No matter what kind of apartment building you live in, units that come with their own private balcony are among the most coveted. Having a small outdoor space like a balcony for your apartment opens up a world of entertaining possibilities, from dinner parties to simply enjoying the view with your morning coffee. Our apartment balcony ideas take you through all four seasons of festivities and relaxation.
But there’s a catch: Unless you live in an area where the weather and climate are mostly the same throughout the year, you’ll need to decorate your balcony in accordance with the seasons. That doesn’t just mean fun seasonal decorations for different holidays like the Fourth of July or Christmas, but weatherizing it so the space is actually usable from installing rain protection during the rainy season to adding a safe outdoor heater during winter. Apartments that come with balconies typically fetch higher rents than other units without, so you don’t want to let it go to waste for half the year. Reclaim and fully enjoy your balcony space with these year-round apartment balcony decorating ideas.
How to decorate your apartment balcony space for all seasons
Unsure how to decorate your tiny balcony for winter so it’s both cute and cozy? Don’t have a ton of floor space but still want to add plants to your small balcony? We’ve got you covered.
For each of the four seasons, we’ve got balcony ideas for how to decorate and best use the space. That way, you can enjoy your balcony as a living space and lounge space throughout the year instead of just for a few months.
Winterize your outdoor balcony — but keep it cute at the same time — with these winter balcony decorating ideas.
Add a space heater
Set up a cozy space heater in one corner to keep things warm and toasty. If you only have a small space to work with, be careful to keep the heater far from flammable objects like curtains or outdoor rugs. For an extra charming touch, choose one of the models that feature fake logs.
If you have enough space, an outdoor heating lamp works as well.
Enclose the outdoor space to keep it warm
Use zippable plastic walls, curtains or privacy screens to keep heat in and keep the cold out by creating a contained indoor space.
This is also for safety reasons. If your balcony is open-air or snow and ice can still get into the balcony through curtains or tarp coverings, you’ll need to prevent them from building up and turning your balcony into a slippery, potentially dangerous ice zone. Keep a shovel or broom on hand as well.
Add winter plants
Instead of summertime flowers or fall cornucopias, pick out some seasonal or hardy, cold-weather-withstanding plants like miniature conifers. Around the holidays, poinsettias are another nice touch!
Add lots of cozy rugs, blankets and pillows
Gotta stay cozy while enjoying your balcony outdoor space in the winter! Cover your table and chairs, as well as couches and other patio furniture, with plenty of plush, warm throws, blankets, seat cushions and pillows. On the ground, a fuzzy outdoor rug also completes the snug, “cabin in the winter woods” aesthetic.
Light things up with candles
Add candles with seasonal scents like pine to tables and shelves, bringing a warm glow to your outdoor area. But be sure to monitor them and don’t leave them burning unattended. If you don’t feel comfortable with real candles, battery-powered ones also work great.
Make s’mores with a portable mini-firepit
Go all out on the winter season with a mini-firepit to make s’mores, fondue and other cozy foods from the comfort of your own balcony.
Celebrate the season with holiday decor
Tis the season! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah or another seasonal festivity, deck the halls (or more accurately, balcony and balcony walls), with colorful lights, wreaths, miniature trees and more. Add garlands to your balcony railings, set up a nativity scene on an outdoor table…the options go on and on!
Use a terrarium or small greenhouse to protect plants
If you want to protect plants that don’t do as well in the cold, try adding a small greenhouse or terrarium to shelter them from the elements.
Spring has sprung, and apartment balconies everywhere should be bursting with life and color! Get your outdoor space ready for the warm season and create your own outdoor oasis with these tips.
Outfit the space with plenty of plant life
Have a green thumb but live in an apartment building that only has tiny balconies? Celebrate the return of greenery by turning your balcony into your own private garden! Potted plants, hanging plants, flowers and more are all great ways to bring greenery and life to your outdoor space. Plus, they’ll all flourish in the fresh air. Just be sure to choose plants that will do well in the apartment environment.
Add hanging planters if you only have a small outdoor space
Don’t have enough square footage or floor space for tons of plants? Install plant hangers from the ceiling instead. You can also hang planters from your balcony railings.
Install a rail planter or vertical garden
Another great option for plant lovers with small balconies is to install planters that hang off your balcony railing. A railing planter won’t take up space on the floor and makes for easy watering (just make sure you’re not dripping on your neighbor down below!)
The exterior wall of your balcony is an often overlooked space when it comes to decoration and utility. Put that vertical space to use with vertical planters. Vertical planters are another easy way to have potted plants in small spaces. Vertical gardening maximizes space, holding lots of small potted plants so you can have everything from flowers to fresh herbs.
Set up furniture
Store away the cold-weather coverings in favor of colorful, warm-weather comfortable furniture like tables and chairs. If you have enough space and love spending time outside, you can even try to install a day bed in one corner so you can lounge.
At the same time, though, you don’t want to overfill the whole space. Give yourself more space to move around by choosing stylish but space-appropriate furniture like a small table or
Choose furniture that’s easily storable
With summer right around the corner, you know what that means? Parties and having friends over! Because of this, you’ll want to make sure your balcony isn’t too crowded or has too much stuff. During spring and summer parties, people can hang out on the balcony to drink, smoke or just chat. You want to have as much access to the entire space as possible so your guests aren’t crowded.
An easy way to seamlessly change the space for parties is by choosing folding furniture and stackable chairs that easily disassemble and can be stored away. Nesting tables are another great option. If you have hanging chairs or hammocks, they should be easy enough to take down for parties.
Choose weather-resistant fabrics
If you plan on leaving your balcony open to the elements during spring and summer, you want to protect your furniture and decor from rain. Choose weather-resistant fabrics or have them treated to be more water-resistant so they won’t grow mold or get discolored.
Jazz up the floor with tiles or rugs
Does the balcony have ugly or uncomfortable flooring that draws the eye, becoming a sad focal point amid all the other thoughtful interior design you’ve done? Hide flooring with colorful, patterned rugs or interlocking deck tiles for a more sophisticated, upscale look.
It’s summertime, so spend all your time outdoors on your balcony in the perfect space you created for the season.
Get your grill on
A great idea for how to enjoy your balcony in summer is by adding a grill! If space permits, stick a grill into a corner to host summertime barbecues and dinner parties. Just be sure to make sure your apartment complex allows grills on balconies, as some only permit them on a small patio area.
Add fans to beat the summer heat
Install ceiling or small table fans to keep airflow going on hot days.
Add a hanging chair to maximize room on your small balcony
Only have a small balcony space with not enough room for lots of balcony furniture? Install a hanging chair, swing or hammock to maximize floor space.
Elevate the space with tall plants
One of the best small balcony ideas for making the space seem bigger is adding the illusion of height. Lengthy palms and tall plants help the space open up, as well as make you feel like you’ve entered a literal urban jungle.
Add a festive feel with string lights
Swap out the colorful holiday lights for chic string lights to illuminate your balcony at night. Just make sure they’re intended for outdoor use. Even better: a great alternative to regular lights is eco-friendly solar string lights. That way, you don’t need to plug them in or swap out batteries.
Add new summertime decor
Break out the Independence Day decorations, watermelon-themed decor and more to help your balcony match the summertime vibe. That calls for new throw pillows, light-colored cushions and fabrics, wafting flags and banners. Have fun and get creative!
Make your balcony feel like fall in all its color-changing foliage glory with these tips.
Add a cozy rocking chair
Sit back, relax and watch the leaves change while snuggled up with a good book and hot drink in a rocking chair.
Keep things spooky with Halloween or autumnal decor
From pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns to putting a cornucopia on your balcony table, there is no end of ways you can decorate the space for fall. Wind garlands around railings, hang fake spider webs (just make sure birds won’t get caught in them), carve jack-o-lanterns and set up tons of candles for an extra spooky atmosphere.
Keep it clean
Keep a broom on hand to sweep fallen leaves and other debris
Start adding the cold weather cozies
It’s time to start breaking out the blankets, throws and snug rugs again as the days get colder.
Use our apartment balcony ideas to stay practical and stylish
Make your balcony the place to hang out and be no matter the season. And as you can see, you don’t have to be a professional interior designer to turn an open balcony into an all-season space for socializing, alone time, gardening or whatever you want to do.
Still looking for a place with an outdoor getaway built right in? Find your next home here.