An indoor balcony can be a challenging space to work with. It’s not quite a second floor but is more than a landing. So, what can you do with an inside balcony?
That’s what we’ll discuss in this article. Below are 9 uses for an indoor balcony that cover all sizes, whether you live in an apartment or a house.
What is an Indoor Balcony?
An indoor balcony is also known as a mezzanine or gallery. They’re essentially areas that don’t quite count as an upper floor despite being up stairs or a ladder. Think of them like floor 1.5 in your home.
An apartment with an indoor balcony could mean one with a mezzanine or an enclosed exterior balcony. If the building’s architect has bothered to enclose a balcony with windows and a roof, but it’s still outside the main apartment, we could consider that an indoor balcony, too.
Providing your exterior balcony is enclosed and watertight, the suggestions below will still work for it.
Why do Buildings have Indoor Balconies?
There are 3 main reasons why your apartment or home might have an inside balcony. They are:
- Viewing area
- Storage space
- Extra floor space
In many apartments, an indoor balcony adds extra space to a large room with high ceilings. For example, if your apartment is one tall room, adding an inside balcony provides a surprising amount of extra (and usable) space.
Indoor Balcony Ideas
The suggestions below will work for indoor balconies and enclosed exterior balconies. Hopefully, these ideas should give you some inspiration for how to use this potentially difficult space.
1. Reading Nook
An indoor balcony in an apartment can be great as a small reading nook. If you want to go a step further, turn it into a full-blown library.
Find a comfy chair, a lamp, and plenty of other cozy accessories, and it’ll quickly become your new favorite place to relax.
2. Indoor Jungle
If your balcony has good natural light, turn it into an indoor jungle. There are plenty of houseplants to choose from, and if you’ve got space to play with, you can grow some giants.
The benefit of keeping lots of plants together is that they provide each other with humidity. Considering many houseplants come from tropical areas, it makes a big difference.
But, if this isn’t possible, invest in a small indoor humidifier.
Better yet, choosing trailing plants like pothos means you can grow them along your indoor balcony railing.
3. Extra Storage
Granted, this isn’t the most interesting suggestion, but it is one of the more practical. Small apartments often struggle with storage, so splash out on some intelligent options for your indoor balcony.
Opting for something like a storage bench gives you extra seating, too!
4. Spare Bedroom
A sizeable inside balcony can make a great extra bedroom, particularly in smaller apartments. Adding a sofa bed means you can use it as a seating area when you don’t have guests visiting.
You could combine this with option one by switching the chair out for a sofa bed or futon. Then you can get the best of both worlds.
In 2020, many of us struggled to find working space in our homes. An indoor balcony is the perfect place for an office, providing there isn’t too much noise coming from below, of course.
However, you could even use an enclosed exterior balcony for an office. As long as it’s watertight and you can still reach the Wi-Fi, it has the benefit of plenty of natural light.
6. Mini Home Gym
While you can’t expect to fit an entire gym onto your mezzanine, nothing is stopping you from adding in a few smaller pieces of gym equipment. It’s a particularly good idea for apartments where you might currently be exercising in your bedroom or living room.
Choose compact, lightweight machines, such as a mini stepper or a crunch assistant. Of course, you could always add a yoga mat, too, so you can complete your whole workout up there.
See our complete article on balcony gym ideas for more inspiration.
7. Smart Furniture Options
This isn’t so much a tip on its own. If your indoor balcony is on the smaller side, it makes sense to get as many uses as possible from it. To do so, you’ll need to opt for intelligent furniture options.
For example, foldaway tables are a great idea, as are storage boxes/seats. Adding lots of shelving or hooks allows you to make use of wall space for storing items. If you use strong enough hooks, you can even store something like a bike up there!
8. Mini Vegetable or Herb Garden
We’ve suggested houseplants, but why not go a step further and grow some food? An indoor balcony railing is perfect for wall or railing planters, which can house herbs and fruits like strawberries.
You can grow potatoes in bags and even buy mini apple trees that are perfect for balconies. An apartment with an indoor balcony can have a surprising amount of space for you to start growing vegetables.
If growing food indoors, you must ensure you water regularly. You’ll also need lots of natural light for growing indoors, but won’t be as constrained by seasonal veg thanks to indoor heating.
An indoor balcony could be a great space for a minibar where you can entertain guests. Upcycling a shelving unit makes a great place for storing drinks and glasses and gives you a prep area on top.
With a bartender kit, an ice bucket and a liquor dispenser, even the most boring inside balcony can become a bar. Neon signs and sticky countertops are optional, though.
Final Thoughts on Indoor Balconies
An indoor balcony can be a difficult space to work with, particularly if it’s small. But, with a bit of creative thinking, you can turn it into a useful addition to your home.
If you need some inspiration for how to decorate your inside balcony, check out our décor guides. They’re all suitable for both indoor and outdoor balconies.