young couple sitting on their small balcony

Small balcony decor ideas and inspiration

LIVE brighter | 9 MIN READ | 2019-07-25

Have a balcony (barely) built for two? That’s okay! Reasons we love balconies: they’re a space to sip morning coffee, enjoy evening meals, chat about life with friends, take in the view or just let your mind wander.

Plus, you don’t need a big balcony to make it a space you love. Even the smallest of outdoor spaces have huge potential – and with some greenery, small space furniture, and fairy lights, anything is possible. Read on for ways to transform your small balcony into a cozy, stylish oasis.

1. Get cozy with small space seating

rustic wood bench with faux sheepskin draped on top on small balcony

Image Credit: House Beautiful

Even if you have an unusual, triangular shaped balcony, there’s the perfect-sized seating for that! The time you’ll spend chatting late into the evening will make it worth searching for the best small space chairs you can find. And then from there, you can add in the bells and whistles.

Here are some little chair ideas for your little balcony:

Folding chairs: The ones you’ll find at IKEA range from $9.99 to $29.99, and are both little and portable.

A little loveseat: Loveseats can be perfect for small balconies, and extra cozy when there’s a need to squeeze three people in. Just be sure to check the measurements before buying to ensure it’ll fit!

A small bench: A bench is similar to a loveseat in that you can squeeze more people on it if you need to. The benefit to benches – they’re typically less bulky and expensive, and the options are endless – like traditional wood, reclaimed rustic wood, or vintage chic

o Tip: Add a faux sheepskin throw or blanket to your bench to warm it up a bit. 

Wooden palette DIY couch: The best part about these? They’re customizable and so easy to DIY! Stack some wooden pallets and then add outdoor cushions, a folded up thick duvet, pillows and throw blankets, or whatever you can find to up the comfy factor.

Practical poufs: There are all sorts of different poufs out there – from short and round to square to and squat. The best part is, you can mix and match, and stack or store these depending on how many guests you have.

Tall, skinny bar stools: Have limited space or a high balcony railing? These have a small footprint and sit you up higher, so you can make the most of your view.

Floor cushions: Similar to poufs, floor cushion options are aplenty. Ranging in colour, price, size and style, you can be super creative when you choose floor cushions for your balcony.

Chair types to (generally) avoid for your small balcony:

Deep seated chairs: Unless all you want is seating on your balcony, we suggest avoiding chairs with deep (and/or wide) seats that can take up a lot of space, like Barcelona chairs.

Chairs with legs that sprawl out: If the legs are angled outwards, stretching out past the actual seat (rather than being vertically straight underneath), they’re likely a space waster, like these Acapulco chairs.

Seats with small bases and large tops: Though some chairs (like Papasan chairs) have small bases, their large round tops actually make their footprint a lot larger. Chairs like these are best to avoid if you’re working with limited floor space.

2. Add a table or ottoman to pair with the chairs

small balcony with floor pillows and a foldup wooden table

Image Credit: Bored Panda

With a little balcony, options are limited when it comes to choosing tables. To start, think about whether you want a table to eat at, rest your feet on (if there’s room), or just set your beverage on, like a side table.

Here are some small balcony table ideas:

“Dining” tables –so your balcony’s small, that’s fine! There are hacks for that: 

o Like this table that hangs on your balcony railing 

o This one that folds up when you’re done with it

o An extendable leaf table that can be bigger when you need it

o Or this one that’s pretty and can be placed along a wall or in a corner to save space

Side tables – these can be tucked in the corner or placed between two chairs for drinks, candles or plants. Here are some options:

o Steel + UV and rust-resistant + lots of colour options = cute outdoor side table

o This C-shaped, teak side table disguises as a pull-up-to-eat snacks table too

o This tall, skinny metal bar table won’t take up a lot of space and is super sleek (or this one, we like them both)

o And this one has storage inside, so you’re really making the most of your square footage

Rest-your-feet tables (AKA ottomans) – the best part about foot rests for your balcony? You can set a tray on them for drinks and food too, so they’re actually multi-purpose. Here’s some small foot rests to help you achieve peak balcony relaxation:

o Technically, a decorative pouf can be a seat or a foot rest, so there’s another multi-purpose balcony hack for you!

o You can’t go wrong with an ottoman that folds up (hello, easy storing!)

o Your classic outdoor ottoman with customizable cushion options are great – but be careful with these as they can be bulkier than others

o Or you can go with an ottoman that stores things inside (like blankets, pillows, and candles) – because why not?

3. Say bye to cement with temporary balcony flooring

small balcony with temporary ikea flooring

Image Credit: The Spruce

A balcony décor element with a wow factor that doesn’t take up square footage? Flooring! Between outdoor area rugs and easy-lay (removable) tiles, there are tons of choices to enhance your apartment’s balcony. Don’t be afraid to buy multiple carpets and layer them – the layered carpet look is right on trend.

Outdoor area rugs that impress:

This faded, geometric patio rug is soft, UV protected, and has neutral colours, making it easy to incorporate into your space (the option in light grey and red is cool, too!).

This woven area rug is stain resistant and adds a rustic element. Pair it with lots of greenery and it’s a vibe.

This neutral-coloured, striped ivory sand outdoor rug is perfect for a low-key and simple balcony look.

If you’re looking for a cool pattern, check out this grey pineapple area rug. The colours are neutral, but with pineapples on it it’s fun without being too much (if you prefer more colour, this pineapple carpet is bright and out there!).

And if your space is truly tiny, an outdoor mat might be for you. Check out Wayfair for a collection of fun, quirky and colourful outdoor mats to choose from.

Outdoor temporary flooring that’s simple to install:

Click-together flooring from IKEA is affordable and easy-to-lay (and un-lay). The wood or dark grey tile options are perfect for balcony decorating on a budget (plus they’re super cute!).

o Psst: A package (about $27) includes enough pieces to cover 9 square feet.

Carpet tiles are great for mixing-and-matching. Just make sure when you’re looking around that they’re outdoor (not indoor) carpet tiles.

Astroturf or artificial grass tiles give your balcony a very natural and outdoorsy feel. Plus, there are lots of brands to choose from!  

Interlocking floor mats are perfect as a simple, small space balcony solution. There’s lots of variety to choose from and installation couldn’t be easier – it’s like a giant puzzle!

4. Set the mood with decorative outdoor lighting

small balcony with greenery and decorative string lights

Image Credit: @parvinsharifi on Instagram

Who doesn’t love fairy lights? No matter the time of year or whether they’re big or small bulbs, they add a certain something to small outdoor spaces. Wrap them around your balcony railing, string them above your head, wrap a plant pot with them, or just put them wherever they look good! Bonus if you get solar string lights – they save electricity. 

Another balcony lighting idea – hang eye-catching outdoor pendant lights. You can use them to incorporate colour, different textures and shapes to your little apartment balcony. 

Railing lanterns, wall sconces, “fake” (battery-powered) candles, and portable floor lanterns are always great outdoor lighting options, too. Feel free to get creative and mix-and-match different types of lighting.

5. Add some greenery for an added breath of fresh air

small balcony with lots of greenery and cozy furniture

Image Credit: Bored Panda

There’s nothing that makes a space feel more fresh, calm and relaxing than beautiful greenery or potted plants. The type of plants to add to your balcony depends on how much space you have or want to allocate to them. Here are some options:

A vertical garden – Square feet taken? Zero. There are tons of hacks for this – check out some here.

Herbs – Why not grow a little herb garden on your balcony? Here’s a balcony herb garden guide to help you out.

English Ivy (or another outdoor climbing plant) – A great way to add colour and décor to your space using plants is to look into outdoor climbing plants and choose one you love. They work well with a bare wall or along a balcony railing. And bonus, they add privacy!

Trees – Tall and skinny = space saved. The Spruce has a list of the best small trees for patios and balconies, and helps you through setting them up. 

Potted plants – Whether you hang them or place them on your balcony floor, many potted plants are simple to care for and are perfect for adding more colour to your space.

6. Don't forget about the bells and whistles

person's feet in a small blow up pool on their balcony

Image Credit: The Spruce

Once you have key elements and pieces of furniture added to your little balcony, you can add in the bells and whistles to make it truly a dreamy oasis. 

Here are some ideas to inspire you:

Candles – for just the right mood lighting

Pillows – to accompany any kind of seating

Blankets – faux sheepskin is always encouraged

A basket – to hold blankets and pillows

A mini BBQ – because yum! Plus, there are lots of little grill options (check to make sure your building allows this)

An ice bucket – fill it with ice before you head outside to keep your drinks cool

An umbrella – to protect yourself from the sun

Fresh flowers – because they make us happy

A kiddie pool – right? Unique and fun (if you have the space)

There you have it, all the small balcony decoration ideas that you could need to turn your tiny apartment balcony into a can’t-wait-to-get-out-there space. We have a feeling this will no longer be the least used area of your home.