Now that summer is in full swing, I find that there’s nothing better than sipping a beer on the porch after a long day at work. But if you’re living in the city, outdoor space can be quite a commodity. Even if you’re lucky enough to have it, sometimes it’s difficult to find furniture that’s small enough to fit comfortably in your space. Outdoor furniture is often sold in sets, and produced to fill up large backyards – not fit onto small apartment balconies. So today I wanted to share some great options for those of us with smaller outdoor spaces… things that fold up, collapse down, or just don’t take up much space to begin with. None of these items will leave a hole in your wallet, either.
The first thing you’ll need for your deck or porch is seating. Many of these options fold up so they won’t hog your closet space when they’re not in use during the winter. They are also light enough to easily shift from place to place depending on your needs.
Feel like building something yourself?
Our table tutorial will also work great for a balcony.
The Intentional Apartment: Make an Industrial Side Table
The Tarno Bistro Furniture Set from Ikea has a clean look with dark steel legs. The compact table will hold a couple of beers and some burgers. It will easily tuck into the corner of a small balcony, and folds away when not in use.
The Malaro Outdoor Furniture Set from Ikea is a bit larger, with room to seat four people. It will also fold up, so no need to worry about where you’ll store it during the winter months.
For a more industrial look (and a pop of color) try this 3 piece patio set from Target. It is made of durable yet lightweight powder-coated steel that will stand up to the elements.
Planning on doing more lounging rather than eating? Then try a couple of these relaxing Zero Gravity chairs from Amazon. The comfortable armrests and padded headrest will have you asleep in two seconds flat.
Another important element of any outdoor space is a grill. It may be tempting to buy a huge, expensive monstrosity of a grill, but it just doesn’t make sense if space is limited. Why have a deck if you don’t have any room left to sit down? Here are a few compact options that are perfect for smaller patios and decks.
This portable grill can be taken anywhere… just fold it up and stick it in the accompanying bag. It also looks pretty cool.
This compact little number does double duty as both a grill and a smoker. It weighs just eight pounds and also includes a handy carrying case.
If you’re working with very limited space, this is probably the grill for you. Instead of taking up valuable tabletop real estate, this one attaches right to the handrail.
This sturdy little grill can handle 9.4 pounds of food at one time, but it won’t take up too much surface area on your porch.
Next we have some accessories that will complete your space and lend some ambiance. Again, none of these items have a large footprint so you and your friends will have space to move around.
Lighting is crucial for any outdoor space. This solar powered lantern is both environmentally friendly and convenient – there are no cords to deal with, and no outlets needed. Most importantly, this lantern can be hung from a hook to save space.
You might want to invest in a small heater for those chilly fall nights. This tiny propane one made by Mr. Heater won’t take up much room, but it will take the edge off of those cold breezes.
If bugs are a problem in your area, then this mosquito repeller is a must. It’s only 5 inches wide, but it will protect areas of 15×15 feet.
If you have enough open grass or patio space for a small portable fire pit or chiminea, then try this Landmann wood-burning fireplace. It has a wire mesh exterior so that the fire is visible from all angles. And it’s lightweight so it can be easily transported.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a balcony or a porch, there’s no reason to leave it empty just because it’s tiny. It’s only a matter of finding the proper furniture and accessories to maximize your space. The key is to find pieces that are small, collapsible or portable to take advantage of the area that you do have. And if you’re lucky, you might just hit a sale now that it’s August.