There's value to a balcony that goes way beyond the square footage it adds to your apartment. Perhaps that's because it opens your living space up to the outside world, whether bustling city streets or manicured suburban landscapes. Or maybe it's because it feels good to have a secure retreat from which to observe your corner of the world.
But what does your private outdoor space allow you to do that would not be possible without it?
You don't have to plan a camping or hiking trip to enjoy the benefits of outdoor eating. You can shed your stress levels and calm your moods by stepping onto the balcony.
Whether you have enough space to create a bistro for a small gathering or can only squeeze in a couple of chairs and a folding table, you can soak up the sun and enjoy the summer breezes while you eat.
If you want to ease your way into a new day, a morning java on the balcony is hard to beat. Take in the scents of a fresh brew, watch the sunrise and enjoy a crisp pastry.
Every day you make a decision about how to dress. Before you do, it's nice to know what the outdoor elements have in store for you.
You can, of course, check the weather on your phone, the TV or radio, but all you get is temperature, humidity and the chance of precipitation. If you want to know what it feels like, however, you have to step outside. There's no need to run down a flight of steps or take the elevator to go outside – just walk onto your balcony.
While balconies are often relatively small, you may be able to grow your own urban garden. It's a good idea to start small with a few plants, have a few successes (and learning-failures), and then, gradually add to your outdoor greenery.
Your plants not only add to your enjoyment on the balcony, but they also help bring the outdoors in. But before you dust off your green thumb, check with your landlord to see what's allowed.
We all deserve a place to hang out. Literally.
There's an array of comfy chairs and couches that can transform your apartment balcony into your private relaxation oasis. Add some pillows and even a blanket for cooler weather, and you'll have a spot for lazy days, quiet book reading and perhaps a little star gazing.
Last, but certainly not least, enjoy one of the main benefits of a balcony – the view. Balcony views are special because they provide an outlook on your environs from above. You may not have a stunning mountain vista or water lapping in a lake below, but there's something unique about a balcony perspective. You see further and become a quiet observer rather than a participant in the scene.
So, a balcony is what you make of it. You can eat and drink outdoors, build your relaxation hangout, check on the weather or simply delight in the view.
Carolyn Frith, a content consultant who owns Carolyn Frith Marketing, aims to rid the world of snore-and-bore writing on the web. Topics she covers range from Philadelphia events and Philadelphia real estate and apartment options to a range of other content.