apartment balconies that will make your living space feel infinitely homier:

1. Create a lounge space

Small apartment patio with lounge chairs and plants.

If you want a comfy outdoor space where you can sip your morning coffee, read a book, or work on your laptop, the first thing you’ll need is comfortable furniture. There are lots of different furniture styles to choose from depending on your budget, space constraints, and decor style, but some popular options for lounging include:

  • Outdoor armchairs
  • Chaise lounges
  • Adirondack chairs
  • Egg chairs
  • Outdoor beanbag chairs

Whatever furniture you choose to decorate your small patio, just be sure it’s designed for outdoor use and made of weather-resistant materials. Otherwise, you’ll end up having to bring it inside every time there’s inclement weather. Then, just add a cute cushion, throw pillow, and a cozy blanket to make the space extra inviting and cozy.

In addition to a comfortable chair (or two), you’ll likely want to invest in a side table for your balcony. It doesn’t have to be big, but it will give you somewhere to put a drink or your phone as you relax outside your apartment.

2. Incorporate some greenery into your small balcony decor

Morden residential balcony garden with bricks wall, wooden bench and plants.

One of the easiest ways to make any space feel homier—whether inside or out—is decorating with plants. Even if you have a small balcony, you can incorporate hanging plants, vertical planters, or railing boxes to hold lush greenery and cheery flowers.

Not sure what to plant? Boston ferns and geraniums are two beginner-friendly choices that will thrive on an apartment balcony or patio. Depending on your local climate, succulents are another low-maintenance option, but they prefer warm, dry weather (after all, they come from the desert!). Pinterest also has tons of great ideas for apartment-friendly plants to kickstart the small garden and cozy balcony of your dreams.

3. Decorate your outdoor balcony with fun lights

Apartment balcony in city with grass turf and potted plants. Evening light.

You’ll be able to enjoy your small balcony space at night with the addition of outdoor lighting. String lights are a popular choice for outdoor decorating, as they come in many styles and colors, but you could also incorporate hanging lights or even floor lanterns into your design.

No electrical outlet? No problem! Look for solar-powered lights, instead. Not only can these fixtures be placed virtually anywhere, but they’re also an eco-friendly choice that won’t increase your electricity bill.

4. Spruce it up with new flooring or a rug

Cozy and sunny balcony with synthetic grass and stylish rattan corner sofa with decorative pillows and rattan coffee table

If your balcony is looking a little blah, you can make it feel fresh with the help of a floor covering. Outdoor rugs are always a great choice, as they’re low-maintenance and can help make a small outdoor space feel cozier. You can find rugs in a wide array of sizes and shapes, and there are options to suit every style, whether you’re going for a breezy bohemian feel or a more polished contemporary space.

Alternatively, you can opt for all-new flooring if you don’t like your balcony’s concrete or linoleum surface. Interlocking outdoor tiles, which you can get from IKEA or Amazon, are a renter-friendly option for your balcony or patio. They come in styles that mimic traditional decking or even faux grass, and they’re easy to install and remove as needed.

5. Make your apartment patio pet-friendly

Relaxed barefooted girl in white dress sitting in chair on balcony and holding cup of tea. Adorable brunette woman drinking coffee on terrace and looking with smile at beagle dog.

With just a few adjustments, your four-legged roommate will be able to get cozy on your apartment balcony, too. Pinterest has a lot of great pet-friendly balcony ideas that you can use for inspiration! The first thing you’ll need to do is line the railing with a mesh material to prevent your dog or cat from slipping between the bars. If there’s any chance your pet might try to jump over the railing, it’s best to keep them inside. It’s also a good idea to put down a rug so the ground doesn’t get too hot on their feet.

In terms of other pet-friendly decor choices, many animals enjoy having a patch of grass on the balcony where they can relax. You can make this possible by putting a roll of sod in a wooden frame or plastic bin. Other options for apartment balconies include a pet bed where your furry friend can nap, as well as a magnetic screen door so they can go in and out on their own.

6. Start a small balcony garden

Beautiful terrace or balcony with small table, chair and flowers

If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at gardening, it’s surprisingly easy to turn a small balcony into an herb or vegetable garden. If you have a small space, herbs like basil, thyme, mint, and parsley will grow well in a railing planter, while larger plants like tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, and peppers do well in medium-sized pots. Depending on how much room you have to make your balcony ideas come to life, you could also use an elevated garden bed to grow your favorite vegetable plants.

Just keep in mind that you’ll need to water your plants regularly—access to an outdoor hose is extremely convenient but may not be available at every apartment. You can still get the job done with a watering can, but it may take you a few trips back and forth to the sink.

7. Hang a hammock

Girl sits in her hammock on her patio with her dog.

It might not be possible to fit a hammock in a small space, but if your balcony has enough room, these hanging beds are an amazing spot to relax and unwind at the end of a long day. Some are designed to be mounted between two poles, so you’ll want to check with your landlord before you start drilling hooks into your balcony’s support posts.

However, portable hammocks can often be tied around poles, making them more feasible for apartments. Some hammocks also have freestanding frames, though these take up a lot more space than other balcony ideas.

8. Opt for a balcony table

Balcony with a lot of plants. Beautiful new outdoor furniture wooden table and chairs. White pot with green ivy on the table

If you have a truly tiny balcony with just enough space to turn around, a balcony table will be your saving grace. These unique pieces of furniture actually mount to the railing of your balcony, taking up minimal space, and many even have a fold-down design that’s out of the way when you’re not using it. A balcony table is ideal for al fresco dining, enjoying a cocktail with friends, or just working on your laptop, and it will help you make the most of a small balcony.

When you use one (or more) of these ideas for apartment balconies, you’ll be able to spend more time enjoying the great outdoors, all from the comfort of your home. Or, if decorating isn’t your forte but you still want to enjoy a beautifully designed apartment, check out Landing’s fully furnished rentals, which are all outfitted with high-quality decorations to ensure you feel at home, no matter how long you live there. Learn more about Landing today!

Camryn Rabideau

Camryn Rabideau is a freelance writer who lives in Rhode Island. She writes about a variety of lifestyle topics, including everything from interior design to pet care, and her work has appeared in publications such as Forbes, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and more. In her spare time, she runs a small homestead with an ever-growing number of animals, a sprawling vegetable garden, and a roadside farmstand.