Balcony Ideas for People Who Don’t Use Them


People looking for balcony ideas are people who don’t use them. You may think it’s weird, but a large number of people in NYC who have balconies don’t use them. Listed here some ideas to help them make use of their RARE IN NYC outdoor space.


Subject of Letter: Balcony Ideas

Dear apartment-with-balcony owner or renter,

Hi! Love you lots! Work’s going OK? Good, good. Can we talk? It’s about your balcony. What do your mean “your what???” I knew it! It’s been sitting empty so long, you forgot you even had one! Look, I know that you were super excited when you moved in. You thought you were going to do all of this exciting stuff with your outdoor space in the city, but since you’ve moved in, the only thing you’ve put out there is that box of old cheerleading uniforms you’ve been meaning to take to storage and some old brooms you forgot to throw out. Wait, what? You need some balcony ideas? OK, here goes.

Oh, and psssst: we’re not talking to those of you with terraces. Terraces are bigger, set on some sort of flat surface and are a lot more spacious, so we know you’re using those. Balconies are smaller, jut out from a building, and confound the heck out of even the most creative folks.

Sincerely yours,

Your jealous friends who don’t have balconies

Hang a Hammock

If you’ve got a small balcony that really isn’t better for anything more than hanging a hammock, hang a hammock already. Hammocks are incredibly relaxing and laying in one is one of the absolute best ways to end a rough day. Come on, they let people use them free on Governor’s Island, but good luck finding an empty one. Skip the wait and put one on your own balcony and create your own deluxe outdoor apartment space in the sky. Good quality hammocks hug and cradle your body in a womb-like embrace, helping the stress leave your body. If you’re worried about hanging a hammock, you can buy a hammock that comes on a stand. Set up a hammock on your balcony, add a tiny wooden table for wine and books, and as you lay there lounging in an evening breeze, you’ll wonder what took you so long to set up your balcony therapy space. Bed, Bath & Beyond sells hammocks, and if you buy one online, you can pick it up in the Chelsea store.

Plant Your Dinner

You already spend every weekend at Smorgasburg, loading up on kale at the Union Square or the Grand Army Plaza farmers’ markets, or spending a good portion of your paycheck on fresh produce from Whole Foods or hiking over to Chinatown to get great deals on ripe produce. Why not take the extra time to plant your favorite veggies and fruits on your balcony. Before you say, “Oh my gosh, it’s so hard,” be aware that sometimes the hardest part is getting the garden started. Once it’s at maintenance level, you’ll be able to harvest greens and tomatoes and chili peppers on the regular.

Add Glass or Other Balcony Enclosures … If You Can

The NYC DOB (Department of Buildings) has very strict rules when it comes to balcony enclosures, and yet many people would use their balconies more if they were able to put up some sort of glass or Plexiglas enclosure that retains the view but blocks elements like noise and wind, making the balcony more of a year-round space. First, find out if you’re even allowed to add an enclosure. Recent reports indicate that many balcony-turned-greenhouse enclosures are coming under scrutiny because they’re so great at creating livable, year-round space in a unit that they’re essentially “illegally” making an apartment bigger.

Image Source: Flickr/Michael Coghlan


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