Small balconies present big challenges, especially since all apartments come in all shapes, shades and sizes. If you think a balcony is an additional burden for you, think again! You can always make use of your balcony not just for checking out the weather. Assess what you want to do with this part of your apartment that’s getting ample sunlight and little space with a lot of potential. Here are five ways to repurpose your balcony and get the most out of it:
1. Unless your balcony is too slim for chairs and tables, turn it into a place to dine al fresco! Measure the area and all the furnishings you will purchase so that all of these will fit in your balcony. Schedule trips to secondhand stores or garage sales next door and try haggling for something that would stand the test of time: from outdoor stools to folding tables. Place your grill on a corner, throw in some potted herbs on the opposite corner, and you’re on your way to enjoy the sun, good food and a good time.
2. Turn your balcony into a reading nook. You’ll get enough sunlight for tanning and reading your favorite books! If you think your balcony is quiet enough in the afternoons and is not sitting right next to one of the busiest avenues in your neighborhood, try getting a reclining chair or a comfortable couch for you to read your favorite books on. A small table for coffee, tea or fruit juice should do trick, as well as some potted plants on the ledges for added comfort. Be creative as you make it your comfort zone!
3. Transform it into a private gym. Yoga mats, benches, dumbbells, or even treadmill and weight lifting equipment can transform your balcony into a gym in itself – minus the mirrors and the smell of other people’s sweat!
4. If you have a green thumb, consider your balcony your first plot of land. Make it green with a garden! And by green, we don’t just mean leafy vegetables. Decorate it with a mixture of colorful perennials, seasonal delights, and hardy ivies. If you want to cook delicious food, potted herbs like basil, rosemary and thyme will all benefit your kitchen. Secondhand chairs or soft cushioned seats and tables will make this your little herbarium, filtering air, giving some shade and calming your eyes.
5. Be attuned to your artistic skills by turning your balcony into a workshop! Whether you use an easel to paint or a drafting table to sketch, natural light – especially during spring and summer – will make it easier for you to pursue your hobbies. Put comfortable beanbags for relaxation, as well as your bonsai and cactus, if ever you’re fond of them. Just remember: don’t leave your work unattended outside for sudden weather changes.
Considering these will need some reflection: do you want to treat your balcony as one of your private workrooms, or a sort of lounge for you and your friends? One thing’s for sure: after reading this list and assessing what you want to do with your balcony, you’ll be glad your apartment has one!