Originally Published on June 15, 2020. Last Updated on July 18, 2023.
Balconies and decks both add tons of enjoyment to your home. To get the most of your outdoor area, you need to design and furnish them in a way that aligns with your lifestyle and space restrictions.
Below we’ll show you how to measure your space correctly, review smart design tips, and even offer suggestions for furniture to help make your balcony or deck an outdoor haven.
Determine How Much Space You Have to Work With
Whether you have a deck or balcony, the first thing you should do is measure your outdoor space. If your deck or balcony is already completed, measuring your area is a relatively simple process. Here are the steps to follow:
- Grab a pen, paper, measuring tape, and a calculator.
- Find the widest width and the longest length of your balcony or deck. It doesn’t matter if your deck or balcony is a perfect rectangle or an irregular shape.
- Take your measuring tape and measure the length and width.
- Write down the measurements on a piece of paper.
- If your measurements aren’t whole numbers — e.g., 4 ft 10 in — round to the nearest square foot. So, if your width was 4 ft 10 in and your length was 10 ft 3 in, the width and length should now be 5 ft and 10 ft
- Grab your calculator and multiply the length and width to find the total square footage. For example, 5 ft x 10 ft = 50 sq ft.
Design Tips for a Balcony
Balconies are often on the smaller side of the spectrum compared to decks. But with a bit of thought and creativity, you can create a stunning outdoor oasis. Here are tips to help get the ball rolling.
Decide What You Want Out of Your Balcony
Since space is limited, it’s more challenging to make a balcony a multi-use space. That’s why it’s best to pick one designated activity for your balcony. Consider these options based on your lifestyle and interests:
- An alfresco dining spot
- A casual hideaway to relax and read
- An area for entertaining guests
- An open space for sunbathing
- A happy hour spot
Bring in the Greenery
You may not have a backyard, but don’t let it stop you from creating the feel of one. Fill your balcony with railing planters and hanging plants to make your outdoor space a natural and beautiful ambiance. If you’re an aspiring cook, this idea gives you a great excuse to grow your own veggies and herbs.
Light It Up
Late-night hangouts are always fun, and the proper outdoor lighting can really boost the atmosphere. Wrap string lights around your railing or go old-school and light a few candles to add a natural glow.
Furniture Best for a Balcony
After measuring your balcony and figuring out the purpose of your space, it’s time to furnish your outdoor area. The furniture featured below offers a good combination of utility and compact size, so it’ll fit perfectly in your limited balcony space.
Three-Piece Bar Set
Have a drink with your partner while gazing at the gorgeous night sky with a three-piece bar set. This space-saving furniture also makes an ideal brunch setup. Whip up some crepes, pour some coffee, and enjoy the fresh morning air with your friend or relative.
Wheeled Chaise Lounges
If your balcony is on the larger side and you live in a warm, sunny climate, consider all-weather wheeled chaise lounges. The wheels are especially handy since sunbathers can easily position them as the sun tracks along the sky.
One piece of furniture that sometimes gets overlooked is an ottoman. It shouldn’t, though, because an ottoman is exceptionally versatile! You can rest your feet on it, make it a coffee table, and use it as an extra seat.
Design Tips for a Deck
If you have a deck, you probably have a lot more square footage to work with than balcony owners. But before you start adding outdoor furniture, consider some of these design tips.
Think About Your Lifestyle
How do you envision using your deck? If you prefer quiet evenings with friends or family, an outdoor living room or dining room with the appropriate furniture, make excellent options. If you like throwing big parties and occasions, you’ll need to have less seating so your guests can stand, move around, and socialize.
Many decks don’t have railings, especially ones in backyards. Railless decks are totally fine, but it’s worth considering adding rails for your deck. They provide not only functionality and safety but also beauty. If you’re worried about blocking a gorgeous view, glass or transparent railing is a contemporary and beautiful option.
You’ll likely enjoy your deck the most in the summer, so a shade structure like a pergola can bring function and style to your deck. If the sun shines a little too bright towards you, an awning might be a better solution. While you’re it, consider some planters to spruce up your deck. They can be part of your railing, or they can be joined to a bench.
Furniture Best for a Deck
Once you have a vision of what you want to do with your deck, it’s time to furnish it. Here are some ideas to consider for your deck.
Fire Pit Table
Starry skies, s’mores, and family — what could be better? How about a fire pit table? It makes a perfect focal point for an outdoor living room because you can enjoy natural warmth without the mess and maintenance of a traditional fire pit. Surround your table with soft, cozy swivel chairs and delve into a night of great conversation.
Seven-Piece Dining Set
If you want your deck to be an outdoor dining space, a seven-piece dining set provides the comfort and modern style you’ll need. This type of set can seat up to six of your friends or family members, making it an ideal gathering spot for everything from intimate cocktails to large dinners.
Live on a beach and have a fantastic view of the ocean? A three-piece set — two lounge chairs and a side table — makes an excellent seating option to soak up the sea while sipping on a glass of wine. Even if you’re not near the beach, this type of set is versatile enough to give your deck a splash of coziness and beauty.
Even though we’ve given you plenty of ideas to work with, there’s no right or wrong way to design your space. The only thing holding you back from creating the perfect deck or balcony is your imagination. Get creative and have fun!
What type of furniture do you want to include on your deck or balcony? Let us know in the comments below!