Many of us have gotten creative this past year in how to best utilize all of our home spaces as we've redefined leisure and productivity. For those in apartments or working with smaller areas, a fun and functional home can be a bit more challenging to create. For inspiration, our friends at RENTCafé have prepared some tips for our NAPO Austin readers. Enjoy!
When you’re a renter, decorating and organizing your home can be a challenge, and it might seem futile to invest in a place when you know that you’re eventually going to leave it. However, creating a good organization system and designing the space in your rental can make a huge difference in how you feel and your ability to keep your place clean.
In particular, one area in which people usually don’t invest is their balcony or patio. Yet, the circumstances caused by the pandemic have taught us just how important it is to have a place where you can go to breathe some fresh air and disconnect from your home a bit — and a balcony provides a perfect transition between exterior and interior. So, in this article, we’ll share tips to help you organize and decorate your small balcony.
If you’re renting an Austin apartment, plan to prepare your balcony for a variety of weather situations.
Begin by rethinking the flooring. For instance, if you have a concrete floor that you want to cover up, try some composite deck tiles that simply snap into place. These are great because you can take them with you when you move, and they can change the entire feel of the balcony.
Additionally, invest in some pieces of small, versatile furniture that can fit a limited space, but that are also made of durable materials that can withstand rain and sun. Another option is a portable set so you can easily fold it up and take it inside when it rains or when you’re not using it.
Alternatively, if you intend to use your balcony to maximize the storage space in your apartment, consider installing some shelves with easy access. Keep in mind that whatever you store on your balcony needs to be weather-resistant so that rain and excessive sun won’t affect them. While the balcony is a great space to sneak in extra storage, try to keep it on a smaller scale. If you need additional space, you can always rent a storage unit.
Meanwhile, to properly arrange your balcony, place the furniture close to the walls and further from the door. Then, next to the door, make use of vertical space with the aforementioned shelves, where you can keep anything from jars to potted plants and herbs.
Finally, a balcony has amazing potential to become a relaxing oasis.
Besides plants, a big part of the décor and atmosphere of the balcony will come from lighting. To that end, invest in hanging lights that you can add to the wall, as well as tiny, warm lights to wrap around the railing or pillars. These will offer a cozy feeling, especially at sunset and in the evening.
Likewise, make the space feel like your own by adding some items that you enjoy looking at. For example, find a coffee table or a balcony table with additional storage beneath it, where you can keep a couple of mugs, a few books or even a cooler with beverages for quick and easy access when you want to relax.
By keeping your balcony organized and knowing its purpose, you can prevent it from becoming just another place where you dump the things you don’t need. Take advantage of this gorgeous space and don’t be afraid to invest in it. The investment will surely be worth it!