For many people shut inside an apartment during the pandemic, having a patio or balcony has become a welcomed extension of their quarantine space. It is even easier to appreciate having an outdoor space during the hot summer months, when being able to get outside while staying safe in a private environment is a true luxury.

Because apartment patios and balconies are relatively small, it can sometimes be challenging to make the most of the space. However, creative apartment-dwellers under lockdown are demonstrating that even tiny outdoors spaces can be transformed into sports bars, zen gardens, and outdoor theaters in just a few simple steps. 

Check out these brilliant apartment patio ideas to get inspiration for your next balcony or patio design—no matter what sort of space you are working with. 

1. Create a private jungle.

Plants can add a joyous splash of color and life to any outdoor space. You can place taller shrubs or trees in stand-alone planters along the border of a balcony or patio, providing some shade in uncovered areas.

Stack smaller pots on any shelving you may have, or consider hanging plants from your patio ceiling or balcony railing to save space and layer the various elements of your outdoor design.

2. Set up your outdoor space for comfort.

No matter how small your patio or balcony is, making sure to find room for a seat or two is an important aspect of creating a comfortable area that you will want to spend time in. If space is limited, you can look into small wire chairs or even folding chairs that can easily be removed when not in use. 

You can also consider floor pillows or bean bag chairs if they fit your style. Hammocks are great options for patios with a little extra space to stretch. Whatever type of chairs you opt for, remember to prioritize comfort— you are going to want to spend a lot of time in your newly designed space!

3. Find the right size table.

You are also going to want to find the right size table to go with your newly acquired seating. For those with balconies that have no room to spare, a pull-down table that attaches to the railing and can be opened as needed is a great option. Bistro-style tables are a popular patio and balcony choice that are easy to move around and add a sophisticated look to even the most understated outdoor space. 

4. Think vertically. 

Most people overlook the possibilities of vertical spaces when imagining design. Thinking vertically means considering a space’s lighting, wall and ceiling decorations, hanging elements, and more. Especially in small areas, taking advantage of vertical spaces can greatly enlarge your design possibilities. 

To maximize your space, think about what sort of lighting you need and how you can hang or stack lighting to best illuminate the area. Imagine hanging wind chimes, string lights, or other decorations to personalize your outdoor area and balance your design from the top down. 

5. Remember to look down.

Looking down is just as important as thinking vertically when designing your private balcony or patio. Depending on your flooring and rain protection, consider adding a soft rug in your seating area or adding some color to the lower portion of your space. If you have a patio, think about designing a stone or gravel path that guides visitors through your garden.

Creative apartment-dwellers under lockdown are demonstrating that even tiny outdoors spaces can be transformed into sports bars, zen gardens, and outdoor theaters in just a few simple steps. 

6. Make your outdoor space pop.

Although often viewed as solely an attachment to the apartment, an outdoor space can become just as beloved as any other room in your home with a little personalization. Whether it be with gorgeous greenery, statement chair pieces, or a wall hanging that just cannot be ignored, adding details to your patio or balcony will make all the difference in your overall design.

When choosing your outdoor furniture and decorations, consider using bold colors and rich designs. Instead of opting for the typical easy-to-match color scheme, mix and match pieces that can take on a personality of their own when combined outdoors.

7. Embrace your privacy. 

While open spaces can be great, having a little privacy is sometimes what you need. If you’re looking to make an exposed patio or balcony private without sacrificing style, you can use strategically placed trees or shrubs as natural boundaries or raisable wall hangings that double as sun shades. 

8. Build your own quarantine bar.

Just because you can’t go out doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a drink outside. Turn your outdoor area into a makeshift bar equipped with bar stools, mood lighting, and enough fresh ice to last you all night long. 

If you enjoy watching sports, you can set up a small TV or radio to catch your favorite teams while sipping on an ice cold beverage. Musicians can even take their instruments outside to play some tunes for art-starved neighbors, as many other musicians around the world have done since the pandemic began. 

9. Let loose in your private fun zone.

Golfers, gamers, and old fashioned card players alike can all enjoy their favorite pastimes in a patio or balcony set up for fun. Consider how you can organize your space to make playing your favorite games as simple as possible. Artists can consider creating a makeshift outdoor studio as well.

Not sure where to begin? A small table is necessary for any board or card games, while a little more room is needed for any games that require movement. Don’t forget to make sure your outdoor lighting will be bright enough to allow for any nocturnal fun.

10. Make movie night special with your own private outdoor theater.

While the weather is warm and inviting, moving outdoors to watch the next episode of your favorite show can be a special treat. If you have the space, try setting up a small TV or projector outside to make viewing easy. Once it gets dark, you can lounge in your outdoor oasis with a big bowl of popcorn all night long.

Daydreaming About Your Next Outdoor Design?

If you’re feeling inspired by these patio decoration tips, you can check out Draper and Kramer’s portfolio of luxury apartments with beautiful outdoor spaces by visiting

The outdoor deck of an apartment with a small table and chairs, bench and lots of greenery.

Creative apartment-dwellers under lockdown are demonstrating that even tiny outdoors spaces can be transformed into sports bars, zen gardens, and outdoor theaters in just a few simple steps.

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