With colder weather fast approaching, it’s time to think about what you’ll do with your balcony in winter.
In warmer climates, there’s every chance you can continue using it. But, in colder areas, you probably won’t be sitting outside in the snow too much!
Below, we cover how to keep your balcony warm in winter, along with some winter balcony décor ideas and different outdoor balcony winter plants.
Why Should You Winterize Your Balcony?
Getting your balcony ready for winter is an ideal time to take care of maintenance jobs, such as removing rust and treating wood.
Considering you’ll be using the space less (if at all) during the winter, now is a good time to do things like covering or removing furniture, bringing plants indoors, and other preparation jobs.
The purpose of winterizing your balcony is to keep it fresh for next year and to improve the lifespan of your outdoor furniture. Plus, it’s a good excuse to shop for some winter balcony décor!
How to Winterize Your Balcony
The tips below are suitable for balconies in warmer and colder climates. Of course, how you decide to winterize your balcony will depend on whether you want to use it, regardless of how warm your winter will be.
1. Temporary winter balcony enclosure
Building a temporary winter balcony enclosure is great for keeping the worst weather out. Depending on what type of enclosure you build, it might also help insulate both the balcony and your apartment.
We’ve previously written a guide on balcony enclosures, so check that out for more information on how to keep your balcony warm in winter.
2. Cover furniture
An important aspect of balcony winterizing is covering your outdoor furniture. Any patio furniture cover will be fine, providing it’s the right size.
If you want to go a step further and really protect your furniture, you can also consider shrink wrapping it.
Covering furniture is vital if it’s wood or metal, but it’s also a good idea for plastic furniture. Covers provide protection from rain and wind, which can reduce the lifespan of your items. Plus, if you’re not using it, there’s no reason to just leave it sitting in the rain.
3. Remove soft furnishings
Removing cushions and throws is another step for balcony waterproofing. Even if you don’t get snow, winter is usually more humid than warmer months, which can create mold on soft furnishings.
If you live somewhere warm, consider buying some Sherpa blankets instead. They’re much warmer, and look great as winter balcony décor. Plus, if you use waterproof cushion covers, you’re usually fine to leave them outside.
4. Give everything a deep clean
As mentioned, now is a good time to give your balcony a deep clean. If you’re moving furniture and putting things away, you might as well clean as you go.
5. Update your balcony aesthetic
If you plan to continue using your balcony, you might want to update its look to reflect the changing seasons. Fall is oranges and browns, and winter is definitely greens and reds.
There are plenty of options for winter balcony décor. It’s a great excuse to get more warm blankets and throws, and you could accessorize with mini fir trees and soft lighting.
But if greens and reds aren’t your style, choose a different elegant winter color palette. Things like whites, neutrals, copper and exposed wood can all feel wintery without feeling Christmassy.
6. Get a heater
Sitting out in the cold can be lovely, especially if you have an outdoor fire pit or a heater. If you’re not bothered about looks, any portable space heater will be fine. You can get liquid propane versions, too, but these are a bit much for an apartment balcony.
Alternatively, a chimenea fireplace adds a perfect winter vibe to any outdoor space. It’s also a good option for how to keep your balcony warm in winter.
Of course, check with your HOA before buying any kind of outdoor heating setup. There will definitely be rules about wood-burning and propane heaters that’ll be similar to your HOA’s BBQ rules.
7. Invest in winter plants
There are plenty of options for outdoor balcony winter plants that provide both color and interest. Some options include:
- Dwarf conifers
- Swiss chard and kale (for eating)
Check out our recommendations for balcony planters, too.
8. Treat wood or metal furniture
Even if you plan to cover your outdoor furniture, now is a good time to repaint or treat it. Much like cleaning, it makes sense to do all the work while you’re moving things around.
It helps with extending the lifespan of your furniture and means it will be more resilient for the colder, wetter months.
For metal furniture, follow our rust removal guide. For wooden furniture, either treat it with teak oil (or similar) or paint it with wood stain. The option you use depends on the original finish.
9. Winterize your plants
If you can, bring sensitive plants indoors. Most standard outdoor plants are robust enough to survive a winter, but ones that aren’t typical to your region will die in colder weather.
Anything that was sold as a houseplant should definitely come indoors. Things like succulents and tropical plants can’t deal with cold winters, but ivy and most dwarf trees will be fine.
If you’re unable to bring pots indoors, you’ll need to winterize them. Your options include building (or buying) a terrarium or mini greenhouse. Even a PVC greenhouse cover will offer some insulation against colder weather.
Another option is to insulate the pots using jute, wool, or coir. You can buy these products from hardware or gardening stores.
Hopefully, this article has given you some tips for how to keep your balcony warm in the winter. If you plan to use it, make sure you invest in some winter balcony décor and outdoor balcony winter plants.
But, if you’re shutting your balcony off for the season, make sure your furniture is suitably treated and protected so it’s ready again next year.