How to Turn Your Balcony Into a Private Sanctuary
How I turned my balcony into an urban oasis — step by (easy) step.
(Note: I linked to the products we used via Amazon.com and, if you buy them,
the affiliate fee will go to helping women in need become entrepreneurs.)
The 21st-century city girl works hard and plays hard. Because of this, she needs a spot to unwind, relax and gather her thoughts at the end of the daily grind. What better place to do that than the balcony of her urban apartment?? A little decor and a few necessities can turn any balcony into a sanctuary fit for a queen.
Here’s a step-by-step account (with photos and links) of how, in one weekend, I transformed the ugliest part of our New York City apartment into my favorite place to hang out:
Green It Up
There are many aesthetic and psychological reasons to use a lot of green in your relaxation area. Settings with a lot of green reduce ADHD symptoms and help people concentrate better. In fact, studies have shown that glimpses of green enhanced overall creativity. Green also promotes balance, as it is the color at the center of the color spectrum.
The more natural-looking green in your visual radius, the more your brain will place you in a state of relaxation and contentment.
Here are four great ways to green up your patio and turn it into a tropical paradise:
- Carpet the floor of your patio with realistic-looking faux grass, which will trick your mind into thinking you’re in a park.
- Cover your walls and railings with this weather-resistant faux ivy privacy screens to give you – yup – privacy (imagine that — in the city!!) and green up the walls.
- Try adding more coverage, making it look more lush and real, by layering it with other faux vines and faux flowering vines.
- Add a few tropical silk potted plants, particularly those that contain faux flowers and a couple of faux trees. We prefer the tropical style, like this 4.5-foot faux tree and this faux banana tree, but you could also opt for English garden style, like this rosemary spiral tree and this boxwood tree, but make sure to stick them in a nice pot.
A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.
This is very beautiful, Hilary. 🙂 How did this project cost in total? I want to create a small garden idea in my terrace, but before starting off, I want to have an idea about how much $$$ I’m going to need.
It really depends on how big your balcony is, but each item I used was pretty cheap, so it didn’t add up to more than a few hundred dollars at most. Very much worth it!
I redecorated my balcony using this tutorial for something like $70, buying a grass carpet, some flowers and plants, I made a bench with leftover wood myself, bought few glasses and candles, and it already looks amazing! You can easily make a great atmosphere without a lot of money!
Ok, this is almost perfect! But if it was my balcony, I would’ve used some reclaimed materials and real plants. That’d be more ecofriendly.
This is definitely the inspiration I needed! My balcony is long due some extreme make over like this. With the help of your tips and ideas, it’s gonna be lovely. I can’t wait!
E P I C !!! I’m not even exaggerating. I wish I was as creative and skillful as you. There’s no way I could do it myself even if I tried.
Hey guys! Great job on your balcony. You’ve created a very beautiful private outdoor space. Inspired me to take on the challenge and create my own balcony sanctuary, with an “edible garden”. =)
Stunning little private garden, Hilary. I’m jealous. Tiny balcony, great idea! You should be proud of how creative you are.
OMG I want this! It’s a genius idea to create a private garden in your balcony. It’s a cool idea to use faux vines and ivy, but for plants, I want them to be real! I’m going to get self-irrigating planters.
Nifty way of creating your own garden in your balcony. I would add a folding bamboo screen to privatize it a little, but if I had to rate it, overall it’s an absolute 10!
That, my friend, is the definition of cozy! Spectacular ideas. So peaceful and elegant at the same time. I will decorate my balcony stealing some of your ideas. 😉
Ahh! I love this! No better place than your very own green-balcony to bring the outdoors into your apartment. It’s a breeze of fresh air among these big tall New York apartments.