This year has flown by, and winter will soon be bearing down on us. If your apartment has a balcony, instead of letting it accumulate snow for months on end this year, reclaim that space with a few apartment balcony ideas and turn it into a cozy area where you can enjoy the view and a bit of fresh air.
When it comes to outfitting and decorating your apartment balcony for winter, the sky's the limit.
If you live in an area that gets very cold and regularly sees snow, you can go all out winterizing the space by using clear plastic drapes, tarps or curtains to enclose the space, keeping the elements out and heat in, and using patio heaters to warm things up.
If you live in a warmer climate, you can just make do with a smaller space heater and some quaint décor ideas. But no matter where you live or what kind of balcony you have, there are some things to consider before diving into this project. Here are the dos and don'ts of turning your apartment balcony into a wintry hideaway!
It can be tempting to go wild with ideas for your apartment balcony, from different types of furniture to décor touches. But as it's a balcony, you only have a limited space to work with.
So, before heading to the store or placing those online orders, take measurements and consider how you best want to use and optimize the space. Furniture like sofas or ottomans that double as storage for blankets is one efficient option that amplifies space and helps the balcony not look so cluttered.
As referenced above, your balcony can only fit so much stuff. You still want enough space for people to easily and safely maneuver and move around without bumping into furniture and décor.
Apart from bruised shins, if your balcony regularly suffers from ice build-up, it could be a safety hazard for tripping and falling. So, be sure to not overcrowd the balcony with too much furniture.
Obviously, you want your balcony area to be warm and welcoming in winter, so that means accessorizing your furniture with lots of cute blankets and pillows so you, your housemates and guests can snuggle up with a cup of hot cocoa.
If your balcony is still going to be open-air during the winter and you live in an area that gets snow, when not in use, you'll need to remember to cover your furniture and bring in anything that you don't want to get wet.
Make sure you have waterproof coverings for your furniture because otherwise, they'll get soaked from snow and ice, and if they don't dry properly, that will allow mold and mildew to grow, as well as potentially discoloring or ruining the fabrics.
If your area gets snow during the winter but you still want to use your balcony on a regular basis (without having to completely bundle up every time you go outside), one great option is to winterize it by enclosing the space in some sort of clear plastic tarp or covering. It will keep the heat in, offer protection from the wind and inclement weather and if you live in an area that's still mostly warm climate, you can even leave certain types of plants outside on the balcony in pots or planters.
This is definitely one fix that you'll need to get permission from a landlord first. And there also might be other restrictions, like the difficulty of installing Plexiglass or plastic tarps, that the use of tarps may still allow snow and ice to get onto the balcony, or that some apartment complexes might not allow such a set-up. But you can always turn to a professional to help you enclose the space, or DIY it with some help from your housemate.
Clear, hanging plastics and tarps are overall pretty cheap, thus making it an affordable way to keep your balcony warm during the winter. Weigh the pros and cons to see if you can move forward with this apartment balcony idea.
Whether you're enclosing your balcony or not, a space heater will make the area even cozier and more inviting. If you have a larger balcony, you can get a freestanding patio heater that will better disperse heat, and if your balcony is more on a smaller side, there are tons of options for hanging, wall-mounted or portable space heaters that you can move around as you need. Once again, check with your landlord before starting this apartment balcony idea.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when choosing a space heater is making sure that it won't be touching or sitting too close to easily-flammable materials like clothing or furniture. Space heaters take second place as the cause of house fires each year, so it's extremely important that you make sure it has plenty of space and never leave it on unattended. Yet another reason to make sure your apartment balcony doesn't get overcrowded.
Similar to the concern over space heaters starting fires, it's always easy for a scented candle to accidentally be knocked over and start a fire. Yes, they do look lovely and add a wonderfully cozy, hygge-y vibe, but that can also be achieved with no-heat fairy or decorative lights.
So, try to refrain from using lots of candles for décor or heating and, if you must have candles, place them in out-of-reach places or enclosed glass candle holders and only have them on when there's someone spending time on the balcony to monitor them.
If your balcony is open-air or snow and ice can still get into the balcony through curtains or tarp coverings, you'll need to prevent them from building up and turning your balcony into a slippery, potentially dangerous ice zone.
You can keep an ice scraper, broom and shovel on hand to quickly and easily remove the snow and ice right after a storm (but be wary of dumping it off the balcony and only do so if it's safe and there's no one else around or under your balcony) or invest in heated outdoor mats that will melt snow and ice.
Undoubtedly, one of the best parts of outfitting your balcony for winter is getting to have fun with decorating. So, go with it! Let your imagination and creativity run wild, from hanging lights or decorative lanterns to fake seasonal plants, rugs, throws and more. It's your very own winter wonderland to transform and decorate as you please for months of cold-weather quality time.
When it comes to getting your balcony ready for winter, you want to strike the right balance between practical, safety-oriented set-ups like keeping your space heater away from flammable items and accessorizing the area to your taste. Keep those in mind and you'll have a safe, cozy space where you can enjoy the winter in comfort.