15 July, 2015
Look around, it’s easy to see the urban landscape booming all around us. Quaint neighborhoods are becoming busy epicenters, and more and more people long for a metropolitan lifestyle.
Apartment living has a lot of perks. It puts you walking distance from almost anything you need, it creates close relationships with neighbors, and it can be an affordable way to live in the city. But, apartments often lack extra space for patio furniture that ground-floor homes afford us.
If you live in an apartment and have given up on your patio space, it’s time to reopen those sliding doors with these space-maximizing techniques. There are lots of tricks and petite patio pieces that are designed to open up your outdoor space and create a cozy oasis you’ll love to escape to.
Here are a few outdoor decorating ideas for small patios that won’t overcrowd your lovely little balcony.
1. Give Yourself a Place to Sit
Because your patio space is small, outdoor chairs should be the focal point. If you can’t relax and enjoy your balcony, what’s the point?
This will most likely be the largest piece of furniture out there, so finding a multifunctional piece is a plus. An ottoman that doubles as a coffee table, or extra storage that masquerades as a bench are perfect pieces to put on your small balcony.
Also, find see-through furniture to maximize your space by giving the illusion of more room.
Small, iron bistro furniture or a glass table create more transparency within your space, letting the eye flow between pieces instead of getting stopped by bulky furniture.
2. Bring the Green
Plants are essential to any outdoor space, but they especially liven up apartment patios. Adding some fun foliage to your 10th floor balcony can create a revitalizing sanctuary no matter your elevation.
If you’re worried about potted plants overtaking your space, try vertical gardening. Hanging plants on the wall maximizes your vertical space and leaves the floor open for furniture. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, there are plenty of desert plants that require little maintenance and will really bring your balcony to life, like ferns, calla lily flowers and the moon cactus.
3. Create Some Privacy
It’s great to be close to your neighbors, but sometimes you need some alone time. Creating privacy on your balcony will help you relax and keep out noise and light pollution.
By hanging a simple tapestry or adding a folding room divider, you can create a temporary wall that can be used or removed when needed. For something a little more permanent that will still let the breeze flow through, put up a trellis latticework or bamboo screen.
4. Let There Be Light
Lighting is crucial to decorating any space, your balcony included. When using such a compact area, the ambiance you create is essential to giving that room the atmosphere you desire.
Again, maximizing vertical space is key. Hang battery-powered LED lights or twinkling Christmas lights around your patio walls to give your balcony a mystical feel. Imitate fireflies with lighting to immediately transport you to the midwestern countryside or hang pulsating lanterns for that campfire feeling.
5. Have Room to Sip Your Coffee
In a small space, you’re twice as likely to knock over that delicious cocktail you just made if it’s sitting on the floor. Protect your beverages, phones, and books from getting trampled by having an easily accessible spot to put these things when you relax outside.
This is where an outdoor bistro furniture set comes in handy, but there are a few other options for adding a table to a tiny space. Nesting tables take up a small corner when stored, but can be pulled out to create multiple table tops and even a foot stool. Or you can build a folding table into the wall, which can fold out at a 90-degree angle when you need extra space.
6. Mirror, Mirror On the Wall
Mirrors are a great decorating trick used in small spaces inside or outside. The reflective surface maximizes your visual space, so it gives any room the appearance of being bigger.
Hang small mirrors to reflect surrounding greenery or larger ones opposite your busiest corner to extend the feeling of your sitting area. Eclectic mirrors that reflect your lighting can also brighten up a dark corner.
7. Get a Rug
Finding the right fabric to cover your balcony floor can make or break the space. A rug ties the interior and exterior of your apartment together, making it feel more comfortable and homey when you’re outside.
Rugs can cover up less-than-perfect balcony floors and keep the area clean for walking out with bare feet. The rug can also work as a great accent piece. If you need to add a pop of color or want to introduce a fun, lively pattern, a rug is a great way to do it. Just make sure to buy a rug designed for the outdoors, you will need something that can withstand the rain and sun.
8. Go For Texture
To liven up your balcony, find interesting, comfortable textures to fill the space. A velvet pillow or fluffy throw will beckon you outside so you can take full advantage of your outdoor space.
A soft blanket to cuddle up with when the sun goes down is necessary for any outdoor sanctuary, but make sure none of your comfy textiles are permanent fixtures. You will need to take cushions and cover-ups inside during bad weather, so make it easy for yourself and choose textured pieces that are light to carry.
9. Be Bold, But Sparing
The trick to decorating small spaces is to be minimalistic with materials, but bold with items like outdoor accent tables. A collection of small items make a bitty balcony feel cramped and overloaded. But a select few larger items with bold statements open up the space and bring it to life.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with bright colors or interesting centerpieces. Keep micro-decorating to a minimum by eliminating small items on the floor or along the railing. Let the furniture speak for itself instead of bringing in themed trinkets to define the space.
Creating a dreamy, outdoor space can really open up your apartment and break up the monotony of skyscrapers and busy streets. You’ll quickly find yourself rushing home to your outdoor oasis for some rejuvenation and tranquility from the busy urban landscape.
If you haven’t been spending time on your balcony this summer, you are missing out on what could be your favorite space in the house. Add value and personality to your apartment with a beautiful balcony you’ll never want to leave.