A lot of people dream of having an outdoor space where they can relax and unwind after a long day. While it’s easy to decide what to do with a backyard or a porch, city dwellers usually have to work with balconies and rooftops. And when the size presents an issue, many small balconies end up unused or serve as a storage area.
However, you can still decorate that small outdoor space and turn it into a cozy tiny balcony garden with some easy ideas and find serenity from the urban chaos. So, if you want to make your private outdoor oasis in the middle of the busy city, here are some suggestions on how to do it.
Decide how to organize the space
Limited space means that you have to organize your small balcony space in a way that will be both agreeable for you and your plants. Today, there are all sorts of ways to hang plants so that they occupy an optimal amount of space and still make the area verdant and flourishing. Pay attention to the amount of sunlight your balcony gets during the day since that will play a role in where to place the plants.
First of all, define what kind of oasis you want and whether it will be just for you or it will be a place where you want to entertain a couple of guests. For example, if you need more free space around the seating area, then consider hanging the plants on the walls or from the ceiling. Build a small mosaic of succulents in different colors or place the pots on small shelves installed along the whole area.
Install an awning
If you don’t have an awning on your balcony, then this is the time to install one so you can enjoy the space whenever you want – rain or sunshine. There are all sorts of affordable solutions on the market, from retractable shades to usual garden parasols that you will have to remove when the cold sets in. But also, you can use some other ways to create shade that will bring even more greenery onto your small balcony.
Namely, create a roof where you will allow vines to grow and thus create dense green cover during summer when the sun is the strongest. You can easily build natural canopy with some wire, rope, wood or any other material which is easy to manipulate to create a base for vines. There is a variety of vines which blossom like Chinese wisteria or ‘Tangerine Beauty’ crossvine which will bring scents and colors into your oasis.
Consider investing in floor pillows
If you want to increase the coziness level, then opt for floor pillows of different sizes you can use to seat or sprawl. These come in all sorts of designs from classic rectangular to those more resembling oriental decorative accessories like round or oval. Also, find the patterns and colors that will go well with your plants and overall exterior design in order to avoid tackiness and overabundance of details.
Moreover, hang some transparent curtains around the pillow area and surround yourself with some tall plants, like horsetail grass or bamboo. This will create a sense of privacy that you need to recharge, study or simply hang out with your friends in a comfy environment. Add a few blankets onto the pillows to create an even more inviting ambiance and encourage yourself to use the space even when it’s chilly or rainy outside.
Add a small seating set
Probably the easiest but equally charming way to decorate your small balcony is to put a modest seating set among the plants and simply enjoy the view. A table with two chairs will be an ideal spot for morning coffee or afternoon snacks. If you pick the models which are foldable, you can remove them and make space for a yoga mat or couple of cushions to lie down.
Furthermore, you can surround yourself with plants from all sides and place a short coffee table with some stools or pillows to sit on. However, if you want to really indulge yourself, then a lounge chairs with a side table will definitely introduce a dash of luxury into your small balcony. Additionally, a retractable table and chairs mounted on the wall will also be a great way to make the most out of limited space and create room for plants.
Create a living wall
There are many ways to put plants on the walls of your small balcony, but if you want to achieve dense greenery, then you have to put some more effort and patience. A living wall is perfect for those who want to see their small balcony in full green mode without having to use a lot of pots and planters. Basically, you will need to build a wall panel out of wire or rope so the plant you place underneath can climb up.
There are some varieties of these climbing plants which may not even need the wire like ivies or Virginia creeper, but they can damage the walls when you remove them. Other climbers like clematis and honeysuckle need a trellis, while some don’t climb well on their own and you will have to train them. While building a living wall will require patience and time, the end result will be a beautiful green space that will turn your tiny balcony into a cozy garden.
Use stripe patterns
Stripe patterns make space looks longer, so basically, by introducing these design trick, you will make your small balcony look bigger. You can use this optical trick on the upholstery, cushions, and rugs or try some more complex ideas, like remodeling the flooring. Tiles are the best solution for the balcony since they are affordable, easy to install and maintain, but also come in all sorts of patterns, shades, and sizes.
However, if you don’t want to touch the floors, stripe patterns on the walls will also do the trick just make sure that the shades go well with the flowers when in bloom. Natural shades like blue and earthy tones like orange will go well with any plants even those with flamboyant flowers like fuchsia. After all, the idea of the space is to be a serene oasis and not smother you with an abundance of colors and shapes.
Hang a hammock for ultimate coziness
Just because you have a tiny balcony, it doesn’t mean you can’t use your outdoor space for afternoon naps or simply to lie down at any time. Being surrounded by plants will boost your energy levels and help you manage stress more efficiently. So, instead of lying down in front of the TV screen in your living room, hang a hammock on your balcony and breathe in some fresh air.
The hammock is easy to install and remove when needed so it will help you to create many faces of your outdoor space. You can choose all sorts of materials from mesh to more sturdier ones that will allow you to create a cocoon around yourself while resting. Just turn off all the electronics and enjoy the rustling of your plants and their scents for the ultimate coziness in your small garden.
Choose the right plants
No matter the size of your balcony, you can still enjoy the soothing effect the greenery has on mind and soul. Even the tiniest of balconies can look lush and colorful if you use easy to grow plants which can thrive in pots and planters. Vibrant potplants such are anthurium and gardenia like confined spaces and will give you lively blossoms that will turn your tiny balcony garden into a private outdoor oasis.
Poorly lit balconies or those with too much sun exposure can still be a good home for plants if you choose the varieties that thrive in those conditions. For example, succulents and cacti are perfect for hot weather and direct sunlight, but you can also plant those with big flowers like pentas and hibiscus. Another thing to consider is whether you want your garden to be green throughout the year even during winter since then you can introduce some evergreens as well.
Create an ambiance with light
Light is very important for a balcony, especially a small one since you will be able to set the mood and highlight certain areas. Use LED lights to preserve energy and avoid creating a heat signature which can damage the plants. Mount a few lamps on the walls which will set a calm and relaxed atmosphere with their warm lights.
But also, you can hang small Christmas lights on the walls and around the plants which are powered by batteries and avoid drilling the walls and remodeling for electrical installations. Additionally, if your balcony is on the sunny side, then you can place several solar lamps among the plants. This will create a soft ambiance during the night and be eco-friendly at the same time, not to mention practical and a money saving solution.
Use grass flooring
While many believe that artificial grass is only intended for sports fields, it is actually more than a welcoming element in the balconies and rooftops. And for tiny outdoor space, this is a nice way to create a complete oasis and try out different design options. Also called an artificial lawn, these solutions offer easy maintenance and bring greenery where real grass is impossible to grow.
However, while this may not be a cheap option, for a small balcony it is actually affordable and you won’t have to spend a lot of money. Also, it will last long and you won’t have to worry about replacing it anytime soon making it a good investment in the end. And since artificial grass goes well with natural materials like stone and wood, you will create quite a private outdoor oasis with your plants.
Having a tiny balcony is still enough to make your private outdoor oasis and create a comfortable space you will enjoy day and night. It may take some more careful planning, but in the end, it will give you a cozy garden to get away from the urban world and recharge.