How to enclose your apartment balcony — 7 pro tips for creating a quiet retreat in a busy space

Design experts explain how to enclose your apartment balcony

Learning how to enclose your apartment balcony is useful. Here is a light wooden panel with vines hanging from it, three wooden crates with plants inside it, a leafy plant next to these, and wooden decking on the floor
(Image credit: Getty Images / Oscar Wong)

You might want to learn how to enclose your apartment balcony if you want to create a calm, secluded place to relax.

If this sounds like something you need to know, we've quizzed experts who are pros at designing outdoor spaces on what they recommend using to do this. From sweet lattice panels to pet-friendly net enclosures, there are plenty of options that are stylish and smart.

For those searching for backyard privacy ideas that specifically cater to apartment spaces, we've got you covered with plenty of useful tips.

Pros explain how to enclose your apartment balcony

If you need balcony privacy ideas and aren't sure where to start, these simple tips for enclosing an apartment balcony will help you do just that.

Our pros have recommended specific products throughout to help you do this, which we have shopped wherever possible.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Hang outdoor curtains or blinds

An apartment balcony overlooking water with the sun shining onto it, a gold door frame, and a beige linen curtain panel

(Image credit: Getty Images / Ezra Bailey)

One easy technique for enclosing an apartment balcony is to hang outdoor curtains or blinds for an elegant look. 

“I often recommend durable mosquito netting or bamboo roll-up shades, which can provide insect protection and privacy while complementing the balcony's decor,” explains Adrian Pedraza, design expert and owner of The California Home Buyer.

“This semi-permeable barrier retains views while filtering light and airflow,” he adds.

Just be sure to secure the curtains well to prevent damage from wind gusts. I recommend going for a strong, durable tension rod like the Ivilon Tension Curtain Rod from Amazon which is easy to install, nonslip, and rustproof.

2. Potted plant barrier

A beige apartment balcony with potted flower plants on the ledge, on the black woven table to the left, and on the floor underneath it

(Image credit: Getty Images / Guzel Kolobova)

Take your apartment gardening skills outdoors by decorating with potted plants that will add privacy and beauty.

“Use large potted plants strategically placed around the perimeter of your balcony to create a green screen,” suggests Nina Lichtenstein, principal designer and founder of Nina’s Home Design.

She suggests choosing tall plants like bamboo, palms, or tall ornamental grasses that thrive in containers, as these will provide a lush, natural barrier.

3. Go for glass panels

A close-up of a blue glass panel on a balcony with houses in the distance

(Image credit: Getty Images / kettaphoto)

Sometimes you can’t go wrong with a chic, classic choice, and installing glass panels along the balcony's edge is among the sleekest of possibilities. 

“This completely encloses the area while letting in light and views from outside,” says Adrian. “The glass feels open and spacious, yet it also muffles noise and weather.”

If you want an option with more privacy, choose frosted glass to allow light in while keeping nosy neighbors out. I advise picking out a custom-built glass panel for this, so you can make it fit your space exactly.

4. Work in wooden panels

A light wooden panel with vines hanging from it, three wooden crates with plants inside it, a leafy plant next to these, and wooden decking on the floor

(Image credit: Getty Images / Oscar Wong)

For those renting apartments, you’ll want to go for apartment balcony buys you can move between different homes.

“I like to use movable wooden shutters for flexibility because, as needed, you can change the amount of sunshine, ventilation, and isolation,” says Adrian. “Combine the shutters with charming cafe-style outdoor furniture to heighten the rustic vibe.”

In order to make the most of your outside space, Adrian recommends opening the shutters on sunny days and closing them during storms or for privacy. 

You can also choose louvered panels (the Oriental Furniture Tall Wooden Louvered Divider from Walmart has adjustable panels and is made from durable pine) similar effect.

This is a great tip for those looking for backyard privacy ideas that won’t block light.

5. Choose a trellis with flowers

A close up shot of a white painted wooden trellis with a lattice pattern and pink roses and green leaves woven around it

(Image credit: Getty Images / Lisa Romerein)

Head further down the natural route when enclosing your apartment balcony by choosing a trellis with fabulous flowers.

“Install a trellis along one side of your balcony and train climbing plants like jasmine, bougainvillea, or morning glories to grow upward,” says Nina. “The trellis acts as a natural divider and provides shade and privacy with beautiful blooms.”

I also like the idea of going for wisteria to do this — I’ve just bought a plant similar to the Wellspring Gardens Wisteria from Walmart that can grow up to 20 feet and has fragrant flowers for this purpose.

6. Bring in hedge panels

An outdoor wooden decking area with a dark green hedge panel, a black building, a black sunlounger with white pillows, and two trees next to it

(Image credit: Walmart)

While we are big fans of all things natural and beautiful here at Real Homes, we do understand that real plants can be a little high-maintenance.

“Instead, these can enhance privacy and greenery with artificial hedge panels that mimic the look of real foliage,” suggests Nina. “These low-maintenance alternatives are perfect for balconies with limited sunlight or for creating a lush backdrop for outdoor seating areas.”

As well as this, they are a breeze to install. For example, the Outsunny Artificial Greenery Panels from Walmart pictured above are made with eco-friendly plastic, come with cable ties, and have grid backing for water drainage.

7. Add net enclosures

A brown striped cat stretched out on a wooden balcony ledge with white netting behind it

(Image credit: Getty Images / cabuscaa)

If your roomie is a furry friend like a dog or cat, adding net enclosures can not only add privacy but can also keep them safe.

“The netting can be hung from above or attached to balcony railings with hooks. It maintains ventilation for pets while deterring insects,” Adrian says.

It’s just worth checking your rental agreements to see if netting is allowed before installation if you don’t own your home.

With these creative ideas for enclosing your apartment balcony, you can transform your outdoor space into a private retreat that reflects your style and enhances your living experience. 

“Whether you prefer lush greenery, decorative screens, or versatile curtains, there are countless ways to create privacy and enclosure while maximizing the charm and functionality of your balcony,” Nina finishes by saying.

Like these ideas but want ones tailored to the front of the home instead? These front yard privacy ideas will come in useful.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.