How to Turn Your Balcony Into a Private Sanctuary
How I turned my balcony into an urban oasis — step by (easy) step.
At night, lighting makes the mood. So skip the super-bright lamps and string up these lights throughout (they have pearl white bulbs, attach easily with little green hooks, and the wire is green so it blends in). Next, put them on a remote control so you can easily turn them on and off, even from 50 feet away.
Add these styrofoam ceiling tiles (which are safe if they fall off) to the ceiling of your balcony to make it look extra glam. They look like Parisian-style metal ceiling tiles, but weigh next to nothing and stick on with this outdoor sealant. Grab a pair of bluetooth outdoor rock speakers which, yup – you guessed it – look like a rock. The canyon sandstone goes perfectly with a balcony already decked out with a lot of plants.
We also had this bird feeder for a while (but soon discovered that cats + birds don’t mix well). We used a green, leafy metal stand to attach it to the railing and let it hang over the balcony (so the seeds didn’t end up on our grass). We had another feeder with water, that hung on the inside hook. Took us a while to find the right food to attract the little songbirds, but when we did it was absolute heaven hearing the birds chirping, and watching them interact.
We also glued (with a tube of outdoor adhesive) plastic bird spikes along the top of the railing partly so that we could make sure the cats don’t go over (although, after a couple of very close calls, we decided not to let them outside unmonitored anymore), and partly to string faux vine through it. And finallllllyyyy, my last tip is this: Get this curtain-style screen door, because nobody wants flies and mosquitos in their apartment. It’s $35 and attaches with velcro. It’s magnetic in the middle, so you can just push through while double-fisting (with a tall glass of… water… in the other hand, of course!)
The only thing limiting the possibilities for a patio sanctuary is your imagination. The time and money you spend on the project will pay off in peace, quiet, and contentment.
A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.