How are we holding up? Social distancing regulations in South Carolina have loosened up in the last few weeks, but I’m still spending a lot of time at home, and especially on my patio/balcony.
About a month or so into quarantine Doug and I decided that it was time to finally take advantage of the outdoor space we have at our apartment. With stay-at-home orders and us both working from home and spending 95% of our days inside, we were going a little stir crazy. Our balcony is pretty small (about 5ft x 10 ft) and we had no outdoor furniture, but we knew we needed to create a space where we could comfortably hang out, relax, entertain and enjoy our beautiful view of the Columbia skyline.
Over the last month, we’ve successfully transformed our barren balcony into a magical rooftop retreat, and today I want to share a few tips on how to decorate a small patio space with you! I highly recommend investing in a retractable tape measurer before you get started to avoid a lot of unnecessary heartache.
You can shop all of my patio details by clicking the images below.
How To Decorate A Small Patio
1. Pick practical & multifunctional patio furniture
When I first started picking our outdoor seating, I ended up ordering way too much furniture. I wanted to have enough seating for at least 2 people, but I also really wanted an egg chair because they are sooo cute. I ordered this small loveseat (which I ended up keeping) and this gorgeous egg chair (which I ended up returning). Both would not fit and I had to pick 1 to keep, so the couch stayed since it seated the most people and was the best fit (practical).
You want to make sure that you’re choosing pieces that will allow you to enjoy your space and still have room to move around. If you get a couch or chairs that are so large that they take up the entire length or width of your balcony, you won’t be able to enjoy the space. We ended up placing the loveseat at the far edge of our balcony against the wall and railing which allowed us so much empty space for other things + lots of room to walk around or layout.
With that said, multi-functional pieces are the way to go. Try to find pieces that you can use for multiple purposes, like this wicker ottoman pouf that can be used as a table, seating, or a footrest. We ordered two like this, but we’re still waiting on the other to arrive.
Shop some of my favorite practical and multifunctional pieces for small spaces below.
2. Install turf or a rug to soften the floor
As you can see in the before photo, our balcony floor was hard, grey concrete before we gave it a makeover. I wanted to be able to step outside and feel “grass” on my feet, so astroturf was a must. This ended up being one of the most essential features of our balcony update, and I highly recommend doing it if you can. It really brings life to your space and makes it feel so comfy and fancy!
Another option is an outdoor rug. But if you live in a region that gets a lot of rain, this might not be the best option.
To install your turf, make sure you have a carpet tape, very strong scissors, and of course a high-quality turf with drainage. I recommend putting down your turf BEFORE you put together your furniture. Make sure you sweep the floors and try to get rid of as much debris as you can before installing your turf so that it has a good foundation!
3. Put up a privacy fence or screen
We have a metal bar enclosure on our balcony, so there wasn’t much privacy. This bamboo fence has made such a difference! I love the privacy it provides, as well as the tropical island vibes it gives to the look of our small balcony. It really encloses the space and makes it feel like we’re in our own little private oasis.
I’ve provided a few different fencing options below that would be great for a small patio. You will need to make sure you have zip ties on hand!
4. Add color and depth to your walls with faux flowers
If you know anything about me, you know that I am all about adding color to walls. We barely have any blank walls in our home, and I wasn’t about to end that trend with our balcony. I really wanted to start a garden, but with all of the bugs and inclement weather in South Carolina, it made more sense to focus on faux florals.
Both of our flower walls were DIY and pretty simple to create! For the pink flower wall, I intertwined faux flower garland around a black trellis and then leaned the finish product against the wall behind our bench. For the cream hydrangea and rose flower wall, I purchased 12 hydrangeas and rose flower mats and hung them with these removable hooks. The whole process for both took about an hour!
Get all of the supplies to create a flower wall below.
5. Invest in furniture coverings
I am SO happy that I invested in a furniture covering for our couch! It rains a lot, is super hot and there are lots of bugs in SC, so I was a little worried about even decorating the balcony. And to add to it, our balcony is only partially covered!
Investing in a furniture cover was one of the best decisions we could’ve made. If you’re even a little concerned about weather, bugs, droppings, etc…just get a cover.
6. Add in outdoor-friendly accents like pillows, plants and lights
Once you get all of the basics covered, you can spruce up your space with fun accents like outdoor pillows, plants and twinkle lights. Have some fun with your accents because they are really what will bring your space a live!
I’ve linked a few of my favorite outdoor accents below.
I guess one positive thing about this pandemic is that it’s inspired me to decorate spaces of my apartment that I typically wouldn’t. This was my first time ever decorating a balcony (I’ve had one at almost every apartment I’ve lived in, but it usually just sits there collecting cobwebs and storing all my junk), and it’s been such a fun project.
My favorite part is definitely the hydrangea and rose flower wall. It really makes me feel like I’m at a cool rooftop bar, which is necessary during these times! Ha.
I hope these tips on how to decorate a small patio were helpful for you!