Lights, glamour, action… it is said that once you’ve lived in the city, the love affair never ends. Just like a romance, the energy is invigorating and the connection you feel is addictive.

However, one of the sacrifices urban dwellers often have to make is access to personal outdoor space. City apartments may at most have a terrace-like balcony or roof-top garden. Although the bird’s eye views and sparkling city lights on a clear night may make up for the lack of outdoor space, if you have it, best make the most of it.


Get comfortable

Create a comfortable space that is a welcoming invitation to you and your guests. More than just a soft seat, consider using artificial lawn or an outdoor rug underfoot, have blankets and cushions at hand and a side table or shelf to rest a drink.

Straight up

Use the vertical space of your small balcony to maximise décor and storage opportunities. Instead of standing lights, opt for hanging lanterns or string lights to warm the mood and give practical lighting. No outdoor space is complete without some greenery. Green walls or vertical gardens are very on-trend at the moment; think ladders, wall-mounted pots, hanging baskets.

Create a scene

Small spaces don’t need to mean awkward layouts, choose the right sized furniture and accessories for the space available and create interesting vignettes. If you have a narrow balcony, try a long bench or bar stools and shelf mounted on the balcony wall or railing or if you have a small box-shaped enclave, create a U-shape seating arrangement or even a built-in daybed.

Pack a punch

Increase your storage by creating or choosing multi-purpose furniture i.e. a bench or table that doubles up as a storage kist. Instead of loose pieces, install wall-mounted cupboards or shelves. Keep the weather conditions in mind when choosing what to leave out on display and what to keep stored away.

Go with the flow

Indoor-outdoor flow in a small apartment can be tricky. Security gates that swing out and impede ease of movement and heavy curtains that get sucked and swirled by the breeze are impractical and a nuisance. “Security and privacy are so important especially in a high-density urban environment,” says Karina Palmer, interior designer and marketing director of AMERICAN shutters. “However, you don’t want to compromise how well your outdoor space looks and works.”

Installed inside or outside, Security Shutters are practical and pretty. There are various configurations to choose from based on the layout of your apartment i.e. sliding By-Pass shutters that stack on the wall beyond the door opening or Bi-Fold shutters that concertina to one or both sides.


“Our Security Shutters have a unique ‘Gear Tilt’ system that allows the louvres to be opened and closed simply by tilting the louvres; no tilt rod needed. This makes for a streamlined design with no tilt rod protruding beyond the open louvres or interrupting the view between the louvres.”

When closed Security Shutters give up to 90% light block and complete privacy, perfect to shut out city lights and peeping neighbours.

“You can also install them outside along one or two sides of your balcony or enclose it completely. For the full outdoor experience, open the shutters completely, and then close them to create an extra room that is private and safe,” concludes Karina.

We love décor and we love to shop, so here is our small balcony dream board for this summer. What do you think?


• Shutters – AMERICAN shutters
• Outdoor rug – Hertex
• Chair – Knus
• Cushion box – Patio Warehouse
• Hanging planter – Weylandts
• Drinks trolley – Coricraft
• Throw – Weylandts
• Lantern – Takealot


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