A good bistro set is an absolute must -- it’s the ideal backdrop for cocktails, coffee, romantic dinners, board games, and more. Balcony- or bar-height options are perfect choices for narrow urban or downtown condo balconies, where space could be slim; raising the seat and surface level lends air to the arrangement. Space-saving stackable, foldable, and nesting sets also allow for versatility both in use and off-season storage – look for quick-drying sling seats and tables and benches with concealed interior storage for even more functionality. And there’s no limitation to scene-setting styles, either. Keep things lively with something colorful and contemporary or go classic French with wrought iron and a couple of glasses of cold rosé.
A simpler table-and-chair arrangement is geared less toward dining and more toward chilling. And these designs can still come with all the luxury of full-scale patio ensembles, including generous padding and cozy features like built-in fire pits, cup holders, and cooler tables. Get creative, too – opt for patterned upholstery and add throw pillows and a textural rug.
A privacy screen or curtain is a terrific way to get some alone time while still getting some fresh air and sunshine. These affordable units can roll or slide out effortlessly so you can indulge in a grand panorama one moment and then close off neighboring views so you can take a nap or set a candlelit meal for two.
Adding green is easy with balcony-sized planters, potting benches, vertical gardens, and space-saving rail planters that hook directly on the guard rails so no ground space is lost.
String lights and lanterns can be hung from an awning, placed atop a table, or even hooked onto a railing (well-distanced from planters). Light establishes an atmosphere, soothing or festive and always inviting.
Look for a compact tabletop grills and or a model that can hook onto a railing so you can fire up a few burgers and brats while you appreciate the scenery. A small wood-burning or gas fire pit or column warms the scene long after the night air turns cool.
An umbrella or awning is a no-brainer. Too sunny? Prevent skin damage. Drizzly? Stay dry and watch it rain.
Beyond the luxury of quality furniture, accents – be they functional or purely fun – finish your balcony’s ambiance. Outdoor-rated decor reminiscent of what you'd find in your living room, like rugs, pillows, and artwork, will make the space more comfortable and inviting. Smaller accents like ornate wind chimes, sculpted fountains, and ceramic décor pieces also bring a bit of culture to the outside world.