There’s nothing quite like stepping onto your private outdoor space and enjoying your morning coffee al fresco. It’s become one of our most coveted morning rituals in the summertime – being surrounded by plants in a private outdoor oasis is exactly how we have a slow, relaxing start to our day. It’s now one of our favorite spaces, and it feels like a best-kept secret.

Having a balcony on your home really is a dream, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to function. There are so many ways to decorate and furnish it, and you, too, can transform your balcony into the most-used and loved space in your home with these easy-to-follow recommendations.

Decide how you’d like to use the space. Will it be your summer WOH office? Is it your favorite spot for al fresco dining? Is this your only at-home outdoor space for gardening?

Then, identify your biggest needs: do you need privacy, multiple seating options, a surface for working, shade, a garden space? How you plan to utilize your space will influence your furnishings and decor. If you’re wanting it to be a functional space for entertaining, focus on seating. If you’re limited on space and just want the ability to pop outside for privacy, 1-2 chairs is sufficient.

Measure your balcony before purchasing furniture. A full patio set likely won’t be an efficient use of space, so make sure you know the size of the space before making any big purchases.

Source: Happy Interior Blog

Source: Apartment Therapy

Have some sort of design style in mind. Do you want to be transported to Tuscany while sipping on your favorite wine? Think dark wood furniture, terracotta pots and natural stone accents. Or, is an eclectic boho space more of your vibe? You can achieve this with tropical plants, a playful mix of patterns and travel-inspired decor. Your balcony can be an extension of your interior, or it can be its own unique space.

If you plan to incorporate plants on your balcony, do your research. Balcony Boss has numerous guides on selecting the right plants for your space. Is your balcony in direct sunlight all day, or is it shade covered? The amount of light your balcony gets during the day will impact your plant choice, so keep that in mind when making your selections. Also, if you’re really limited on space, think about railing planter boxes and vertical pots to add the maximum amount of green.

Cozy it up with pillows, blankets, cushions, rugs and other decorative items. Nothing beats relaxing with a good book (with a cocktail in hand of course!) after a long day, and having a cozy spot to do that makes it even better!