Many apartment renters have either a patio or balcony but most simply don’t make good use of the space. Some people may put a few plants on the balcony but only slide the door open to enjoy the plants when they need watering. Others may use their outdoor space as bicycle storage. There are even people who use the patio so infrequently that they’ve forgotten how to unlatch the door. Here are a few ways to make better use of your outdoor space.
1. Put some comfy furniture outside.
If you’ve got patio furniture that isn’t comfortable to sit in, you’re not likely to spend much time outdoors. Instead of getting a cheap plastic chair, consider recycling an old lounge chair or love seat for outdoor use. Cover the furniture with an old sheet that you can throw in the washing machine regularly. Give yourself a nice outdoor spot to relax in and you’ll be much more likely to use the space.
2. Eat outside when the weather’s nice.
You don’t even need a table and chairs to have a nice meal outside. An old coffee table or a TV tray set up next to your patio couch makes for a great spot to have a casual meal. Getting into the habit of eating outside when it’s nice out will help you remember to use your outdoor space more often.
3. Get a space heater.
Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you can’t relax outside. Aim a small space heater at yourself as you curl up under a blanket to read a book. You can also use space heaters the same way that restaurants do, turning them on when it’s too cold to enjoy eating outside. As long as you only have the heater on while you’re outside, the extra energy cost will be quite reasonable.
4. Make sure the lighting is good.
You might have a small, aged, yellowed light on your patio but these don’t do much to chase away the darkness. Investing about 50 dollars in lighting is all you need to really make your outdoor space shine. Colored lights add a nice touch as well, making your patio more festive and more attractive to guests.
5. Start a vegetable garden.
There are lots of vegetables that grow very well in containers, including herbs, tomatoes, lettuce and even potatoes. Investing in a garden that needs to be tended frequently will help get you outside more often. As a bonus, you’ll save some money on your groceries buy growing some of your own food.
6. At a party, get guests on the deck by keeping something outside that you don’t have inside.
One of the easiest ways to get guests to use your patio space is to place a bar or BBQ outside. This way, guests will have to use your outdoor space, making it easier to host a slightly larger party. If your patio is comfy, they may even stay outside to relax for a while.