How to Update Your Tiny Balcony or Patio for Summer Fun!

It’s summer time and that means making the most of the long evenings and nice weather! Not all of us however have a huge backyard that comes along with our first rental, especially in apartments and town homes in very urban areas. Renting an entire house can also be more of an expense than we would certainly hope for. Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still celebrate the season! There are lots of affordable summer items to add to your balcony or patio, even if you have limited space. Check out these tips below to upgrade your small outdoor space for the season.

Get the grill going!

Nothing screams Summer to me more than some grilled burgers or veggies! You may be thinking that grills can be expensive, lots of maintenance and take up at least half of your patio. Look no further than this cool Weber grill!
Weber Grill
There are different types of grills in this smaller category (electric or propane), they come in a variety of different colors, and at only $199, they’re a total bargain!

Create ambience with decorations

Sometimes the simplest touches can make a place feel more welcoming to guests. Invest in some patio furniture, like this set from IKEA, to transform your patio into another room.
table and chairs
Add some string lights like these and allow the party to continue into the evening.
lights

Outdoor decorations like cushions and paper lanterns can add color without clutter! You don’t need a ton of decorations to transform a space, just a few small additions will do!

Give your green thumbs a chance to shine

Who says you need a full backyard to grow a garden? These magnetic flower pots by Urbio at the Container Store are perfect for starting an herb garden.
herb garden
Because they mount onto a magnetic wall, minimal space is required for them and you can arrange the pots however you like. Fresh basil for pesto pasta anyone?

Not the best at gardening? Succulents are super chic and trendy right now but are also very difficult to kill.

succulents
Pick some up at Home Depot, Orchard Supply and IKEA.

Blue tooth speakers keep the party going when there’s no outside outlet!

There are a variety of options for blue tooth speakers depending on your budget and tastes, but I recommend this little one from Altec.
speaker
It comes in a few different colors, is portable, has great sound, and is waterproof and sandproof. Take it to the beach, a pool party, or use it to listen to music during a bubble bath!

Fire pits and blankets allow you to enjoy cooler summer nights too!

Keep your guests warm by roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over a fire with this compact fire pit from Target.

fire pit
At just 26 inches in diameter, it won’t take up too much room on your balcony! Small throws can also keep you and your guests warm while still enjoying the evening.

With a few upgrades to your small balcony or patio, you can maximize the use out of these extra spaces in your apartment while still enjoying the season, the outdoors and fresh air. (Just remember to find out your apartment building’s rules and local fire codes about fire pits and grills on patios and balconies before you strike the match.)

Happy summer!

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Author My First Apartment
Anna R.

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Anna R. is currently a research assistant in a biology lab in the Bay Area and is interested in pursuing a Ph.D in Genetics. When she’s not daydreaming about food and browsing recipes on Pinterest, she likes to spend her free time dancing, paddle boarding and swimming. She’s been through a number of different housing situations and is eager to share her experiences with other MFA readers!

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