Are you struggling to find design inspiration for your balcony? Whether your space is tiny, over exposed to the elements or lacking privacy, there is always a design solution. These ideas show you what’s possible.

Balconies are precious real estate. When designing and styling your balcony, allow the space to evolve in response to your lifestyle and the setting. By making practical considerations first and then being adventurous with your planting and styling, you can create a truly individual outdoor space.

Understanding the balcony design mindset

Image via Home Design Etc

Image via Home Design Etc

An easy way to get into the right headspace for balcony design is to think of the area as an outdoor room. Just as a room in your home will serve a single purpose, so too should your balcony. Trying to do too much in a small balcony will make it cluttered and impractical.

The above space has a number of carefully considered elements, including shade, stylish furnishings, screening for privacy, an outdoor rug and hedging for softness. When it comes to balcony design and styling, pay as much attention to detail as you would in a key indoor room of your home.

Creating indoor/outdoor living

Image via  My Paradissi

Image via My Paradissi

This balcony is a perfect example of integrated indoor/outdoor living. The interior of the home opens out to a balcony that is designed to complement the indoor styling as well as the stunning view. This balcony may be small, but the use of built-in seating ensures every inch of space is put to good use. Additionally, the overhead shade structure makes the area comfortable all year round.

Related reading: Give your balcony a makeover with these styling tips

Utilising small spaces

Images via  SF Girl by the Bay  and  Pinterest

You really don’t need a lot of space to enjoy being outside. In spite of their size, these revamped balconies beckon you to spend more time outdoors. Hanging chairs and high bars provide seating without occupying too much space. Add in a few potted plants and you’ll have created an inviting space to unwind in. In small balconies such as these, the use of slimline furnishings ensures the space doesn’t feel cluttered.

Related reading: Realising the value of your outdoor space

Enhancing your privacy

Images via  Atelier Vierkant  and  WooHome

Images via Atelier Vierkant and WooHome

Privacy is a key reason why many balconies are underutilised. If you live in a built-up area, there are a number of ways to make your balcony feel more secluded. When using timber as a screen (as above), ensure it is slatted so that breeze and light can still pass through.

Alternatively, you can consider decorative laser-cut screening, or create a barrier using plants such as tall grasses and hedges. If you are in a windy position, screens can also double as a barrier from the elements. When planning your privacy options, consider any body corporate restrictions and whether screening will detract from any views you have.

Adding interest with plants

Images via  Crate & Barrel  and  Design Chaser

While you may not have space for a garden bed, there is so much you can do when introducing plants to balconies. By using planters such as the one above, you can add a sculptural element to the space without needing to drill holes into the wall (which is a common body corporate issue).

When using pot plants, cluster pots of different sizes together to create interest or, alternatively, opt for a single statement plant. In larger spaces, use planter boxes to divide dining and lounge areas. Artificial grass tiles and vertical gardens are other effective ways to introduce greenery into your balcony without consuming precious space.

Related reading: The top ten balcony plants

Finishing a look with styling

Image via  Daily Dream Decor

Don’t be afraid to be adventurous when styling an outdoor space. This balcony has embraced a boho theme to bring it to life and reflect the owner’s style. Through contrasting textures, use of fabrics and cushions, the space is incredibly inviting. Here, the trans-seasonal neutral palette makes the balcony feel spacious, while the added patterns can be changed to suit the season. 

When choosing furnishings and materials, invest in pieces that will withstand the elements. Additionally, it is a good idea to store cushions away when they aren’t in use. Place a storage box in your balcony or design built-in seating to double as stow-away space.

Related reading: Get your outdoor area ready for spring

Want more balcony garden inspiration? Download our complete guide to small space gardening!