How to Make the Most of an Apartment Patio or Balcony

If you live in an apartment with a patio or balcony, you may find it challenging to make use of the space.

Many renters do not know how to fully take advantage of these areas to help personalize a home space. However, even the smallest outdoor spaces can be transformed into functional and attractive components of the apartment. By implementing certain design techniques, you and your guests will be enjoying your patio or balcony in no time.

Many apartments have strict rules on what can and cannot be placed on a patio or balcony. Before adding any furniture or décor to an outside space, be sure to familiarize yourself with the relevant rules and regulations. Start revamping your patio or balcony today using these simple ideas for maximizing the area.

Form a Clear Vision for the Space

Begin making plans for your outdoor area by thinking about how you would like to use the space. Consider the weather conditions in your location and what activities would be conducive to the patio or balcony. Would you like to use the area for entertaining guests? Perhaps you would like to relax on your patio and read a book or drink a cup of coffee. Envision the ways you would use the area most often. The intended function of the space can help you determine what furniture and décor to place outside.

Develop a Plan of Action

After deciding on the main function of your patio or balcony, begin developing a plan for the space. Adequate preparation gives you a clear understanding of the floor plan and the steps necessary to create a functional area. By making an initial plan, you can avoid overspending or crowding the space with unnecessary furniture or decorations.

First, consider the surroundings of the area. Take note of the view, proximity to neighbors, traffic noises and other factors that could affect the area’s intended use. Keep track of the amount of sun your outdoor area gets daily. This could affect your ability to grow plants or enjoy the space during periods of intense sun exposure.

Measure the space available on the patio or balcony to give you a clear picture of what will and will not fit. You can use these dimensions for determining what furniture and other items will work well with the space.

Add Furniture and Functional Items

Once you have developed a plan for your patio or balcony, you can begin adding functional items to the space. The area can ultimately become another room in your apartment if furniture is placed strategically. Decide what furniture would be most useful for your intended purpose of the area. Additionally, consider what items will provide maximum use of the limited square footage.

Seating on a patio or balcony is almost always beneficial to increasing the use of the area. Small benches or foldable seats can be easily moved around or stored, if necessary. For larger outdoor spaces, a patio table is an excellent accessory for having meals, writing or completing everyday tasks. Outdoor couches and lounge chairs add a relaxing element to the space. However, these pieces are often large and may not be appropriate in a small space. Remember that the space on your patio or balcony is limited, so choosing the most suitable pieces of furniture is essential.

Because your outdoor area is often exposed to the elements, be sure to select durable items to place on the patio or balcony. Synthetic wicker and wrought iron are examples of materials that stand up to wind, sun and rain. Additionally, wicker and wrought iron furniture pieces are attractive and match with many styles.

By shopping in thrift and low-cost stores, you can find functional items for your patio or balcony without spending too much money. Patio furniture is also often sold at neighborhood garage sales, moving sales and on certain resale websites. With the right amount of patience and attentiveness, you may find exceptional pieces of furniture for highly discounted price. You can even use decorating apps to help you visualize different furniture pieces in a space and shop around for the best deal.

Decorate the Space

When you have placed the appropriate furniture on your patio or balcony, you can begin decorating the area. There is an endless supply of ideas available for making an outdoor space attractive. Small touches will add personality and comfort that you and your guests can enjoy.

You can add seating cushions of various colors and patterns, candles and other decorative items to create your desired atmosphere. A small blanket or rug can make the space comfortable and homey. For patios and balconies that receive a great deal of sun, an umbrella or other form of shading can bring relief on hot days.

The lighting on a patio or balcony can be both decorative and functional. Implementing lighting sources allows you and your guest to enjoy the outdoor space during the evening hours. String lights are a popular option for outdoor lighting. These lights emit a soft glow, creating a serene ambiance. Using solar powered lights is an environmentally and budget friendly option for providing light to the area.

Add Natural Beauty With Plants

There are many benefits to adding plants to an outdoor space. Flowers and other plants bring color, fragrance and texture to a patio or balcony. In addition, plants can add privacy to an area in close proximity with neighbors or traffic. Adding a trellis for vines to grow on can create a privacy barrier between you and your neighbors.

Dependent on the climate in your residential area, you may be able to grow vegetables and/or fruits outdoors. Utilizing space saving options, such as vertical and hanging planters will maximize the square footage available. If the conditions for growing fruits and/or vegetables are satisfactory, you can enjoy fresh food throughout certain seasons. Cultivating herbs is another option for growing edible plants while living in an apartment. Mint, basil, cilantro and sage are all fragrant and delicious herbs that can be grown on a patio or balcony.

Consider the amount of sun or shade your patio or balcony receives when choosing what plants to grow. Geraniums and impatiens are great flowering plants for shady outdoor areas. Bamboo, lantana and sunflowers are suitable for spaces exposed to a great deal of sun.

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