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10 Small Balcony Ideas To Make The Most of Your Space

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Living in a small space can be challenging, but having a balcony provides an opportunity to create an outdoor oasis that extends your living area. Whether you have a small balcony attached to your apartment or a tiny terrace, there are plenty of ways to make the most of this space. To help you, we have ten small balcony ideas that you can use to maximise your outdoor space. From space-saving furniture to balcony screening ideas, these small balcony ideas will inspire you to design a beautiful and practical balcony that suits your lifestyle and needs. So, whether you want to create a private outdoor oasis or a place to entertain friends and family, these small balcony ideas will help you make the most of your limited outdoor space.

1. Create A Multi-Functional Space

Searching for specific small balcony ideas is all good, but a small balcony is best used as a multi-functional space. This way, you can make the most of your balcony without sacrificing any outdoor space or time. So, consider your balcony’s multiple uses and how you could implement them in that area. For example, you could add spaces for lounging and dining if you have the room. 

2. Make Your Balcony Private

Spending time outdoors is beneficial in many ways, and if a balcony is the only garden you have, you should make the most of it. However, a terrace isn’t always the most private of spaces. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to ban prying eyes from your balcony. So, make use of these balcony screening ideas to give even the smallest of balconies more privacy:

  • Hanging outdoor curtains
  • Adjustable free-standing umbrellas
  • Faux ivy screens
  • Add privacy screens to balcony railings
  • Grow evergreen climbers for natural privacy
  • Adjustable outdoor shades

3. Provide Ample Seating Space On Your Balcony

seating options for small balcony ideas

A balcony is one of the best places to chill out and relax, so you must prepare it for that! However, if you’re looking for small balcony ideas, you’re likely worried about space. Fortunately, there are plenty of compact but comfortable seating options that you can add to your balcony to provide ample seating. For example, you could include foldable seating options, thin metal seat designs or space-saving angel chairs for extreme luxury and comfort. 

4. Mix Up Styles In Your Design

Mixing design styles and colours is one of our favourite balcony ideas since it adds character and uniqueness to the space. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with your styles! For example, if you love the minimalist patterns and colours of the Scandinavian design ideals but love the accessories of Art Deco, include a balance of both on your balcony for an eclectic finish.

5. Give Your House Plants A Home

small balcony ideas with house plants

A balcony is the best place to give your house plants a home. Not only will it ensure they have plenty of sunlight, but including your house plants in your balcony ideas will also brighten up the space. You can add a couple of your favourite house plants as finishing touches or dedicate the majority of your balcony space to your plants to create your own mini jungle garden.

Read our easy house plant care guide to help you get your balcony garden started

6. Create A Vertical Garden

If you’re short on floor space but still want to incorporate plants into your balcony design, a vertical garden may be what you need. As the name suggests, a vertical garden is where you grow your plants vertically, often using a wall or trellis as support. A vertical garden is perfect for small balconies, as it allows you to maximise your space and add a touch of nature without taking up too much room.

7. Choose The Right Colour Theme For Your Small Balcony Ideas

There is an overwhelming amount of colour themes that you could choose for your small balcony ideas. However, as you’re working with a small space, you’ll want colours that make the area feel open rather than claustrophobic and closed-in. A minimalist design approach may suit, with neutral shades like black and white and pops of colour through potted plants and added accents. On the other hand, you may want to add more colour with pastel shades, which won’t shrink the space. 

8. Illuminate Your Fresh Small Balcony Ideas

If you plan on using your balcony well into the long summer nights, you’re going to need to add some lighting. Plus, the right lighting can make that small space feel bigger. So, consider the best lighting options for your small balcony ideas. If you don’t have floor space, you can go for string lights or festoon lights, whereas if you do, you could include floor lanterns or pendant lights. Here are some more balcony lighting ideas for you to consider:

  • Wall lights
  • Cordless lights
  • Solar powered lights
  • Trailing lights
  • Diffused lights

9. Extend Your Indoor Space

balcony seating ideas with wooden table and chairs

No matter how many small balcony ideas you go through, the small space can end up feeling suffocating. To stop this from happening, you could use your balcony as an extension of your indoor space. By adding elements that connect your balcony to the interior design of your home, it will feel less like a separate part of your home and more of an addition to the space. 

10. Consider Your Pets In Your Small Balcony Ideas

If you’re a pet owner, considering your furry friend in your balcony ideas can be a great way for you and your pet to enjoy some time together. However, make sure your balcony is secure and without gaps to keep your pet safe. Additionally, be sure to provide your pet with access to fresh water and a shaded area where they can escape from the sun. As long as you consider and prepare for potential safety hazards, you can create a comfortable outdoor space for both you and your pet to enjoy.

The Best Balcony Plants For Your Small Balcony Design Ideas

small balcony ideas for a small garden

Having a limited amount of space does not have to restrict you, especially when it comes to small balcony garden ideas. In fact, there are plenty of balcony plants that will bring character to your balcony without too much maintenance. Here are our top balcony plants that you should consider:

  • Japanese Maple
  • Strawberries
  • Lobelia
  • Lavender
  • Hydrangeas
  • Bamboo
  • Jasmine

Make The Most of Our Small Balcony Ideas

Although a small balcony may seem like a rough deal, it doesn’t have to limit your creativity when it comes to designing. With the right balcony ideas, you can create an inviting space that provides a place to relax, entertain, or grow plants. So whether you have a small balcony attached to your apartment or a tiny terrace in your home, we hope that these small balcony ideas will inspire you to make the most of your outdoor space. 

FAQs

What is the smallest usable balcony size?

The minimum usable size for a balcony can vary depending on a few factors such as its intended use, local building codes, and personal preference. However, in general, a balcony should be at least 4 feet deep and 6 feet wide to be considered minimally functional and usable. This size allows for enough space to accommodate a small table and a few chairs or a potted plant. Keep in mind that these dimensions may not be suitable for all types of balconies, and it’s always best to check with your local building codes and regulations before building or using a balcony.

What is a small balcony called?

There are several different names for a small balcony depending on the region and context. For example, in French and Spanish architecture, a small balcony is called a ‘balconnet’ or ‘balconcillo’ respectively, which both translate to ‘little balcony.’ On the other hand, a small balcony may also be referred to as a ‘Juliet balcony,’ named after the balcony in Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ which is a small, shallow balcony with a protective railing but no outdoor space for standing or seating. However, there is no specific name for a small balcony in English, and the term ‘small balcony’ or ‘tiny balcony’ is often used to describe it.

How do you use a small balcony?

A small balcony is a great space for relaxation, entertainment, or even growing plants. Here are some ideas on how to use a small balcony:

  • Create a cosy seating area with a small set of a table and chairs. 
  • Make a balcony garden with hanging and wall-mounted planters or pots.
  • Transform your small balcony into extra storage space by storing items such as bicycles, outdoor gear, or gardening tools out there.
  • If you work from home, you can use your small balcony as a quiet and peaceful outdoor workspace.
  • If your small balcony allows it, you can set up a mini-grill and cook outdoors.
  • Transform your small balcony into a cosy reading nook by adding a comfortable chair, some cushions, and a small table for your book and a cup of tea.

What do you put on a narrow balcony?

When it comes to decorating and styling a narrow balcony, you must consider the space available to you. As such, you want to choose functional, compact and visually appealing furniture pieces and decorations. So, here are some ideas on what to put on a narrow balcony:

  • Folding furniture
  • Wall-mounted planters
  • A vertical garden
  • Hanging lights
  • Retractable awning

Do I need planning permission for a small balcony?

Whether you will need planning permission for a small balcony or not can vary depending on a few factors, including the proposed size of the balcony, its location, and the local regulations in your area. However, in many cases, a small balcony may fall under permitted development rights, which means that you do not need planning permission to build it.

On the other hand, if your property is a listed building or located in a conservation area, you may need planning permission regardless of the size of the balcony. Additionally, you may also need to seek planning permission if your balcony would overlook your neighbour’s property or public areas.

It’s always best to check with your local planning authority to determine whether you need planning permission for a small balcony. They can provide you with guidance and advice on the regulations and requirements that apply to your specific situation.

Sources

Mind.org.uk. (2021). How nature benefits mental health. Mind, available at: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/nature-and-mental-health/how-nature-benefits-mental-health/ [Accessed 4 Apr. 2023].

Anna Sharples

Office and marketing manager for Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs, who sell a range of high-quality tub chairs, accent chairs and more.

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