Small balcony: eight design and decoration ideas

A small balcony that has been cosily furnished with a seat cushion, plants and a string of lights can be seen. With this design, it becomes an extension of the adjoining room.
Whether for sunbathing or as a place to enjoy balmy summer evenings with friends: we show you eight ideas on how you can make the most of your small balcony.

Making the most of small balconies. Planning is everything here.

A small balcony with a wicker chair and a corner table can be seen. Flowerpots with plants adorn the railing.
A spot to relax or an outdoor dining room? First of all, you should ask yourself what you mainly want to use your small balcony for. Then it will be easier for you to find the right concept and the right furniture and develop your ideas for your small balcony.

You need ideas for your small balcony. First of all, you should ask yourself what you mainly want to use your small balcony for. To hang out with friends? To sunbathe and relax? Or to grow flowers and vegetables? These questions play an important role in how you furnish for your small balcony. You should also design it in a uniform style to make your balcony look more harmonious. Limit yourself to two colours, such as white and grey or black and red, when choosing colours for furniture, flowerpots and other items. The floor should be a darker colour than the sides; this will make your balcony look bigger.

Sun protection also for narrow balconies

You do not have enough room on your balcony for a parasol? A DIY pergola or a partial screen provide a remedy and are particularly space-saving. An even simpler solution is a parasol holder that you attach directly to the balcony railing, so that even conventional parasols only extend partially into your balcony. If you live in your own home, you can also mount an awning or a sunshade sail on the wall of your house. In any case, you should first consult with the owner and the neighbours and, if necessary, obtain the relevant official permits before making any structural changes to a property.

Save space with a vertical garden

Two planter boxes in which different plants grow are attached to a balcony railing.
Planter boxes on the balcony railing are just one way you can create a vertical garden. Hanging pots, plant shelves or trellises are also suitable for creating a small flower and plant paradise in a small space.

Who says that a garden always needs to be perfectly horizontal, anyway? If you think up, will you find completely new possibilities. Plants can be grown wonderfully in raised beds or in railing planters on the balcony. Small greenhouses or plant racks in which vegetables or flowers grow on several levels at once are an even more efficient use of space. If you want to have a little more personal touch, you can build a hanging garden out of rain gutters. With hanging planters you can also use the balcony ceiling for your gardening work, and trellises with climbing plants can adorn the sides of the balcony. You can set different priorities when selecting plants: flowers and Mediterranean herbs look good and give off a lovely scent, while freshly picked tomatoes, lettuces and strawberries add a special something to your meals.

Mats and fabrics as privacy screens: protection from prying eyes and blowing wind

A privacy screen made of reed mats is attached to the railing of a small balcony.
Reed and raffia mats on balcony railings protect against prying eyes, protect you from the wind and also exude a summery charm. However, fabric panels are just as suitable for your own personal style.

A privacy screen not only keeps out prying eyes, but also the wind. You can use natural materials or textile solutions. Mats made of raffia, bamboo or reed are a real classic example for shielding on balcony railings. You can also attach fabric panels, which are tied to the railing. Vertically mounted sunshade sails look good on open balcony sides, while balcony fans are a space-saving solution above low balcony walls.

Plants as privacy screens: greenery while creating more privacy

Plants can have a dual function on your balcony: as decoration and a natural privacy screen. Flowers such as flowering clematis, trumpet vine or jasmine can grow up a trellis, in addition to ivy. With grasses such as silvergrass, Japanese sedge or feather grass, you can create natural screening with greening plants on your balcony by growing them in planter boxes. If you have enough space on your balcony floor for planters, you can also grow Chinese silver grass, giant feather grass or bamboo in them. Or you can just build your own plant rack from a pallet that both looks good and gives you more privacy.

The floor: down to earth or knock on wood

Brown wooden floorboards were laid as flooring on a balcony. On it are balcony furniture and potted plants.
Wooden or fabric flooring is an important design element that makes your balcony feel cosier and modern.

You should choose a suitable flooring for it if you want to turn your balcony into a cosy ‘outdoor room’. Use the type and colour of the floor in the adjoining room as a guide. This makes your balcony look like an extension of the room and fits in better. Wooden floorboards or composite wood tiles quickly create a summery atmosphere. However, you should clean and care for them properly so that they stay beautiful for a long time. Outdoor carpeting or artificial turf is less demanding in terms of maintenance and make your balcony cosier.

Compact and flexibly furnished

A folding chair and a folding wooden table stand on a balcony whose railing is lined with planter boxes and flowers.
Folding chairs and tables offer the advantage that you can set them up quickly for your guests and put them away again afterwards. But you can also set up a large lounge chair if you use your small balcony more often on your own.

If you mainly want to sunbathe and relax on your small balcony, it is best to set up a lounge chair or deckchair there. When friends come to visit, beanbag chairs or trendy seat boxes are flexible additions. However, if you regularly want to sit on your balcony with others, folding furniture is the right choice because it is more comfortable and easy to put away afterwards. If you often need a storage surface on the balcony, we recommend buying a space-saving corner table or a wall-mounted folding table. If you still have some space left, you can also build a cool bar out of pallets for the next balcony party.

Lights add charm to your balcony

A string of lights is attached to a balcony railing, giving off a warm light.
Put your balcony in the right light: with fairy lights, paper lanterns and other lanterns, you can create a cosy atmosphere for balmy summer evenings.

The right lighting makes balconies cosy on balmy summer nights. To do so, combine basic lighting with the subdued light of paper lanterns, fairy lights and other lanterns. This creates a contrasting play of light and shadow. If you do not have a power socket for basic lighting outside, try a battery-powered option or – even better – solar-powered lights, which are more sustainable. If you are interested in sustainability, check out our sustainable DIY projects.  A little DIY tip for a lantern with holiday feeling: Fill some old cucumber jars with sand and a few shells and place a large candle inside. This creates an atmospheric ambience, even on small balconies.