Balcony & Patio ideas? In February? Daydreams if you live in the North, I know. But the second week in February is always my trigger here in the South; the holidays are firmly behind us, life is getting busy, and the weather is so lovely that I’m drawn outside. Only to realize I’ve totally neglected my outdoor space since before the end of the year.
So today, I’ve rounded up a whole bunch of balcony and patio ideas, brand new furniture and my years of knowledge when it comes to outdoor furniture and decor.
First things first, evaluate what you’re working with:
Then, think about what you want:
It’s all up to you – there are no right or wrong answers here, it’s really what you feel is the best answer for you.
And then? You can get to planning.
An apartment balcony is not a useless space. Yes, it’s small, and you don’t really get a choice of the color scheme, but even a small slice of the outdoors is a luxury.
A lot of the ideas for balconies work for front porches, or even small seating areas in a backyard, too.
So, what did you decide you wanted for your finished space? Dine or Lounge? Soothing or Exciting?
I’ve pulled together a couple of options for each combo:
Patios are one of the most versatile spaces you can have outside. In our current house, we had it set up as a dining space for 3 years, then converted it to a lounge space. As long as you have a good solid floor, and more than 8’x8′, it can be the patio of your dreams. If your space is smaller than this, check out the Balcony ideas, above.
Here are some ideas for Patio combos:
So it’s true: Outdoor furniture and decorations are typically not cheap. If it feels like too good of a deal, it probably is.
Specialized materials that will stand up to the harsh outdoor environment are not easy to develop, and thus they are usually more expensive.
Sustainably sourced and manufactured pieces are also not a place to skimp.
But if you’re thoughtful with your choices, you can make that investment last and last.
How to make your outdoor furniture last
The easiest way to make your investment last is to start by picking something you’re not going to get tired of after a single season. Neutral finishes and classic shapes make it easy to add simple updates in a few years when you’re ready for a refresh.
Properly cared for, I would expect any piece of outdoor furniture to last at least 3 years before any repairs or deep cleaning would need to occur.
Pillows & cushions that are stowed after each use should last for years.
Rugs that are left fully exposed will start to fade after the first season and will need to be pressure washed a couple of times a year depending on your humidity level.
All pieces will benefit from a light pressure wash at the beginning of the year, and before they are wrapped up for the end of the year.
The most serious damage is caused by wrapping up or stowing dirty cushions or furniture. It’ll be WAY harder to take care of next year, I promise. Just make sure they’re dry before you cover them!
And take care of stains right away, too. If clean water won’t get rid of it, try the 303 line by Gold Eagle, or even just Simple Green. Anything harsher will ruin your investment by removing the protective finishes!
All of this is why routine maintenance is so important.
Routine cleaning – What’s right for me?
Thinking about how involved you want to be in the day-to-day upkeep of your pieces is important to do upfront. If you don’t do it, you’re wasting your money.
So think about how involved you want to be:
Avoid furniture with cushions
Do not install a rug
Keep the finishes dark
Try and go for furniture made of all one material (all metal, or all plastic)
Avoid any natural wood
If you have seat cushions, stow them after every use
Select a rug with a detailed or colorful pattern
Avoid tightly woven finishes
A LOT OF EFFORT:
Get covers for all pieces, and use them every single time (including the umbrella)
Solid or heavily woven rugs
Natural Wood finishes
Light Finishes or Cushions
I’ve shopped the internet for so you don’t have to, and have pulled my favorite pieces for each category. My one overall tip is to buy early – if you see something you love don’t wait for a sale to happen. Outdoor furniture goes fast, and the piece you want may be gone by the time the sale is on.
WHOOOOOOO! There we go! All the best Patio and Balcony Ideas I’ve got. All my sources, tips & tricks!
I hope this helped! If you ever need a custom solution, or have more questions, let me know! I’m always here to help.
Ways to spruce up your outdoor spaces, no matter how much room you have to work with.