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How Do I Choose the Best Balcony Designs?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

The best balcony designs use space effectively. Typically, balconies are much smaller than decks or porches so furniture placement is especially important. Streamlined, yet stylish pieces tend to look and function best on apartment or house balconies. If room on the balcony is needed for a barbecue and/or planters, then scaled down chairs and tables are crucial.

When space on a balcony is limited, but room for dining is required, consider a bistro set. A bistro dining set has a smaller table and taller chairs than standard sets. The sizing overall is more compact, yet the height of the pieces tends to give a bistro dining table and chairs added elegance. Incorporating taller rather than wider planters is another good tip for more streamlined balcony designs. While hanging planters may save even more space, don't consider this option on a high balcony if watering the plants will involve climbing on a stool or chair, as doing this may place you at risk for a fall.

A house with a balcony.
A house with a balcony.

Large barbecues with double counter top sections don't fit on most balconies. Look for an apartment sized barbecue to save space, or choose a tabletop model. If you use a sturdy cart with lots of storage to hold a tabletop barbecue, this can be an efficient use of a limited space. Keep in mind that whether you rent or own, not all apartment buildings permit balcony designs that include a barbecue. Even if barbecues are permitted, be considerate of your neighbors and select a location on the balcony for your barbecue that will result in the least amount of smoke blowing into others' windows.

Unless the interior of your home is monochromatic, it's a good idea to create contrast for a balcony look. For example, if the balcony railing is black metal, tasteful light colored patio furniture could really stand out in a striking design. Yellow or red flowers growing in planters along the bottom of the railing could make an interesting focal point.

Plan for a logical flow of foot traffic in your balcony design. There should be space for dining chairs to be pushed out from the table and ample distance left between furniture and the balcony door. A small, yet helpful addition to balcony designs is to add a good mat on each side of the doorway to reduce the amount of outside dirt that could be tracked back into the home.

Discussion Comments


I suggest that you don't try to fit too many things in your balcony design plans. Really, it should just be a place you can go to experience the outdoors, particularly if you don't have a garden to sit in. If you try to fit a barbeque and so forth on there, you'll end up with no space for yourself.

A chair is the basic item if it will fit. A few plants maybe. Two chairs, even better. At most, I'd have two chairs and a table for a lovely breakfast, but even then I would prefer to store the table inside.

I feel like an apartment is usually crowded enough without shoving a whole bunch of stuff into the balcony as well.


It's entirely possible to grow many of the plants needed for a homemade pizza on your balcony. Most people think of making a pizza from scratch as meaning they combined a store bought pizza base with a jar of pizza topping.

I'm not saying you can grow your own wheat on a balcony! But you can certainly grow some lovely tomatoes, peppers and herbs which can be made into a delicious pizza sauce. Some herbs you might want to try are oregano, basil and thyme and even dill.

This is also a good way of teaching your kids about where food comes from and the importance of freshly grown food in a fun way. And they'll never say no to pizza!

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    • A house with a balcony.
      By: Tatty
      A house with a balcony.