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Transform Your Tiny Balcony: Small Space Design Tips

Would you like to maximize your outdoor living this summer? Make the most of your small balcony or patio?  Kristin Peila, KP Design Co. has a few tips to help you make your small area as cozy, inviting, and useful as any suburban backyard. 

Before: Want to turn your balcony into an urban oasis?


Here are four tips used at The Prestige apartments located in Calgary, AB. to turn a tiny space into an outdoor apartment urban oasis:


Tip #1 (below) — Find your design inspiration and use it as the basis for your entire design plan. The inspiration for this small patio design came from the graphic prints of outdoor pillows that are on trend this season.  The pillows are complemented with the addition of a cozy blanket and a rug. We used two small rugs to fit the size of the floor and space. The rugs helped to pull the entire seating area together by defining the space and providing comfort.

Tip #2 (below) –The most pleasing design features is the use of plants. Depending on your sunlight exposure, you may want to pick flowering plants or even better, use plants that can be moved inside when the weather gets colder. Having plants clustered in the corners and at different vertical heights helps to visually enlarge the space. This tip also helps give any tiny area the feeling of a lush garden retreat that can be enjoyed all season long.

Tip #3 (below) — This is a rather small balcony being only 30 square feet, so the choice of furniture was vital. Be mindful to avoid clutter and make sure you can easily access all areas of your patio. Modular armless chairs help to create the feeling of space visually and are easy to store.  They can also be reconfigured to create an inviting spot to enjoy drinks with a friend or sit quietly and soak up the sun. 

Tip #4 (above) — Finish the look by bringing multi-purpose items from inside, outside. Use seating that can alternate as a table, or tables alternating as an extra seat, and battery operated candles in a variety of finishes help to create ambiance. In this space, the small side budget-friendly bar cart features a place to hold a towel or a colorful blanket. The bar cart can also serve as a side table, a spot for refreshing beverages, plant stand or a companion to your bbq. Each item used in this space was carefully chosen to make sure it could be used in different ways, such as the ice bucket, which can double as storage for small gardening tools or accessories. We worked with an economical wise budget and the goal was to add style and function with each design feature we chose. The bar cart is a perfect example of dual function and style.

Get the look! This cozy small outdoor space is simple to re-create:

  1. Find your inspiration, and it could be a little accessory to set the theme or something as basic as affordable outdoor pillows you found at a local shop or seasonal garden pop-up center.
  2. Maximize greenery and flowers using different textures and heights. If you can, purchase plants that can move inside when the weather turns cooler. Visit your local grocery store for seasonal plants and flowers.
  3. Choose a small table and armless modular chairs that fold easily and store when not needed. When in doubt choose multi-purpose items to help with storage and keep your space inviting.
  4. Bring the inside out. With the use of indoor accessories such as candles you can create a beautiful garden effect in your space to be enjoyed all hours of the day and evening.

Living in a small home or apartment probably means that you treasure your outdoor area all the more — but if your outdoor space is on the small side, it can be tricky to know what to do with it. Mix and match these tips to create a new outdoor room like we did at this urban apartment proudly managed by Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.

This summer make the most of your small outdoor area space and practice these handy tips. Happy decorating!


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