If you live in an apartment or condo, your balcony is a precious commodity. While apartment living definitely has its perks, the lack of outdoor space is probably one of its biggest downfalls. Research has shown that spending regular time outdoors has some great physical and mental health benefits. Without a yard, though, it can be a challenge to get that much needed fresh air and vitamin D without a lot of effort. Fortunately, we've rounded up some stylish and comfort-enhancing ideas for updating your small outside area. Here are six ways to spruce up your balcony and turn it into an outdoor space you can actually enjoy. From aesthetics to convenience, your time outside will be much more pleasant!
Plant a Potted Vegetable Garden
There's little that can compare to having fresh, organic herbs and veggies at your disposal while you're cooking. You probably thought a vegetable garden was out of the question when you signed up for the apartment life, though, didn't you? Never fear! There are actually a ton of herbs and veggies that will flourish and produce wonderfully in planters and pots, right on your balcony. Tomatoes are probably the most popular veggie to grow in pots, but you can also grow peppers, leafy greens, and plenty of herbs successfully, right outside your sliding door. The best part? Weeds and pests will be super minimal in the raised, controlled environment. Imagine¡ you can step out onto your balcony and snip off some cilantro for your homemade salsa in a snap!
Invest in a Sun Shade Sail
If you're going to spend extended periods of time on your balcony, which we definitely encourage, you'll want to make sure you are protected from the sun. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends shading yourself during mid-day hours when UV rays are the most intense. You'll not only want to avoid sunburn and other harmful effects of extended sun exposure, but if you're planting a potted vegetable garden, some of your veggies will want some occasional shade. For example, leafy greens do really well in shade with minimal direct sunlight. Check out our selection of shade sails which can be anchored and placed at the perfect angle on your balcony to protect you from those harmful UV rays.
Privacy can be a struggle in cramped complexes. Many apartment dwellers share close quarters with neighbors and your balcony might be flush up against your neighbor's. That will certainly make your outside time less appealing. A privacy shield is a great way to protect your balcony from the view of others, and there are several options available. You could go with a trusty outdoor curtain which would add a bit of a romantic and wistful feel. You could also opt for a sturdier and more permanent option like a privacy screen or an ivy hedge. Check out our options for your perfect privacy solution so you can enjoy some undisturbed alone time outdoors!
Opt for Some Artificial Turf
Balcony floors are traditionally an eyesore, and they aren't too comfortable either. You can make your feet happier and cozy up your balcony floor. You can certainly use a throw rug, which would certainly look lovely and be super soft on your toes, but it might be a bit of a pain to clean and maintain. A great option for your balcony's floor is using artificial turf. Not only is it softer on your feet than the concrete or wood floor, but it also gives the appearance of real grass to enhance the feel of your oasis. Artificial turf requires very little cleaning or maintenance and it's especially great for children and pets!
Get the Right Furniture
Now comes an important aspect. Your balcony's furniture is crucial to your comfort and enjoyment. You may be tempted to go the cheaper route and opt for standard lawn furniture, but here's our advice: Think comfort! If your balcony can fit it, opt for some cozy outdoor furniture with sturdy construction and luscious cushions. Then, round out the look of your set up with a coffee table, end tables, house plants, or even a breakfast nook if possible. Your private oasis should reflect your own style and flare!
Install a Fire Pit
There's nothing like a mesmerizing fire to calm your nerves and take away every care in the world. It may be a bit tricky, but there are many fire pit products that are compact and safe for balcony use. You will want to check your lease agreement, association contract, and local regulations before splurging on this decadent piece, but if it's possible to opt for a fire pit, do it! You won't regret it in the slightest. You'll feel like you're relaxing around the campfire, roasting s'mores and telling ghost stories... only without the threat of bears.
Sit Back and Enjoy Your Balcony!
As a society, we spend too much time indoors. We work under fluorescent lights, we eat in cramped dining rooms, and we spend many weekends stuffed up in air conditioned, heat-controlled homes. If you live in a shared building like an apartment or condo, you may spend even more of your time inside simply out of convenience. But you don't have to settle for recycled air and artificial light! Dial up the outdoor coziness by sprucing up your balcony and taking advantage of your precious outdoor space. When your balcony is inviting, you'll find that you'll just want to do everything outdoors, from working to eating. You'll wonder why you didn't spruce up your balcony sooner!