The best balcony garden ideas and tips

For garden

Offering endless views (without endless maintenance) balcony gardens are an asset to any home.  Small and stylish, they’re a great spot to spend your time in.  

And, whilst space may be limited, your styling options are certainly not. In this article, we’ve collated a range of balcony garden ideas to help you make the most of your balcony. From plant picks to storage solutions, there are lots of handy tips and tricks to try.

The first step is to know and understand your balcony’s tolerance for weight, light, drainage and wind etc. Once you have that knowledge, it’s time to explore your options.

Balcony garden ideas:

1. Seek out scented plants and herbs

When working with a compact space, plants that can be contained are a great idea. Plants that smell or taste nice are even better, giving you more sensory bang for your buck.

Lavender is a great balcony choice as it copes well with sunshine or wind. It will also fill your days and nights with scent. Herbs such as basil, thyme or rosemary will also be handy for this setting (and cooking too!).

Top tip: Give your plant pots an injection of herb-inspired colour with our Garden Paint in Mint or Sage.


2. Stack up

Open shelving is a great way to pack lots of items into a small area. Stacking plants or décor upwards, rather than outwards, maximises your floor space and it can look very eye catching too.

Give your shelves even more personality by painting them, or your displayed goods, with our Garden Paint. This will also add another layer of protection. Alcove shelving is also a great way to make the most of any awkward spaces your balcony may have.

Top tip: Ensure that any items you showcase on your balcony shelves are of a suitable weight (or are fixed down) to keep them secure and safe.


3. Create character with contrast

If you want your exterior space to be an extension of your home, then consider contrast within your space. Just as you would with your interior to give the illusion of more space, make sure larger spaces are light and bright and then add depth with different textures in furniture. 

For example, you could complement a crisp white deck with wooden garden furniture and dark green succulents or potted plants.

Top tip: If you want your wooden furniture to have a rich colour that doesn’t take away its natural charm, we recommend a coat of our furniture oil.


4. That's a wrap

Using screens, cladding or decking to wrap your balcony garden can give it a whole new lease of life.

Acting as a canvas for your balcony garden ideas, panelling can make a handy base for shelving, hanging baskets and lighting. You can also paint it in the colour scheme of your choice without affecting original walls or the floor underneath.     

Top tip: If you’re not the green-fingered type, consider fake plants and trees to create an inviting space without any upkeep. Fake Ivy can also be used to create privacy screens or bring trellises to life.


5. Dine out

We all love a spot of Al Fresco dining and balconies are the perfect place for this. Whether you want to have supper with the sun or stars, you can savour your meal with delicious views to boot.

To make your dining area practical as well as pretty, install outdoor shelves for storage. This will help save space on your table/serving area. A portable island or kitchen trolley will also help transport food and crockery between indoor and outdoor spaces.     

Top tip: To unify your space and serving stations, treat them all in a similar colour.


6. Consider foldable furniture

If you’re looking for a more versatile balcony garden design, consider foldable furniture.

Collapsible tables, desks and chairs allow you to enjoy the function of furniture without permanently sacrificing square footage. Each item can be introduced or stashed away as and when they’re needed. So, whether you’re working from home or just working out, your balcony is the ideal location.

Top tip: Installing hooks on your walls or railings will allow you to hang your furniture between outings. Treat them to a wash of colour to make your display even more decorative.  This colourful collection has been created with our Garden Paint in Pink Jasmine, Lime Zest, Sundial and Blackbird.


7. Light the way

When it comes to balcony garden ideas, a little lighting goes a long way. With just a string of fairy lights or a cluster of candles you can easily set a scene to suit your mood.

Solar lights are a great sustainable choice and they work well with spaces that don’t have power outlets.

Top tip: Match the colour of your wiring to your backdrop to get a more integrated, seamless look. Here, Fence Life Plus in Charcoal Grey has been paired with a black wire.


8. Double up

Dual-purpose décor is every balcony owner’s dream. Think benches that also act as planters or shelves that fold out into dining tables. Wherever you can combine two purposes in one product, you’ll save space.

To keep your creations hard at work, be sure to protect them with a paint that can cope with balcony conditions and add to the ambience too. Our Garden Paint in Charcoal gives a contemporary finish and it’s waterproof and weatherproof.

Top tip: Read our article on ‘How to create your own garden bench’ for a great seating solution with storage.


9. Pop your colour

If your balcony was not built to bear much weight, you can make an impact with more intricate details. Adding pops of colour to vases, furniture and décor will automatically uplift a balcony area. Use one consistent colour to create a cohesive, uniform look or alternate your shades for a more striking finish.

Our Garden Paint works on a range of materials, from terracotta to metal. Use light hues such as Lemon tree to lift and brighten an area. Neutral shades like Warm Stone or Elderflower will help to create a more relaxed vibe.

Top tip: Distribute the weight of your decorative items by creating clusters of smaller vases or placing larger pots in different spots.


10. Get cosy

Credit: Instagram - @ourlittlehouse29

When the mood of your garden is on point, it doesn’t matter what size it is – you can still get lost in it. Using plants, cushions and candles, you can transform your balcony into a cosy escape for long evenings or winter nights.

Top tip: Wrapping your balcony in fencing or panelling in a dark colour will add to the ambience. Try our Fence Life Plus in Charcoal Grey or Midnight Blue.


11. Protect against the elements

Adding furniture to your balcony is sure to help you make the most of the space (and views!). It will, however, likely be subject to a range of testing weather conditions.

Protecting your tables, chairs and planters will help keep your balcony design fresh and finished.

Top tip: Try our Ultimate Protection Hardwood Furniture Oil in Clear for a warm and welcoming appearance that lets the character of your wood come through.


12. Let it grow

Trellises are a great way to add interest to your balcony garden design. Fixed to railings, a trellis works well as a privacy screen. When used against brickwork or fencing, it adds a layer of depth and a great foundation for bringing in plants and greenery.

Climbing plants with small footprints will be great picks for your trellis, as are hanging plants such as Pothos and Spider. 

Top tip: To make you trellis stand out, paint the fence or brickwork behind it with a contrasting colour such as Fence Life Plus in Sage.


13. Meet the neighbours

What’s a great view without someone to share it with? Bring a bit of wildlife to your balcony garden by adding a bird box or bee hotel to your space and watch the visitors drop in.

Top tip: Put a twist on this traditional garden touch with a bright and bold colour scheme. Our Garden Paint can be used on a variety of surfaces and it comes in shades such as Beetroot and Lime Zest. 


14. Maximise your wall space

Credit: Instagram - @ourlittlehouseno29

When floor space is limited, using the real estate available on walls, fencing and railings is a great alternative. And, the design options are endless.

Vertical gardens can range from complete ‘living walls’ of foliage to more spaced-out shrubs and planters. What you grow, and how you house it, is totally up to you. There’s just one rule you have to follow, the only way is up!

Top tip: Choose your plants based on the light and conditions your balcony faces to get the best results.  Make your planters pop with a contrasting colour such as Fence Life Plus in Charcoal Grey.


15. Refresh your railings

Exposed to the elements, balconies can face a fair bit of weathering. Railings will bear the brunt of any wind, rain or sun damage. As a result, they can lose their lustre over time. 

Refreshing your railings with a specialist metal paint that has protective qualities will instantly add impact to your balcony. It’ll also help prepare them for the seasons ahead too. For an easy application, try our 15 Year Protection Direct to Metal Paint.

Top tip: Make the most of your railings by decorating them with specialist planters. Sit-on-top, screw-on-top or hanging planters can all work well. Just make sure the fit and fixing is nice and tight to avoid any accidents.


As you’ll have seen in this article, great garden design isn’t down to the size of plot you have to play with. It’s about seeing the potential in an area, then using smart solutions and tailored touches to make your mark. With a few tips and tricks, even the smallest of spaces can feel spectacular.

If you want to read more about maxing out your outdoor areas, check out our guide on How to make the most of your garden.