20 Ways To Spruce Up Your Small Garden Or Balcony In Time For Spring
A tiny bit of TLC is truly all that's needed to transform a small outdoor space
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After spending the last four months tripping over each other in our small one bedroom flat, it’s safe to say that my boyfriend and I are desperate to get back out onto our beloved balcony. Only 3m x 1.5m in size, it’s by no means a big space — but we’re determined to make the absolute most of it now that the weather’s improving.
Whether you’ve got a petite patio, a tiny terrace, or a balcony like us, it’s definitely possible to turn your precious patch of outdoor space into the perfect spot for al fresco drinks, a morning coffee, or even doing a bit of work.
Clearly, with the unpredictable nature of English weather, we can’t guarantee you still won’t want to have a few blankets on hand – but these space-saving seating options, and stylish yet practical accessories are sure to help you turn your small and unassuming outdoor space into your home’s best feature...
Add privacy to a relatively public balcony or patio by installing bamboo screening
Our balcony overlooks quite a busy courtyard, so attaching a bamboo screen to the railings with cable ties was one of the first things we did when we moved in. It’s given us far more privacy, and also looks much nicer than the plastic screen options I’ve seen.
And cover it with this net of string lights for added cosiness
I can imagine this gorgeous net of lights giving off such a lovely glow when strung up on a bamboo screen. Not too bright, they’ll also make the perfect gentle light source on darker evenings.
Folding bistro sets make a great space-saving outdoor furniture choice
A staple addition to any courtyard, patio, or balcony, we eat dinner on our bistro set all the time in the summer months. This set folds up really well, and comes in grey, sage, and olive green.
And hanging tables can be particularly handy if you have a balcony
Picking a piece of furniture feels like a pretty big deal when you haven’t got much space to work with. This highly-rated table can be easily adjusted so that it fits perfectly to your railings, and is made from a gorgeous weather-resistant acacia wood.
Get an electric heater if you’re keen to stay outside in the evenings
It might seem a bit over-the-top, but I firmly believe that buying a patio heater is key if you’re keen to use your outdoor space as much as possible. Super versatile, this one can be mounted on a wall or used freestanding, has three high-performance heat settings, and even a 45° adjustable head tilt.
£39.99 (was £69.99) from Amazon
And always light a citronella candle when the sun goes down to keep bugs at bay
But as lovely as it is to be able to stay outside past sunset, it does make you far more likely to get bitten by mosquitos. Made from soy wax and pure Citronella essence oil, light this four wick candle to keep the bugs at bay. Plus, with its handmade grey concrete bowl, it’s a gorgeous decorative addition to your outdoor space.
Make this statement chair into your chosen spot for reading or relaxing
I am genuinely obsessed with this chair – and there’s a reasonable chance I will have caved and headed to Argos before the month's out. With its sleek black frame and cream canvas sling seat, it oozes both style and comfort, and would make a great statement piece – without taking up too much room – for a smaller outdoor space.
And place this foldable table next to it for holding your drink and nibbles
This space-saving side table is crafted from powder coated steel, and can be quickly converted to a lap tray thanks to its foldable legs. It’s available in three modern shades; black, charcoal, and clay.
Kill any moss or algae that’s grown in the gaps of your patio during winter
The decking on my balcony has become riddled with moss and algae over the winter months, so this solution is going straight in my basket. It’s biodegradable so it won’t harm pets or children, requires no scrubbing to work, and will leave you with visible results within four days. Just remember that you’ll need to buy a cheap pressure sprayer to apply it properly.
And use a pressure washer to make your patio or decking properly shine
In my opinion, making sure your patio or decking is super clean and sparkling is a sure-fire way to upgrade its overall look. This pressure washer has great reviews, comes with multiple attachments, and – unlike many of the more clunky models – is compact in size and easy to store.
£74.99 (was £129.99) from Amazon
Display plants in a way that maximises both vertical space and corners
Tiered stands are great if you’re keen to save as much floor space as possible by grouping your greenery together. This classic metal option has been designed to sit snugly in a corner, and has three tiers for you to use.
Or attach these mountable flower boxes to your railings if you have a balcony
We have had these exact planters fixed to our balcony railings for over a year now, and I can attest that they’re super sturdy and don’t even slightly waver in the wind. They’ve got a lovely poly rattan casing, and come in black, brown, grey, and cream.
Create an al fresco living room vibe by laying down a waterproof rug
If you’re after making your outside space feel a little like your living room, then definitely consider picking up an outdoor rug. This lovely jute one comes in two different sizes, and either this rustic brown finish, or sleek and contemporary black.
And have padded bench cushions on hand to make it more comfortable to sit on
Who needs a six-piece rattan sofa when you’ve got a rug covered with comfy cushions? Far more affordable than many of the other options I’ve seen, these lovely bench cushions are available as both two and three seaters, and come in nine different colours.
Display or hang some solar lanterns that’ll light up when it gets dark
This sleek and tall battery operated LED lantern flickers so naturally you’ll think it’s a real candle. With its charcoal metal frame and real glass panes, it’ll make a sleek addition to any outdoor space that needs a touch of atmospheric lighting.
Or for something more subtle, line your patio with this copper tube solar light
I just love the idea of pulling focus to your patio by lining it with this eight metre warm white LED solar tube light. When it’s been able to fully charge throughout a sunny day, you can expect up to seven hours of illumination in the evening.
If you’ve got a balcony, then affix this sleek bar table to its railings
A bar table is the ultimate space-saving bit of furniture if you’ve got a balcony. Simply screw this solid pine desk onto your railings, pull up a bar stool, and have your morning coffees, Monday meetings, and early evening drinks all while enjoying the sights around you.
And get a couple of rust-resistant metal bar stools that wont take up much room
Speaking of bar stools, this one is super affordable, comes in multiple different colours, and can be easily stacked when you need to save space. Although designed for indoors, many reviewers seem to be using them outdoors, and say they have fared well when exposed to the elements.
Make a boring wall more exciting by hanging up a statement sign
Adding a sign to a blank exterior wall will instantly give your small outdoor space a more cosy feel. This eye-catching black metal one is rust-resistant, easy to mount, and has a lovely message.
Or go for a mirror instead if you’re looking to create the illusion of more space
Not just a great decorative addition to your outdoor space, mirrors also help make a small outdoor space seem bigger. This panelled one has a modern arch shape, and is made with powder-coated steel that’s completely weather resistant.