How to turn your apartment balcony into a dreamy escape
After a long, dark winter, there’s no better feeling than finally getting to stretch out on your patio and soak up those SPF-filtered sun rays when summer rolls around. However, if your outdoor space doesn’t give you all that much space to actually stretch out on, you may be in need of some creative design intervention.
Apartment balconies, condo patios, and all the compact spaces in-between have major outdoor oasis potential — you just need to get past the builder-basic finishes and what’s left of your overwatered potted plants. We’ll show you that with a few simple touches your tiny outdoor space can transform into a dreamy, lush escape.
Before you start shopping, we recommend carefully considering how you like to use your space. Are you all about that alfresco dining, or are you strictly into open-air reading and lounging? Not all smaller balconies and patios will have space for everything you like to do outside, so take the time to really think about what’s most important to you and the main function(s) of your space.
It’s cool and all to look at and admire a pretty space, but the fun ends when you don’t have anywhere to actually sit back and relax. No matter the size of your outdoor area, we promise you have room for some functional and beautiful seating.
If you love the abundance of an outdoor sofa, our Onya is the perfect petite pick. Measuring 63.5 inches long (just over five feet, or one Dolly Parton), it’s one of our most compact outdoor sofa selections. Made with resin wicker, it’ll definitely make you feel like you’re on vacation — no matter where you’re located. Pair it with the matching outdoor lounge chair if you’ve got the space, or just add a side table to ensure you’ve got a spot to stash your summertime beverage of choice.
Depending on the size of your balcony or patio, a small-scale sectional like the Ora could also solve your lounging needs. The all-in-one piece can fit snugly into a corner, offers plenty of seating and napping possibilities, and doesn’t take up the space that two separate sofas would.
If your summertime dreams include brunch on your balcony or late-night dinners under the stars, a small-space-friendly dining table is probably on your wish list.
Perfect for up to four people, the Atera gives you enough space for all of your dining needs, but won’t take up your entire patio. If you have a little bit more space, the Lagora Dining Table gives you more elbow room while maintaining a compact footprint. Both of these tables can be used both indoors and outdoors, giving you the ultimate in double-duty dining.
Armless dining chairs like the Lagora Dining Chair or the Laka can help save space while providing a comfortable spot to sit. Or, if you’ve got a classic long and narrow apartment balcony, placing a bench like the Otessa or Brolla along the end or side of your space adds major design interest and texture — while providing flexible seating options.
Whether your apartment balcony or patio space has built-in lighting or not, you’ll want to dial up the ambiance with additional lighting sources for that ethereal, dreamy escape feel.
Start by adding a standing and hanging lantern, like the Bori, to your space. This larger piece will set the stage and act as an initial focal point, while providing an enchanting glow.
Once you have a Bori Lantern or two around your space, start to layer your lighting sources. You can add the matching smaller Bori to a table, or mix things up with a cluster of Vezda Lanterns. Made with synthetic wicker, these lanterns come in a variety of colors and sizes so you can choose the ones that speak most to your outdoor space and style.
An outdoor rug can take a basic patio or balcony and instantly elevate it to “dreamy escape” status. There’s just something about the coziness a rug can bring, not to mention the way it can make an outdoor space feel put-together and as thoughtfully designed as its indoor counterparts.
An outdoor rug such as the Redondo is also great for covering up any unsightly concrete or ‘80s vinyl decking that you haven’t gotten around to replacing — or that you’re stuck with in a rental suite. Taking a condo balcony from blah to beautiful can be as simple as unrolling the outdoor rug of your choice.
Plants and Decor
Once you have your larger pieces, it’s time to complete the look with plants and additional decor. While your apartment balcony might not have Martha Stewart-level farming acreage, there are still ways you can bring lush and vibrant greenery to your space.
Take some planters such as the Tuvas, fill them with your greenery of choice, and group them around your balcony or patio wherever you notice any bare spots. To really bring the dreamy escape feel to any geographic location, tall and leafy plants help add privacy — as well as drown out any noise pollution. If you’re an aspiring chef, or you just like adding a sprig of rosemary to an icy cold gimlet, one of the smaller Tuva Planters is also the perfect spot to grow fresh herbs for your culinary creations. We recommend researching the best container garden plants and herbs for your area so you can find easy-to-care for choices that will last through every season.
In addition to the necessary greenery, an outdoor oasis can always use an extra dose of texture and softness. Add a few throw pillows such as the Sablon Set to give yourself a dash of luxury, as well as adding even more design interest. Finally, top the look off with a sleek and safe patio umbrella like the Paras to give you that all-important protection from the sun — as well as privacy from any neighboring balconies above.
The beauty of an outdoor escape is that it can be anything you want it to be. If you’re into maximalist abundance, go for it. If calming minimalist vibes are more your thing, there are outdoor pieces to suit your style. No matter the size or location of your outdoor space, your dreamy escape is wherever you’re able to relax, unwind, and do whatever it is that makes you feel your best. And that is pretty darn dreamy.