17 Balcony Essentials for Urban Dwellers
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17 Balcony Essentials for Urban Dwellers

You made it through the snowy, slushy winter slog, so now it’s time to get out there and enjoy the warm breezes and sunny days of spring. But like most of us, a huge deck overlooking a spacious and blooming backyard is not a reality. Instead, a concrete and metal rectangle positioned several stories above the trees (or street) is what you’re working with. Apartment balconies, while often under-appreciated and unused, can easily be transformed into an urban oasis. Check out these patio pieces that will help you create your own little paradise in the middle of the city.

1. Mosaic Tiled Coffee Table ($280): This gorgeous striped table makes us want to take our coffee on the porch before work and hurry back after to kick our feet up with a beer.

2. Polished Brass Watering Can ($98): This is one gardening tool you definitely won’t want to hide in the storage closet.

3. IKEA Garden Decking ($35/nine panels): For an instant upgrade, lay these easy-to-install floor boards over your plain ol’ concrete terrace.

4. Chevron Hanging Planter ($44): Make some use of your balcony’s overhang with these lovely handmade planters. If you feel like DIYing some instead, check out these macrame ones.

5. Indoor/Outdoor Throw ($29): This big throw is perfect for those summer evenings when you’re enjoying the balcony so much that you stay out past sunset.

6. Acapulco Chair ($239): Get yourself a comfy seat, stat. This classic, ’50s-inspired chair has been updated with sunburst colors and still gets rave reviews for being comfortable, easy to clean and totally retro.

7. Retro Drink Cooler ($50): You’re going to want to take this crazy cute cooler everywhere, and then store it on the porch where it can act as an end table too.

8. 20” Outdoor Pillows ($32+): A big, colorful throw pillow (or two, or ten!) is one surefire way to liven up the space. Make sure they are outdoor pillows so they’re water-resistant against the rain.

9. Porcelain + Leather Hanging Planters ($135): Don’t forget to make use of the walls when you’re out there! This trio of hanging planters is the perfect spot for kitchen herbs or succulents.

10. Hanging Around Mesh Birdhouse ($35): If you have pretty-plumed birds in your neighborhood (and not just pigeons), hang this see-through birdhouse to add a touch of nature to your balcony.

11. Flexible Potting Bags ($50+): Rather than lugging those heavy terra cotta planters around when you move, make apartment life easier with planter bags. Bonus: A few potted trees will give you some privacy from the neighbors.

12. All-Weather Rope Rugs ($98+): Rugs aren’t just limited to indoor decor. As long as they’re weather-resistant, rugs like these knotted polypropylene styles work just great on any balcony.

13. Deco Screen Plant Stand ($159): There’s limited real estate on an apartment balcony, so why not add a trellis to make use of vertical planting space?

14. Bodum FYRKAT Picnic Charcoal Grill ($85): Summer is just around the corner, and that means it’s BBQ time. But don’t waste precious patio space with a full-size model — this tabletop grill was made for small-space living.

15. Beach Towel ($13): A brightly printed towel does double duty as a sunbathing accessory and a fast way to pretty up an otherwise boring wicker chair.

16. Pierced Porcelain Hurricane Lanterns ($7+): It’s impossible to see the stars with all that city light pollution. Fortunately, these romantic lanterns will bring the constellations to you.

17. Giant Gem Speaker ($40): Do you find it hard to escape with all that traffic noise down below? Drown out the hubbub, turn up the jams and rock out with this stylish speaker.

How do you make the most of your apartment’s balcony? We want to hear your decorating essentials in the comments below!