Balcony Decor Tips for New Yorkers

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Don’t forget about balcony decor when working on the interior of your home. Many New Yorkers neglect their outdoor spaces, but decorating them and making use of them can make their home lives that much more enjoyable. The following tips explain how.

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If you’re lucky enough to have a balcony off your NYC apartment, get your balcony decor act together! Don’t be like the gazillion other New Yorkers who, unbeknownst to them, taunt those of us who don’t have balconies with visions of their inexplicably empty outdoor spaces. Incredibly, most New Yorkers don’t use their balconies. It’s strange; they’re kind of like a status symbol that residents want, but once they get them, they forget about them. It may have something to do with the fact that they don’t know what to do with the balconies, they don’t see anyone else doing anything with their balconies, or they get sleepy trying to figure out how to use the space. There’s so much you can do to turn your balcony into a totally usable and functional outdoor space. NYC apartments are tiny enough; don’t chuck away extra square footage. Make your balcony-less friends jealous, and check out some decor options below.

Turn It Into a Work Space

One excellent way to use your balcony is to turn it into a space to work. Set up a desk with cushioned chairs, creating an office space that will turn work into something pleasurable during nice weather. If you’d really like to maximize your balcony floor space, there are even hook-on desks that attach to the railing. They don’t take up a lot of space, but they hold your laptop and glass of wine — er, water — while you work.

Link the Decor to the Room

If your balcony is located off your mid-century, modern-designed living room, carry the design style through to your balcony decor. Use furniture and colors that match the living room decor on the balcony. This will help link the two spaces, creating a continuous flow and increasing the sense of space, which in turn makes your living room (or whichever room abuts the balcony) seem that much bigger.

Treat It Like Your Backyard

The whole idea behind balconies is to give apartment dwellers the sense of having a sort of “backyard” like the ones single-family home dwellers have. So turn the space into your backyard! Fill it with easy-to-grow plants and flowers. Imagine a narrow, gorgeous, and rectangular reclaimed wood planter running the length of the balcony and filled with gorgeous vegetation. If you’re going the flower route, choose flowers that have long blooming periods like the Tardiva hydrangea. You’ll want to pick plants that match your lifestyle. If you’re not home often enough to carefully tend your balcony garden, choosing plants like succulents will allow you to have your cake and eat it too by allowing you to enjoy a garden that will thrive in spite of your hands-off approach.

Make It a Moroccan-inspired Resting Space

No, you can’t really make a balcony your bedroom, but you can turn it into your resting/sleeping space. There truly are few things more relaxing that nestling inside of a cozy hanging egg chair, popping in your headphones, and closing your eyes as you let your favorite sounds or podcasts take you away. You don’t have to actually hang a chair if you’re not allowed to (check with your building management or co-op/condo board); there are “hanging-style” chairs that come with stands that give off the same cocoon-ish effect. Scatter a few Moroccan floor pillows around for guests. Throw up solar-powered string lights and a lantern or two, and you’ve got a space where you can catch a few zzzz’s on a lazy afternoon or early evening. Remember the citronella candles to keep away things that bite during the summer months.

Image Source: Flickr/Sarah Ackerman

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