There is nothing better than coming home after a long day at work and sitting in the garden with a good book or cup of coffee. Living in an apartment doesn’t have to mean you miss out on having a garden. If you have a balcony or patio area you can turn even the smallest space into a pretty garden oasis.

Here are some ideas to maximize your space.

Furniture

When selecting furniture for small spaces it is important to find the right pieces and not clutter the space, unless of course, this is the look you are going for. Look for furniture that is not too heavy in either weight or style. Narrow chair arms and furniture that is not boxy and allows you to still see the floor underneath create the illusion of more space. If you are using soft furnishings such as cushions, make sure they are weatherproof, just in case they get rained upon.

Lounge chairs, bistro tables and multi-purpose storage pieces work well. If you want to protect yourself from the sun, choose a nice umbrella which can also aid in privacy. Hammocks are a great choice too as they can be hidden away when not in use, but offer the ultimate in lounging comfort.

 

Plants

Planting your balcony is one of the easiest things to do. Choose planters of different heights, colours and styles. Hook plants over the edge of the balcony to keep floor space free. Hanging baskets are also a great addition to any balcony and again they keep the floor space free.

Also, don’t forget the vegetables. If you have space why not grow some tomatoes or lettuce for that summer salad?  Also, herbs are ideal for balconies and patios as they tend to be quite small, but often have lovely aromas and of course are practical and can be added to your cooking. There really are no rules or restrictions when it comes to plants.

Outdoor Dining

If you prefer to use your outdoor space as a dining area, then invest in a nice BBQ and enjoy alfresco dining year round, well perhaps not all year round in Calgary. If you cannot have a BBQ, then simply use your space as a place to sit and eat. Depending on the size of your balcony you will find a dining table and chairs to meet all needs, including small bistro tables and chairs for two.

 

Privacy

Overlooked or share a balcony space? Then there are some things you can do to make your space more private. Using furniture or planting to separate spaces or shield prying eyes are good ideas. However, there are many types of fencing that you can use too, or why not convert a rug into a privacy fence? You might also want to look for a room divider which can also be used outside, although you might want to bring it in when it’s not in use.

Lighting

If you are able to add lighting, make sure it can be used outside. String lights are a great addition to any outdoor space and can be easily draped or wrapped around railings and posts. Large statement pieces are also great, but make sure they don’t take up too much floor space or hang too low, depending on the style. Candles are another great alternative as is solar powered lighting.

 

These are just a few ideas to jazz up your balcony or patio space. Most apartments are quite small, so why not make the most of your space by using every inch that is available. Admittedly, in Calgary, you may not be able to use your outdoor space all year round, but using it whenever you can, will certainly add to your enjoyment and perhaps allow you to invite a few extra friends around.

Please remember to use lighting etc, carefully and only as recommended by the manufacturer. Also, check with your building manager to make sure you are not breaking any rules or bylaws.

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