If you have a balcony, you have access to an exclusive outdoor space with masses of potential. Not only is it a place to appreciate light and air, but it's also often easier to look after than a formal garden. Planner 5D is here with some of the best balcony ideas to make yours into an oasis of peace and privacy.
Whether you have a grand roof terrace or a tiny Juliet balcony that you can't even stand on, there's a way to make it look amazing. Read on to find tips to maximize privacy, solutions for weather extremes, and balcony décor ideas.
Balcony privacy ideas
Of all the parts of your house, the balcony is likely the most exposed. If you're in a busy city, you don't want to feel like you're on display - on the other hand, you still want to be able to enjoy this idyllic outside space. Putting a higher fence on the short side of the balcony offers a divide between your neighbors' area and your own without blocking too much light. Curtains and blinds are an inventive, adjustable option while installing a trellis with vines gives you that all-important connection to nature with the added bonus of privacy.
Don't underestimate the effect of excellent balcony flooring. Here are some options:
- Interlocking tiles. They're especially suited to balconies, are easy to install, and come in various materials: from wood to astroturf to rubber. Make sure you install them somewhere with a rail, as they aren't fixed to the ground and can get slippery in the rain.
- Porcelain tiles. These make your balcony feel luxurious and classy, but again, be aware that water can make them slippery.
- Concrete. Many balconies come with concrete flooring, but you don't have to cover it. You can paint it with stencils, lay an attractive outdoor rug, or stain it with the shade that best fits your style.
Whatever flooring you choose, make sure it will withstand the climate you live in. There's nothing worse than a waterlogged surface or cracked tiles from cold weather.
Looking for small balcony ideas? No problem. At Planner 5D, we're continually talking about space hacks. Multifunctional furniture is always a good idea: source a built-in bench that doubles up as storage or invest in items that can fold away. Use all the space you have available - plant a vertical garden and decorate the railings with fairy lights or small planters.
Balcony shade basics
If you want to sit on your balcony during the summer heat, protect yourself from the sun. Fabric canopies work well, as they're easy to remove and allow air and light to pass through. Choose a retractable one if your local climate only gets a few sunny days a year - you need your vitamin D the rest of the time! Choose a shade that fits with your décor, whether that's nautical stripes, cool reeds, or an elegant parasol.
Lights are essential
In the evening, your balcony is somewhere to cool down and maybe even to socialize. Make sure it's well lit. If it is covered, hang a pendant lamp for added coziness. Candles and lanterns are another firm favorite, as they're portable and provide a soft, natural light. Less space? Wrap string lights around the railing for a summery evening feel that takes up almost no room.
Indoor balcony ideas
Are you lucky enough to have a balcony or mezzanine inside your home? Don't let it go to waste. Make it a cozy place to sit and watch the activity in your home. Include comfortable seating and plants to make it feel homely.
Even if your balcony isn't actually outside, you can still feel connected to nature. You have more freedom with your balcony décor, as it doesn't need to be weatherproof. Set it up in a way you can appreciate the extra light: this room can be a living room, a place to enjoy a meal, or even a well-lit office space.
A deck offers a lot of possibilities. Usually more extensive than a typical balcony, you can include not just seating but perhaps an outdoor dining set-up, too. For added privacy, install a fabric sunshade or an attractive privacy screen.
We love natural materials! A wooden balcony is a great place to celebrate nature. Honor this gorgeous material with sustainable rattan furniture, and plenty of plants, of course.
Cozy balcony design
Just because your balcony is an outdoor space doesn't mean it can't be cozy. Make it homely by bringing the feeling of the inside, outside. As always, make sure your furniture can withstand the weather. Find comfortable fabrics that stand up to wind and rain; perhaps place an outdoor rug, a sofa, or even hang a hammock. For a relaxing space, privacy is absolutely essential - find a divider and/or a shade that allows you to relax without feeling self-conscious.
Make your balcony super contemporary. The latest trends, such as minimalism, are a great way to do this. Combine simple design with natural materials to keep your terrace clean and light. Modern doesn't have to mean sparse and unfriendly - include some cozy details such as vibrant cushions and gentle lighting.
Balcony tile ideas
If you're keen on tiling your balcony, you have two main options. Snap-together tiles come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. Otherwise, try out a more traditional porcelain tile. Just be careful, as these can get slippery.
What about railings?
Usually, apartments come with a railing installed, but this doesn't have to limit you. If you have bare metal railings, paint them, cover them with attractive weatherproof material and wrap them in string lights. If you have the freedom to install your own railings, consider glass ones to open up the space and add a modern touch. If you intend to entertain guests on your balcony, you could even (securely) attach a bar surface to the railing.
Balcony walls décor
If you have a lot of bare wall space on your balcony, decorating it can make it feel cozy. One way is by mounting a sconce light. If it is covered, you could also hang some artwork - just make sure it's safe from any nasty weather that might blow in! You could paint your wall to make it a feature or cover it with reed fencing for a low-effort, attractive and inexpensive decoration.
Juliet balcony ideas
A Juliet balcony is a tiny balcony with no space for standing or placing furniture. What it lacks in room, it makes up for in light and air. Putting chairs and a small table inside, next to it, can give an al fresco dining experience. If you're longing to have a garden, attach small planters on the outside railing.
Other inspirational design
Whatever your balcony, the best way to decorate is to assess your space, what atmosphere you want to create and be ready to adapt. Even a balcony design in an unusual shape can be effective. For example, if it is wide at one end and thin at the other, divide it into two areas: anchor the space with a seating area at the larger end. And remember our ultimate space-saving tip: use as much vertical space as possible!
What should I put on my balcony?
That depends on how much space you have. Start with the flooring, add seating and decorative elements, and lighting. If you have space, add a table!
Can I enclose my balcony?
Check your local building regulations. Otherwise, you can make it private/weatherproof in other ways.
How do you decorate a large balcony?
A large balcony might seem like a luxury, but it can be challenging to keep it uncluttered and fill the space. Perhaps designate one area for relaxing and another as an outdoor dining room. If the building regulations allow you to do so, place a barbecue. A large balcony is also an excellent alternative to a garden - large potted plants get you back to nature.
How can I make my balcony more private?
Read above to find ways to make your balcony private! Natural materials, plants, and adjustable shades are great ideas.
It doesn't take too much effort or expense to make your balcony cozy, private, and heavenly. Whatever your style, it's the perfect place to relax and appreciate fresh air from the comfort of your own home.
What's your favorite type of balcony design? Let us know below, and share your best balcony renders with us on Instagram.