Balcony Outdoor Furniture — Experts Agree These 12 Styles Make the Most of Every Square Inch

Attention, apartment dwellers: this is your reminder that balconies are just vertical backyards. I scoured the market to find the chicest balcony outdoor furniture — because every outdoor space, no matter how small, deserves a stylish touch

balcony outdoor furniture
(Image credit: Target; West Elm; Wayfair)

As a New Yorker, I appreciate a good balcony — or, more often than not, a fire escape. Balcony outdoor furniture often gets overlooked in the backyard furniture conversation, but in my book, any outdoor square footage should be maximized to its fullest potential.

Given the limited space we’re usually working with, selecting balcony outdoor furniture requires discernment and clever styling (expert insights on that below). With little room for error, both literally and figuratively, I consulted experts on how to perfect a balcony furniture setup from the start.

According to designer Angelo Surmelis, it’s crucial to prioritize ‘furniture that serves multiple purposes.’ For instance, ‘a storage bench that doubles as seating or a coffee table that can also be used as a dining table.’ The designer elaborates: ‘Since balconies often require rearranging or clearing space, furniture should be easy to fold, stack, or move.’

To this end, ‘Minimalist designs that offer functionality without bulk’ in lightweight materials like aluminum, resin, or teak will be your best friends — they won’t overwhelm you or your balcony structure. And, of course, balcony furniture should be weather-resistant.

I’ve spent hours both in-store and online to find the best outdoor furniture, taking into account expert advice from professionals like Angelo. My selection below is based on their recommendations, meticulous reading of customer reviews, and my primary talent: style. As you likely know by now, I’ve only chosen from the best, most reputable outdoor furniture brands.

Balcony Outdoor Furniture

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How Can I Maximize My Balcony Space?

Balcony outdoor furniture often requires clever styling to fit everything you want in without overwhelming the space. Designer Angelo Surmelis has offered several tips to help you optimize your layout:

  1. Use Vertical Space: ‘Install shelves, wall planters, or vertical gardens to keep the floor clear. This not only adds greenery but also creates a cozy atmosphere.’
  2. Opt for Foldable Furniture: In very small spaces, ‘opt for foldable chairs and tables that can be easily stored when not in use. Stackable stools or ottomans can serve multiple purposes such as seating, footrests, or side tables.’
  3. Incorporate Seating with Storage: ‘Dual-purpose furniture saves space and provides a place to store cushions, gardening tools, or outdoor accessories.’
  4. Choose Compact and Modular Furniture: Choose ‘pieces that can be reconfigured based on your needs. For example, a modular sofa can be arranged into a lounge or separated into individual chairs.’
  5. Define the Space with Textiles: ‘Add outdoor rugs, cushions, and throws to define the space and make it feel like an extension of your indoor living area. Choose weather-resistant fabrics that can withstand the elements. You can even buy UV spray if your items are not already protected.’
  6. Add Various Lighting Sources: ‘Incorporate various lighting sources such as string lights, lanterns, or solar-powered lights to create a warm and inviting ambiance, especially for evening use.’
  7. Enhance Privacy: ‘Use outdoor curtains, bamboo screens, or trellises with climbing plants to add privacy. This can make the balcony feel more like a secluded retreat.’
  8. Consider Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining: ‘If space permits, a small table top grill or a bar cart can be included for outdoor cooking and entertaining. Choose compact and portable options to keep the area flexible.’

Many of the light and versatile balcony outdoor furniture options Angelo listed are in the above edit, making this the best place to start your search!

How Should I Care for Balcony Outdoor Furniture?

As one might expect for furniture that is constantly exposed to the elements, regular cleaning is a must, says designer Angelo Surmelis. He advises using mild soap with water and, tempting as it may be to get your pieces extra clean, avoiding harsh chemicals at all costs.

‘A soft brush or cloth is typically sufficient for most surfaces,’ he adds. ‘If the items are small enough, you can easily do this in your shower!’

Angelo also recommends using protective covers when your balcony furniture is not in use. Better yet, if possible, store your furniture (and its cushions) indoors or in a sheltered area during extreme weather conditions or off-seasons. Precautions like these might seem unnecessary but do wonders to extend the lifespan of your furniture.

And as always, ‘Follow care instructions specific to the material of your furniture.’ Every piece is different, so treat it accordingly. ‘For example, wooden furniture may require periodic sealing or oiling to prevent drying and cracking,’ says Angelo, ‘while metal furniture might need rust-resistant treatments.’

Follow these steps, and you can ensure that your balcony outdoor furniture remains looking gorgeous for years to come.

Style Editor

Formerly covering fashion at L’Officiel USA, style maven Julia Demer brings her love of design to Livingetc’s world of interiors. As the title’s Style Editor, Julia's work reflects a sharp eye for detail and an innate passion for aesthetics. Her journey began with a strong foundation in design, honing her craft at renowned establishments like The Row and even establishing her own eponymous fashion brand. Julia’s design background is evident in the way she thoughtfully curates shopping edits, always maintaining a focus on emerging trends while preserving timeless sensibilities. For Julia, fashion and interiors go hand in hand, reflecting her lifelong commitment to perfecting the art of style.