Lazy Susan’s balcony garden design tips

The Lazy Susan design team are combining our Outdoor Furniture expertise with our garden design know-how to help you give your balcony a social media-worthy makeover.

We placed balcony gardens in the number ten spot in our garden furniture trends for the summer 2022 post and for good reason. It has been all over the internet, magazines, television and social media, and in that article, we stated:

The last two years have also seen a social media-driven influx of small, balconies and city garden designs that really push what is possible. People want to transform whatever outside space they have into a beautiful but functional area they can relax on. Balcony gardens in particular are certain to be one of the most popular garden design trends this summer, with a quick search of the #baclonygarden hashtag on Instagram returning close to one million photos. The key to capturing this trend is to look at how you can make that small space seem bigger, with vertical gardening being one of the critical elements.

Another reason we know this trend is hot is from all the Customer Photos we've received for our Do Some Good campaign. Many, such as the Tulip Bistro Set below, perfectly illustrate what can be achieved on a small space with our Balcony Furniture range.

We’ve already looked in detail at how to choose the right garden furniture for a balcony in our what garden furniture is best for a small patio article but the design side is a subject we haven’t tackled in any great detail.

Lazy Susan’s balcony garden design tips

The recent Chelsea Flower Show was also packed with ideas and inspiration on how to maximise space and grow plants on balconies, window boxes or terrace gardens.  

Their Balcony and Container Gardens category was launched in 2021 to recognise the surge of this lockdown gardening trend and its second year was another great source of inspiration for those lacking outdoor space.

Helena Pettit, RHS Director of Gardens and Shows stated to Country Living Magazine that:

The Balcony and Container Gardens and Houseplant Studios at RHS Chelsea show that any space, whether inside or out, can be turned into a garden sanctuary for the benefit of our health and the environment. The range of creative ideas is outstanding and they dispel the myth that gardening is only for those with large outdoor areas or big budgets and provide ample inspiration for creating a little piece of greenery in whatever space you have.

Their Inside all the small balcony and container gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 article is definitely worth a read too.

So, we wanted to have a look at that last line in our quote above and share some of our balcony garden design tips...


Much of the design principles that we apply to place garden furniture on small patios apply to balconies too, so we’re combining our Outdoor Furniture expertise with our garden design know-how with some tips that’ll help give your balcony a social media-worthy makeover.

1. Make the most of what little you’ve got

Space is limited on most balconies, so the best designs make the most of what they’ve got. In fact, in many ways, the designs are often more successful because we are forced to get creative and think outside the box.

You have to take advantage of what little you’ve got with space-saving solutions such as wall planters, shelving, railing boxes (as shown in the customer photo above with our London Rose Bistro Set) and hanging planters, etc.

For the team at Lazy Susan, the designs that work best are those that create the illusion of more space or that flow seamlessly from inside to out. Open the doors in the photo above and our Tulip Bistro Set will bring the city inside and function as an extension of the apartment.

The key is to create an extension of that indoor living space and vice versa, bringing nature inside and comfort out. It should function as one bigger whole. But most important, is to create a balcony space that is a joy to spend time on when the weather is fine.

Don't be afraid to embrace bold patterns and colours too. Look at ways you can break the space up with different textures. An outdoor rug for example (as shown in the customer photo of our June 4 Seater Set) is a great way to pull your balcony area together and create a unified space between the inside and out that's both inviting and comfortable underfoot.

2. Know your limitations

The big thing with most balconies is of course the lack of square metres in terms of floor space but there’s a host of other factors that you need to consider.

There could be restrictions in your tenancy agreement in terms of what you can and can’t do for example. The balcony could have weight restrictions, and whilst you may only be thinking of a bistro set and a few planters, once full of soil those pots can be pretty hefty.

Plants on a sunny balcony

The microclimate is another issue on many balconies, so you need to select plants that will thrive if it’s in full sun all day or shaded by neighbouring buildings. Wind can also be an issue if you’re on higher floors too. 

Balcony with Privacy Screens

You need to look at the limitations the space has and identify ways you can address any negatives so that plants will thrive and you can use the space. For example, if it gets a lot of sunlight, then you could look at installing privacy screens, outdoor blinds or awnings (as shown in the photo above). 

3. Think vertical and grow up

Vertical Planters

If space is limited, then one of the best ways to add loads of planting to the space is to grow up and plant vertically. What many balconies do have is wall space and there are some fab vertical planting solutions to create green walls/screens. 

Balcony Planting

If that isn’t an option, then a designer's trick is to place one or two larger plants. Many people think small space = lots of small things. However, in reality, that can make a space feel cluttered. 

Balcony with Outdoor Festoon Lighting

Think less is more and it tricks the eye into making the space look and feels bigger. Don’t be afraid to play with colour and plant types, you want diversity and interest. 

4. Add the right outdoor furniture

If you want to maximise the use of your balcony, then you need outdoor furniture pieces that will help do just that. If space is limited, then you may only have the square metres for one or two pieces. 

Think about how you like or want to use your balcony? It could be that a couple of comfy outdoor chairs and a small coffee table will suffice? If you like to eat outside, then our advice would be to consider a small bistro table set?

The customer photo above shows how they've paired our white Betty Bistro Set with a Jasmin Garden Bench to create a lovely little intimate seating area.

5. Use any walls

Balcony with Outdoor Shelving

We touched on this in the vertical planting section above, however, if your balcony does have walls, then they can be used for other things too. You could create an outdoor cooking space, position a garden mirror to create the illusion of more space or add interest with wall art, for example. 

Balcony with Outdoor Shelving & Outdoor Soft Furnishings

For Lazy Susan, outdoor shelving is the way to go (as shown in the photo above). They look great with planting, and you can easily change things around to keep them interesting and fresh.

A final point we want to make is don’t be afraid to take inspiration from others. Search on social media, look at what the leading designers are doing, do a little research and look at what you can apply to your own balcony.

There are also some great videos on YouTube such as Decor Puzzle’s top 100 small balcony decorating ideas for 2022 (below):

If you have a balcony garden that features our Outdoor Balcony Furniture, please send us a photo for our Do Some Good charity initiative. If you’ve any design tips you’d like to share, then please drop them in the comments below.

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