Use Your Balcony All Year Round with These Winter Balcony Ideas

The days of summer sunbathing on the patio may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors all winter! With a bit of preparation and some creativity, you can use your apartment balcony all year. Here are our best winter balcony ideas to help you make the most of your apartment’s outdoor space — even in cold weather.

How to Keep Balcony Warm in Winter

Before you think about cozy vibes or holiday decorations for your apartment balcony, you’ll want to ensure the space is still usable (and enjoyable) as temperatures drop. The most obvious thing you’ll need? A bit of warmth!

If your balcony has an electrical outlet, you may be able to use a regular space heater — as long as you bring it inside whenever you’re done. But hauling a heavy space heater in and out isn’t ideal, right? For an easier option, shop for a portable, battery-powered heater that’s easy to transport and doesn’t require a power cord (P.S. —using an extension cord with a space heater is a no-go for fire safety reasons). 

Balcony Curtain Ideas for Function and Style

You’ve chosen your outdoor-friendly heater, but let’s not forget that your balcony is an open space. How can you keep that cozy heat contained right where you need it? Curtains! 

If you have another balcony directly above yours, you may be able to hang curtains from the ceiling of your balcony. Before you attempt this, though, here are a few things to consider:

  • Apartment complex rules: Your landlord may dictate what you can or cannot do from a visual and construction standpoint. Check on these limitations before you purchase anything for curtains — you don’t want to lose your security deposit! 
  • Mounting and hanging limitations: Even if you can’t mount permanent hanging hardware, you may be able to hang your apartment balcony curtains with extra-strength adhesive hooks and lightweight rope suspended from the ceiling for a removable solution. 
  • Material matters: For extra privacy on your patio (particularly if the space is hidden by lush tree branches during the summer and exposed in winter), opt for solid apartment balcony curtains in a fabric designed for outdoor use. Alternatively, use heavy-duty transparent vinyl curtains or screens (like what you might see on a restaurant’s outdoor patio) to keep heat in and still give you some natural light during the day. 

How to Decorate a Balcony With Lights

The sun sets much earlier during winter, but less daylight doesn’t have to mean less outdoor enjoyment. Add lighting to your balcony to make it a comfortable place to eat dinner, read, or cozy up after dark. Here are a few ideas for cozy light sources:

  • Battery-powered candles
  • String lights overhead (here’s how to hang them!)
  • Solar-powered lamp
  • Hanging or tabletop lanterns
  • Fairy lights

Consider opting for colored holiday lights or snowflake-shaped lights as you head into the holiday season.

Balcony Decoration Ideas with Plants

Who says winter has to be barren and brown? Your balcony is the perfect place to decorate with outdoor hanging plants for winter. Pansies and violas are some of the best plants for winter hanging baskets, but you may have other hardy plant options depending on where you live. Do your research online or consult a local co-op to see what plants will thrive outside in your area during winter. 

Remember the vinyl curtain idea? If you enclose all sides of your balcony, these transparent screens can create a greenhouse-like environment where you can grow all kinds of easy apartment balcony plants throughout the cold season. 

Add Seasonal and Holiday Decor

Now that you’ve created a cozy haven, add details that get you in the holiday spirit! 

Ideas for Apartment Balcony Halloween Decorations

  • Use purple, green, or orange string lights on your balcony railing or ceiling to complement your Halloween balcony decor and give it an eerie glow.
  • Put faux spider webs on the outside of your apartment balcony railing for a haunted house vibe with minimal effort.
  • Choose only one or two larger decor items, like jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, or standing zombies, so your balcony doesn’t feel cramped.
  • Hang plastic crows, bat cutouts, or inexpensive DIY ghosts from the ceiling.

How to Decorate Your Apartment Balcony for Christmas and Winter

Are you decorating a small balcony for Christmas or winter holidays? Instead of crowding your space with a tree, use wall space and think vertically. A simple wreath with lights looks lovely from below, and you can always wrap garland and lights around your railings for space-saving holiday decor (tie on some plastic ornaments for extra pizzazz!). 

If you’d rather not put up holiday decor that you’ll just have to take down in a few weeks, lean more toward “winter” vibes than a “Christmas” feel with faux evergreen trees, neutral colors, cozy lighting, and plenty of pillows and blankets within reach.

Enjoy Your Apartment Balcony All Year Long

Your balcony can be a welcoming, usable space no matter the season. If you’re looking for an apartment with a cute and cozy balcony, turn to ApartmentSearch. Our advanced filter options can help you find an apartment that fits your budget, suits your lease terms, and has the features that matter most to you. Take the first step toward a dreamy apartment balcony and find your perfect place today with ApartmentSearch!