The text below is a property of Cominar and can only be published on the websites of its 8 shopping centres.

How to Transform a Small Outdoor Space into a Dream Setting for Relaxing or Entertaining

Do you live in the city and have only a balcony or modest terrace? With some taste, a bit of imagination and some greenery, you can turn it into an affordable oasis. A versatile space that’s ideal for reading, relaxing or sunbathing, or for hosting a summer feast. 

First of All – Which Furniture to Choose?

Small spaces dictate the choice of tables and chairs that don’t take up much space and can be folded or put on wheels for easy storage elsewhere. When shopping for small chairs, don’t forget to try them out for more than three seconds. In fact, ask yourself if they’re comfortable enough to sit on for hours! 

We can make pleasant exceptions to small folding furniture. For example, a sofa that’s not too wide, leaning against the wall, will fulfill your siesta cravings. A large bamboo or woven wicker chair will add a natural touch and blend in with the surrounding vegetation. 

If you like a cozy atmosphere, this trend is becoming increasingly popular: cover the floor with a soft rug - some are made of green plush imitating grass; place a coffee table in the middle and surround it with cushions, which serve as seats. With a Japanese lantern on the table or hanging over it, what a fantastic spot for a picnic with friends! 

Plant + Fragrances = Happiness!

The greater the variety of plants you grow, the greater the satisfaction you’ll find on your balcony or terrace. For example, by alternating flowers, imposing outdoor succulents, vegetables and herbs, you’ll achieve a combination of beauty, shade, food and wonderful fragrances. You can also consider adding a long or wide plant wall, on trellis or with climbing ivy. 

If you opt for a full-length planter, you won’t lose any space if it hangs from the metal railing towards the outside, rather than towards the inside of the balcony. Would you rather use pots for your plants? The trend is to have them in a variety of bright summer colours: red, yellow, green, blue, peach… for containers that are full of life, inside and out! 


Sage, rosemary, basil and, of course, lavender are among the best-smelling varieties to enhance the fragrance of your outdoor space. And by growing milkweed, you’ll make new friends: gorgeous monarch butterflies, fed by those plants for their protection. 

What About the Barbecue?

Do you live in the city, in a condo or in a rental property? The first thing you need to know is whether outdoor cooking is permitted by your municipality, neighbourhood, condo or landlord. If it is, plan how to secure the appliance, either in a closed and locked area, or by leaving it outside with a cover and chained with a padlock. 

There’s an impressive range of compact barbecues, often designed for camping. You’ll find models with three or four wheels, with folding legs and sometimes fitted with shelves. You’ll be amazed at how little space they take up. Just don’t forget to close the door and window of your outdoor space before using it, to avoid filling your condo or apartment with smoke. 


Given the limited space and the back-and-forth between the terrace or balcony and the kitchen, limit yourself on the types of meat to be barbecued in a given meal, especially when you have several guests. A steak formula will suit everyone, even non-carnivorous guests, since vegan meats are great for the barbecue. 

Happy outdoor cocooning!