5 clever ways to upscale a small balcony

Balcony (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Whether you enjoy relaxing outdoors, working from home or al-fresco dining, balconies can make the ideal setting. And even if you lack a large backyard or outdoor space, there are clever ways to maximize and upscale a small balcony. 

In fact, small balconies are often ignored as either a storage space, or an unused part of the property. However, by strategically placing soft furnishings, or tropical plants, you can easily transform a drab, cold-looking balcony into a stylish, relaxing retreat. 

What’s more, you’ll still be saving on valuable square footage, without it looking cluttered! So, if you want to spruce up your tiny space, here are some big ways to upscale a small balcony.

Plus, here are 7 clever ways to upcycle wooden pallets in your yard.

1. Lay down flooring 

Balcony with fake grass

Balcony with fake grass (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Balconies tend to have concrete flooring, which is often cold and unappealing. So why not bring the indoors out by laying down attractive flooring? Luckily, there are plenty of options to suit your lifestyle and budget. 

One option is hardwood interlocking floor tiles that adds style and character to balconies. These snap-and-lock tiles such as Hardwood Interlocking Patio Deck Tiles ($67, Amazon), can be easily installed on top of concrete, wood, pavers or any other solid surface, and are weather/rot resistant. In addition, these are designed with the slats draining water fast to keep your floors dry — handy in rainy conditions. 

If you don’t want wooden tiles, you can also opt for artificial grass to add an outdoorsy feel. Astroturf carpets such as Artificial Grass Turf Lawn ($42, Amazon), literally roll out onto your floor, and can be cut to your required measurements. Not only will this look and feel realistic, but add a pop of greenery to your balcony. 

Another popular option is choosing one of the best outdoor rugs that can really uplift your balcony in seconds. Consider what size you need first. Before you buy, it's essential to measure up your outdoor space to know the right dimensions. This will avoid ending up with an overwhelming rug too large for the space, or an undersized one. 

2. Create a vertical garden 

Living wall in garden

Living wall in garden (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Outdoor plants are another great way to upscale your balcony, and turn it into a lush oasis. And if you lack space to display the best balcony plants to grow on a balcony, you can always grow a vertical garden instead. 

Making use of walls or creating modular/tiered planters, are easy ways to grow a garden to suit small balconies. Ideas include creating a living wall planter, wooden hanging wall planters, trellis, or tiered/modular planters that can be moved around the balcony.These are great ways to grow and display your colorful flowers, veggies or even herb garden.

What’s more, if you wanted a low-maintenance balcony, or not particularly greenfingers, you could opt for faux plants that look just as good. For more tips, check out how to make your fake plants look more real, and impress your guests.  

3. Create a functional seating area 

White hammock chair on balcony

White hammock chair on balcony (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Comfortable seating is essential for any balcony, but make sure it’s practical for your small space. Multipurpose benches placed in the corner can double up as storage for your cushions, warm throws or any other accessories. These are usually made from wicker/rattan, wood or durable resin, and come in different sizes to fit your space. 

Outdoor boxes like this Patio Tree Outdoor Deck Storage Box ($159, Amazon), are waterproof, heavy-duty and weather resistant. Not only do they offer valuable storage, but make a stylish addition to your balcony decor. You can accessorize with vibrant, plush cushions and warm throws to keep cozy — and swap out the colors to match the seasons.  

Alternatively, you can opt for modular/corner seating, or you can always invest in a hammock chair for those holiday vibes! 

4. Folding furniture 

Table on a balcony

Table on a balcony (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you have limited balcony room, investing in folding tables or chairs can free up precious space. This makes it easier to sit or dine comfortably without feeling too cramped. Plus, these are easy to use, and store away when not in use. 

You can also opt for folding circular tables to save space. Simply spruce up a table with a nice tablecloth, vase of flowers and colorful tableware to make the most out of al fresco dining!  What’s more, you can install a balcony bar table for railings, which are also handy for those summer gatherings!  

5. Solar lighting

String lighting on balcony

String lighting on balcony (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Once the sun goes down, you can set the ambiance with the best solar lights. From string lights hung around your railings to decorative lanterns, there are plenty of options available that will make all the difference to your space. 

These Brightech Ambience Pro Outdoor String Lights ($21, Amazon), will make your balcony look like an outdoor bistro. Designed to look like retro Edison-style lights, these string lights are ideal for creating a warm, gentle glow in the evenings. What’s more, solar-powered lights won't impact your electric bill, since they spend the entire day storing up energy from the sun — so it’s a win-win! 

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Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!