Back to Blog
side by side imaes of a small patio beautifully decorated with furniture and a fire pit

The Canadian Winter Has Nothing On You

Apartment and condo living has its advantages – like not having to shovel a bunch of snow in the winter. But, having a tiny balcony can be difficult and frustrating – you often have no idea what to do with it and how to use every inch of it in the best possible way.

Small balconies can feel limiting, but with the help of expert furnishing companies that specialize in patio furniture like Patio Comfort in Ottawa, there’s always a way to beautify your patio. Read on for tips on how to maximize space, make your patio seem more private, and even turn it into a whole other living room (or at least an extension of your existing one!).

Read More: How to Make a Small Outdoor Patio Look Larger Than It Is

Add an Outdoor Rug

An outdoor rug is the best accessory to cosy up any space. Especially if your balcony is sheltered, your outdoor rug is likely not to get much condensation on it. Outdoor rugs are also affordable and are always washable. Just put them in the washing machine, and you’re good to go. See – you can’t really do that with bigger rugs!

Apartment: 1 – Huge deck behind the house: 0.

Foldable Chairs

Foldable chairs are home furnishing companies’ gift to small space dwellers. They’re so easy to pull out and tuck away whenever needed, and they hardly take up any space. If your condo’s balcony is limited in space, opt for the folding chairs and store them as needed inside a closet, taking them out whenever you have company. Convenient AND pretty!

Smaller Furniture Pieces

Well, this one is a bit obvious, eh? But logical, too. If you’re strapped for space in your condo’s balcony, opt for narrow furniture such as narrow love seats and side tables. You can also make the most of your space by using smaller outdoor furniture such as side tables and small chairs. Opt for stackable chairs and nesting tables to save even more space.

Add a Cosy Outdoor Couch

Curl up on a couch outdoors, even if your space is limited. A special two-seater or even a chaise lounge is all you need. Wicker two-seaters are a chic and cosy option, and if you are blessed with a little more space to accommodate this or have a long, narrow balcony, you can go wild and choose a sectional. Sectionals are a modern and funky aesthetic that is ideal for entertainers. If you’re into DIY – try using pallets and make your own two-seater! It will add a bit of creativity to the whole thing. Just stack two pallets and put seat pads on top. Style it with some cushions and there you have it. Your very own two-seater.

Double-Duty Furniture

Double-duty furniture works to keep space freed up for other details. Using a side table that can also double as a comfortable low stool or backless chair is a great example of double-duty furniture. A footrest that has storage in it and can also be a chair or side table is another great example.  If you’re smart about the furniture you pick, you might not need more than three or four small pieces to create a multi-functional set while maintaining a lot of space.

Hanging Planters

Plants and hanging plants are very fashionable patio options. It’s easy to turn your small balcony into an oasis by hanging a few planters from the ceiling and filling them with low-maintenance plants such as aloe or ferns.

Add Lighting

Make the golden moments count with a bit of extra light. Outdoor lighting can set the mood and give you a little extra brightness after the sunsets. Hanging lanterns from the ceiling and stringing fairy lights around the railings of your balcony, or on the protective screen can add a bit of ambience and magic to your outdoor hangout spot, making you never want to go back inside. Romantic and practical – a dream!

Be Strategic

Place your furniture strategically to make it feel like it isn’t taking up an overwhelming amount of space. Ensure that the passage to your condo’s interior isn’t blocked. If it is, that will only make you feel frustrated towards your balcony and its lack of space. Place furniture so it’s easy for you to move around – balconies are for zen, not for getting angry because you stubbed your toe on the cute side table.

Read More: Outdoor Patio Design Mistakes to Avoid

Add a Pop of Colour

Whether it’s with a huge plant like a monstera or it’s choosing one or two more colourful accessories or furniture options such as an umbrella or chair, a pop of colour is a great addition to your balcony. We recommend going for a nice colourful outdoor rug, and maybe hanging a lantern alongside your lights and hanging planters.

Read More: Tips for Planning Your New Patio Design

Add a Privacy Screen

Whether you’re investing in wood panels, solar shades, bamboo or any other detailed screens, privacy is always a great idea. If you have pets or toddlers, this could also be used as another safety measure allowing everybody to enjoy your balcony, worry-free. This will also give you added privacy from your neighbours and passers-by on the street.

Make Room For Storage

Don’t clutter your balcony, especially if you’re strapped for space. Try using any of your outdoor furniture as additional storage, for example, a wooden trellis planter can be used for storage and seating instead of only planting! Plus, you can hang some of your plants on it. A 3-in-one that looks nice! Also, remember to put things away after you’ve used them and avoid an overly-crowded scene.

Thinking About The Colder Months

Winter in Canada is harsh, we’re not liars here. It can be pretty challenging to maintain your balcony in the middle of the winter, but that doesn’t mean you can completely give up on it. Of course, you won’t be chilling on your balcony at – 30 Celsius (pun intended!), but you can use it in milder temperatures, by taking the proper steps.

Add A Space Heater or a Chiminea

And thank us later. Investing in a space heater might sound a bit out there, but think about it. Is it really a bad idea? We didn’t think so either.

Chimineas or outdoor fireplaces are an awesome solution if you want to spend more time on your balcony in the winter. They come in various models and you just might find a size that could suit you. However, they do need some space around them so it’s important to make sure it will be safe. Also, if you’re renting – always check with your landlord and building management if that even is an option.

If a chiminea turns out to be a big no-no – a space heater is the thing to go with. The best thing about it – is you just bring it back inside when you’re done enjoying your winter balcony and you can continue keeping yourself warm in your favourite room!

Throws and Blankets!

Because why not? Not only do they look nice as a colourful decor piece, but they can actually help you get warmer. Always keep some throws and blankets handy!

The Materials

When talking about winter and furniture material – teak is always the star of the show. Teak is the most durable wood out there and it can last for years. It’s weather-resistant and not that welcoming for insects. With teak furniture, you don’t even have to worry about getting it back inside during the winter!

Read More: Make the Most of Small Patio Designs

The Takeaway

As we already said, a balcony is for zen, not frustration, so give these tips a try. Anything can be made beautiful and homey, you just need to look to the right places like Patio Comfort to achieve the aesthetic you’re seeking.