Small balcony: eight design and decoration ideas
Making the most of small balconies. Planning is everything here.
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
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 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
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
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
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.