Decorating tips for your apartment patio
Most renters, and even some homeowners, dream of the wrap-around porches and spacious lawns of our grandparents. Today, conjested metro areas and ever-rising building and land costs make outdoor space much reduced.
Transforming a small patio or balcony area can be a fun activity
and as challenging as dealing with a large porch. Smaller spaces can be wonderful for private reflection or more intimate gatherings, and of course, the smaller the space, the smaller the investment.
Decide on the purpose of your space
In small spaces it is essential that you limit the purpose of your space to reflect the aspect most important to you. It can be a private retreat or a room for the kids to play; you can use the small patio for entertaining or lounging, or perhaps you with to use it as dining area.
Before you buy that majestic armchair, make sure it will actually fit on your balcony or patio. Furnishings that are large or overstuffed will rapidly devour a small space. Better search for furniture without arms with simple lines and low backs. For additional seating consider benches as you can use them along one or more sides of your patio.
Be clever and choose furnishings that can serve a double purpose: ottomans can also be used as storage or cocktail tables. Furthermore, furnishings that folds works very well in small spaces as you can put it away when not in use. There are those pieces of furniture that tend to “disappear”: acrylic or glass tables and thin-line metal chairs occupy less of the visual space.
Know your green friends
Container gardens give wonderful accents to any space, regardless if it’s small or spacious, indoor or outdoor. Moreover, they can enhance privacy and shade. But to get to that level, you need to know your plants. The cute little trailing plant in the store might not be so little on your small balcony.
Opt for plants that will add color, texture and height, not bulk to your small patio. Plants with beautiful scents are also a wonderful addition to any outdoor area, but avoid those with extremely strong aromas.
Follow the ‘Less is more’ rule here. A large pot (with or without flowers in it) will have a greater impact that several smaller one. Actually, the smaller one might give that cluttered feeling. The interior rules apply here as well: diffuse, natural light, as well as light colors, will open up the space and make it feel larger. If your balcony is shady, consider adding string lights or other electrical lighting. Use dark colors only as accents, otherwise stick with light colors or neutrals in furnishings.
You can opt to hang prints on your patio’s walls, but do so sparingly. Or choose stripes as they can be used to create the illusion of height or length.
Last, but not least, you can add audio effects to your small patio. A tiny water feature or wind chimes will mask, to some degree, unappealing background noises like neighbors or traffic.