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Turn Your Apartment Balcony into a Secluded Paradise

An apartment balcony with an ivy screen, a balcony with a gray screen across the railing, and a brown standing divider.
DearHouse/DearHouse/Leisure Season

Whether you’re sipping coffee while enjoying the sunrise or pretending to be a medieval princess, balconies are just fun to hang out on. They’re a bit less enjoyable if you feel like you’re on display for the entire building or complex, though. These renter-friendly items can make your balcony far more private.

If you feel a little too exposed on your apartment balcony, porch, or patio, we’ve rounded up a few ways you can make things more private. Plus, these products all allow you to do so without any screws, bolts, or hammers.

Hardware aside, many complexes also have rules about what can and can’t be placed on a balcony or patio, so be sure to check your contract before buying anything to avoid any issues.

Artificial Ivy Fence Screen

An apartment balcony with an artificial ivy screen on the railing and an ivy screen on a fence.

Bring fresh greenery to your apartment without the hassle of keeping it alive. This artificial ivy fence screen wraps around your balcony to fill in the gaps between your fence. It looks really nice and makes your space more private.

The leaves are densely packed and firmly attached to the mesh backing. You can cut down the size if you need to and the screen can be attached to your balcony with zip ties or tape, whichever you prefer. This accessory creates a natural, calming environment and will make you feel like a plant queen with zero effort required.

Balcony Screen

A gray privacy screen wraps around a balcony fence.

If you’re not digging the look of ivy, this screen will get the job done. It’s plain gray and offers superior privacy by completely wrapping around your balcony railing. This product will fit most standard balconies but can’t be trimmed down, so make sure you measure yours before buying.

It also blocks 95% of sunlight and offers UV protection, which makes it great for people who like to spend time outside and are looking for a little more shade. It will help prevent your deck from becoming a searing hot surprise when you step out with bare feet. It’s also windproof and can stand up to even extreme weather.

Patio Privacy Screen

A brown free standing screen divider sits on a porch.
Leisure Season

Blocking your railing is great, but most apartment railings aren’t very high. The next step to creating a private sanctuary is making sure no one can see your head poking up either.

This patio privacy screen stands just over five feet high, so it should fit on most balconies without running into anything. It won’t completely cover you if you’re taller than that and standing up, but it’s the perfect way to create a private sitting space. The four-panel screen is foldable and can be made to fit various balcony widths as well.

Artificial Plants

An artificial bamboo silk tree on a white background and inside a home.
Nearly Natural

Another way to hide from your neighbors is by setting up tall plants around your balcony. This bamboo silk tree comes in multiple heights ranging from 36 to 96 inches, so you can get the size that will provide as much protection as you need.

You can get the same effect with real plants, of course, but artificial ones don’t need any maintenance and stand up to poor weather much better. This brand does a great job of making their plants actually look real. We’re willing to bet your guests won’t know the difference unless they actually run their hands along the silk leaves. Nosy neighbors certainly won’t be able to tell.

Balcony Flower Planter

A planter box sits on a balcony railing full of flowers.
United Frames and Products

Another plant-related privacy option is to fill balcony planter boxes with tall flowers and greenery. These can be placed over almost any balcony railing and won’t damage the surface. They come with braces that will hold the boxes in place and keep your beauties secure.

They’re great for flowers, herbs, or small vegetables. If you want to grow real plants, each box comes with pre-marked drain holes that can be drilled quickly for easy drainage. If you’re digging the artificial bamboo tree above, you can also fill these with artificial flowers and plants for the same privacy effect.

Outdoor Umbrella

A blue outdoor umbrella on a white background and outside in someone's yard.

This option will be tricky to set up on a small balcony, but it will work well for larger outdoor spaces and patios. A large outdoor umbrella can add privacy and welcome shade to your space with minimal installation effort.

This one has a crank system to open and close it, which means no struggling to put it up or take it down. It also features solar-powered LED lights underneath the hood to illuminate your balcony or patio at night.

It’s perfect if you enjoy spending the evenings outside, but don’t have any outdoor lighting. The umbrella’s diameter is nine feet, so make sure to measure your space before buying.

Standing Curtains

Curtains on a free standing tension rod and curtains inside an apartment.

Standing curtains are one of the most versatile ways to add maximum privacy to your balcony. The fully adjustable tension rods can expand from 7-10 feet high and 35-66 inches wide. It can be adjusted anywhere within those parameters to offer privacy wherever you need it.

Because they work with tension rods, you’ll need a top and bottom surface to stand these curtains between. On most apartment balconies, you can brace it against the balcony above you. If you have a patio, this option might be trickier.

However, you might be able to create a makeshift stand for each leg out of an outdoor umbrella stand (or something similar) for stability.

Curtain Lights

Curtain lights hang along curtains inside and next to a chair.

While curtain lights don’t offer a huge amount of privacy on their own, they’re easy to install. They can be a good solution if none of the other options will work for you. They do create a more secluded space and will make you feel a bit less “on display.” You can also string them alongside standing curtains or some tulle for more coverage.

This set comes with a remote control and has eight different lighting modes to choose from. At the very least, they’ll make your apartment balcony look and feel absolutely dreamy.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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