Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › Turn Your Apartment Porch Into An Outdoor Sanctuary

If you’re lucky enough to land an apartment with an outdoor space, make the most of it! Whether it’s a porch, balcony, or deck, your outdoor space provides bonus living space for you to relax with a book, cultivate a garden, or even entertain. Before you undertake any time-consuming, costly, or potentially permanent renovations, check your lease and talk to your property manager to make sure your plans are in line with what your lease permits. Then you’re free to let your imagination run wild and convert your outdoor space into a stylish sanctuary where you can unwind after a long day at work or enjoy lazy weekend days.

Here are eight ideas to get you started!

Invest in Quality Seating

You won’t really maximize your outdoor space if it’s not a comfortable place to spend your time. No matter what your budget, there are plenty of comfortable chairs perfectly suited for every style. If you like the look of classic adirondack chairs but the price gives you sticker shock, opt for a hearty plastic substitute. Most hardware stores carry them in a wide variety of fun colors for a fraction of the cost. Plus, the plastic makes them easy to clean and durable. A portable hammock—one that doesn’t need trees to hang up—can also be a fun option for lazy days and glorious naps in the sun. If you’re able to spend a little more, consider an outdoor chaise lounge or cushioned wicker furniture that can endure the elements and still keep you as comfortable as your living room sofa.

Make Your Space Cozy with a Fire Bowl

While a fire pit may seem like a big investment, or something that you need to have specially constructed, there are actually tons of great fire bowls that work well for apartment porches. Don’t count on your firebowl to produce a lot of heat, but on a cool fall night, it will create the perfect spot for you and your friends to enjoy a cocktail or a cappuccino after a great dinner.

Create a Private Space

If your porch or balcony is right next to your neighbors, it may feel like you’re on full display every time you walk outside, which is hardly relaxing. Depending on your lease, you may be able to put up a privacy screen. This could be as simple as a roll of bamboo or an attractive tapestry that serves as a curtain. If you go the curtain route, look for materials that are specifically for outdoor use like canvas or PVC mesh. If a privacy screen isn’t quite right for your community, make a natural sight barrier that’s not likely to cause any objections with plants. Look for plants that grow tall—like tomatoes—or plants that creep—like ivy—to give you maximum coverage.

Don’t Neglect Your Floor

Staring down at a drab concrete floor? There are lots of way to make the floor of your porch more attractive (and complement the look of your furniture and other outdoor elements) without calling in the concrete truck. You could invest in a lovely outdoor rug to help pull your whole space together—just make sure it’s truly for outdoors to prevent mold. For another option, interlocking composite wood tiles will create the look of a brand new deck without the cost or construction needs. Simply measure your floor space and purchase the appropriate number of tiles to cover the floor. Assembly is fast and simple and you’ll create a major wow effect.

Go Green for Your Health

The simple act of gardening can help reduce your stress, improve your mental health, and improve your nutrition if you’re growing some of your own food. Whether you cultivate peonies or herbs, the time spent outdoors, directly interacting with nature can provide a significant boost to your health. If you don’t exactly have a green thumb, consider planting succulents, which are very low maintenance.

Use Lighting to Create a Festive Vibe

Most string lights are very affordable, so it’s surprising just how big of an impact they can have on the look and feel of your space. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can create a canopy effect with string lights all across the top of your porch. This generally works best if you have some trees or solid structures on your porch from which to hang the lights. If you’re working with a smaller or more complicated space, string your lights on outdoor furniture (an umbrella is a great spot) or shrubbery to for create a whimsical and romantic effect. For a greener alternative, try string lights powered by solar energy, which look every bit as bright and cheery as their trad

Keep Bugs at Bay with Citronella

Nothing can drive you back indoors faster than hungry mosquitoes. To keep the mosquitoes at bay without needing to layer on the DEET, try planting citronella, horsemint, marigolds, ageratum, or catnip—they’re very effective at naturally repelling mosquitoes. If you struggle to keep plants alive, or just want some extra protection, you can also use citronella candles. While these candles often come in unattractive tin cans that look more appropriate for a camping trip, move them into mason jars or other containers that are more appropriate for the aesthetic of your porch.

Relax with a Soothing Water Feature

Nature sounds have been scientifically proven to help you relax, but investing in a water feature for your porch can have other benefits as well. Water features attract birds, dragonflies, and other helpful pollinators, which can be entertaining, but they also have a positive impact on your plants and your broader local environment. You can find water features for small spaces at a variety of stores and accessible price points. If you’re especially handy or creative, think about making your own DIY water feature to make your porch truly one of a kind. You just might never want to go indoors again!

About :

Danielle Hegedus is an Atlanta based writer. She is a regular contributor to Modernize, as well as a variety of lifestyle and home design websites. Danielle recently finished her first cookbook, in collaboration with Chef, Kamal Grant for Atlanta's beloved, Sublime Doughnuts.

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