Step-by-Step Guide to Apartment Balcony Decor from the Gawds

Jun 29, 2019

There are a handful of rules I stick to when decorating rooms: (i) spaces should be visually interesting with different textures and textiles, (ii) the more light the better, and (iii) comfort and function always come first.

I rarely have issue convincing clients to lead with comfort…except when it comes to outdoor space. For whatever reason, when clients envision their balcony or deck, they almost always see iron or wooden bistro tables. And das it…

Now, don’t get me wrong! I’m not here to bash the bistro set, but I can definitely say that every single person reading this blog right now would rather be lounging on their sofa rather than sitting up straight in rock hard chairs at a table.

So why do folks gravitate to the bistro set? I have no idea, y’all. But I’m making it my personal mission to break that dirty habit and show the world a better way.

Step-by-Step Process for Decorating Outdoor Space

  1. Ask yourself, “What would be the most comfortable way for me to enjoy this space?”
  2. Purchase the largest item first (tables/sofas) to make sure you have enough room
  3. Decide on a color theme and stick to it!
  4. Snag great accessories
    • Rug
    • Pillows/cushions
    • Throw Blanket
    • Plants
    • Lights/Trays/Trinkets

My Balcony Space

When I moved to my new apartment, I was lucky to have one of the larger balcony options in my building. And by lucky, I mean I selected this unit solely because of this crazy good balcony space and the fact that my 6 person kitchen table could fit inside.

So, starting with the most important foundational question: What would be the most comfortable way for me to enjoy this space?

For me, the answer was a no brainer: a sofa. On Sunday afternoons when I am my most comfortable self, I am curled up on the couch with Bae reading books or curled up on the couch alone watching the same episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians for the 6th time. I wanted this space to be an extension of the living room – a place where I could go to lay down, read a book or do some work.

Okay, sofa it is. I snagged this one from Wayfair for the good price point and ease to put together! Once the big/central furniture is decided on, I then always go through the same framework for adding comfort and character to any room, whether indoor or outdoor: Rugs + Pillows/Blankets + Plants + Trinkets. (You can read more about the framework to create a room you love and see one of my client’s room transformations here).

A few pro tips:

  1. Without question, Wayfair is my first line of defense when starting the hunt for a room. The prices range from affordable to incredibly high end, but you have the opportunity to scan through all the different options/styles all at once.
  2. Try to add as much seating as possible. People looove to chill outside, and you want to create a great environment for them to do just that. The space behind my door was kind of awkward and lost, but by adding this small bench, I was able to utilize the space and create even more seating.
  3. When possible, opt for outdoor pillows, blankets and rugs. They are made for getting SOAKED, dirty and beat up by the weather. If you decide to not get outdoor accessories, that works fine! Just make sure you bring them inside when you aren’t using them or that they’re in a covered area.
  4. Betches love Christmas lights, y’all. I find that Christmas lights can sometimes look a little too college dorm room for me, buuuut my balcony doesn’t have any lights, so I definitely needed something if I wanted to enjoy this space at night and after work. These lights I found from West Elm are slightly more visually interesting than your run-of-the-mill Christmas lights and are just kinda perfect. One SUPER pro tip: I used clear command hook clips to hang the lights instead of wrapping them. The hooks require fewer lights AND result in a much cleaner and neater aesthetic. 

My new mission: to love every space in my apartment as much as I love this balcony, y’all.

Is there a room in your house you adore? Let me know in the comments or over on IG! If you don’t have any rooms you love (and you’d like to make a change), make sure you head over to the HJN+Design Studio website and see if any of our services are up your alley.


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