Balcony Design Ideas for Your Philly Home

When the weather’s nice, it’s great to sit out on your balcony with a cup of coffee or a great book. Decorating and designing your small balcony can turn it from looking blah and drab to looking amazing and welcoming.

In Philly, some people get a postage stamp-sized backyard. Others have to make do with a tiny balcony outside of their apartment. While having any outdoor space for your Philadelphia home is great, especially in the spring and fall, figuring out how to make the best use of a small balcony can be a challenge. Try one of these balcony design ideas and enjoy living some of your life outdoors.

Create a Reading Nook

A tiny balcony, high above the rest of the city, can be a great place to curl up and read a book. While you might not have space for an outdoor sofa or armchair, you can make your own using wooden crates and a pile of pillows and cushions. Place one or two crates in the corner of your balcony, then cover them with the cushions. Prop up pillows against the wall to make the seating area more comfortable. Put a small side table by the seat to hold your book and a beverage.

Hang a Hammock

Some balcony design ideas turn your outdoor space into a relaxing spot. If you are able to mount things to the wall of your home, try hanging a hammock across your balcony, stretching from one corner to the other. A hammock stand can be another option if you’re not able to attach things to the walls or are concerned about how sturdy a wall-mounted hammock might be. Put a few pillows on the hammock and you have a great place to grab a nap or to curl up with a book.

Plant Vertically

Your balcony might be petite, but you most likely have plenty of room for a few potted plants, especially if you stick with smaller containers. One way to maximize greenery on your balcony is to plant up. You can turn an old wooden pallet into a planter, for example. A less hands-on way to plant vertically is to place a tall, narrow bookcase against one wall of your balcony. Arrange plant pots of varying sizes on the bookcase, placing the bigger pots on the bottom shelves for balance and the smaller pots on the higher levels.

Make a Breakfast Spot

Turn your balcony into your own private bistro. All you need is a small cafe table and two chairs. Arrange the chairs on either side of the table, at an angle, so that you and a partner, friend, or roommate have a place to enjoy your coffee or read the newspaper (or your phone) in the morning. Put a small vase of flowers or a candle in the center of the table to dress it up.

Use Bamboo for Privacy

If your balcony is on the front of the building, you might be concerned about privacy. Use bamboo, planted in pots, or other tall, long-lasting plants to create a privacy screen. If you use bamboo, pick a variety that’s non-invasive, to reduce the risk of it spreading or trying to overgrow its pot. The PA Horticultural Society has recommended Umbrella bamboo for use as a privacy screen, since it is non-invasive.

Even if your balcony is extra-petite, you’re not limited to one design idea. Try hanging a hammock behind a wall of bamboo or place a bookshelf full or plants behind your reading chair. Most importantly, remember to spend as much time as you can enjoying the pretty balcony space you’ve created.


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