What Can I Do with a Juliet Balcony? Unlock Potentials

A Juliet balcony (also known as a false balcony, french balcony, or balconette) is a shallow, decorative balcony that does not protrude from the building.

It is typically installed on the exterior of upper-floor full-height windows or doors, providing an elegant appearance without compromising the building’s façade.

Unlike traditional balconies, Juliet balconies do not have a platform or space for people to stand or place the furniture. They primarily serve an aesthetic purpose while offering some practical benefits.

In this article, we will see six different options for what you can do with your Juliet balcony. Before that, let’s understand the functionality of a Juliet balcony.

Understanding the Functionality of a Juliet Balcony

Juliets balcony

Historical Background and Purpose

Juliet balconies, also known as balconettes or false balconies, originated in Europe during the Renaissance period. They gained popularity in the 19th century and are a popular architectural feature. The name “Juliet balcony” is derived from Shakespeare’s famous play, Romeo and Juliet, where Juliet stood on a similar structure during the iconic balcony scene.

The primary purpose of a Juliet balcony is to add an aesthetic appeal to the exterior of a building while providing the illusion of a full balcony. They also allow for increased natural light and ventilation inside the room by allowing large doors or windows to be opened without compromising safety.

Common Characteristics and Features

  • Railings: Juliet balconies often feature decorative railings made from wrought iron, steel, glass, or aluminum. The design can range from simple and modern to ornate and intricate.
  • Size: These balconies are typically quite narrow, only extending a few inches from the building’s facade, just enough to accommodate the railing.
  • Doors or windows: They are usually installed outside large windows or French doors, which can be opened to create the illusion of a full balcony.

Difference Between a Traditional Balcony and a Juliet Balcony

FeatureTraditional BalconyJuliet Balcony
PurposeProvides outdoor space.It adds aesthetic appeal and allows natural light and ventilation
SpaceIt can accommodate furniture, plants, and people.It only extends a few inches from the building, with no usable outdoor space.
ConstructionRequires additional structural support.No significant structural modifications are needed.
CostMore expensive to construct and maintain.Typically more affordable and easier to maintain.
InstallationUsually built during initial construction.It can be added to existing structures with minimal effort.

What Can I Do With a Juliet Balcony?

1. Enhance the Aesthetics of Your Home

Juliet balcony

When selecting a Juliet balcony design, consider the following factors:

  1. The architectural style of the building: Ensure the design complements the existing architecture and enhances the overall aesthetic appeal.
  2. Purpose: Determine the primary function, such as increased natural light and ventilation, or improve the appearance of the building.

Material Options

Common materials used for Juliet balconies include:

  • Iron: Wrought iron is a traditional choice, known for its durability and intricate designs. It requires regular maintenance to prevent rust.
  • Glass: A modern, sleek option allowing unobstructed views and maximum light penetration. It can be more expensive than other options.
  • Steel: Stainless or powder-coated steel is popular for its durability, low maintenance, and contemporary look.

Architectural Styles

Some common architectural styles for Juliet balconies are:

  • Traditional: Ornate designs featuring intricate patterns, scrolls, and curves, often made of wrought iron.
  • Modern: Simple and minimalist designs, typically using glass, steel, or aluminum for a sleek appearance.
  • Art Deco: Geometric shapes and symmetrical patterns, often incorporating glass or polished metals.

Adding Decorative Elements

Incorporate decorative elements to enhance the appearance of the Juliet balcony further:

  • Railings: Choose railings with unique patterns, colors, or finishes that complement the overall design.
  • Finials: Add decorative finials to the railing posts for elegance.
  • Inlays: Integrate materials such as glass or wood within the railing design for added visual interest.


When selecting railings for a Juliet balcony, consider:

  • Safety: Ensure the railings meet local building codes and provide adequate protection.
  • Design: Choose a design that complements the balcony’s style and the building’s architecture.
  • Material: Select a durable, low-maintenance, and visually appealing material.

2. Create an Indoor Garden Oasis

Flowers on Juliet balconies

Transform your space with a Juliet balcony into an indoor garden oasis by incorporating plants and creative gardening solutions.

Benefits of Indoor Plants

  • Air purification: Indoor plants can help remove toxins and improve air quality.
  • Mood enhancement: Plants can improve your mood and reduce stress levels.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Plants add color, texture, and visual interest to your space.
  • Humidity control: Plants can help maintain comfortable humidity levels indoors.

Suitable Plant Types for a Juliet Balcony

Choose plants that thrive in the limited space and varying light conditions of a Juliet balcony:

  1. Ferns: Adaptable to various light conditions and add a lush, green texture.
  2. Succulents: Low-maintenance and ideal for sunny spots near the window.
  3. Herbs: Grow herbs like basil, thyme, and parsley for a functional and fragrant indoor garden.
  4. Flowering plants: Select compact flowering plants like African violets or begonias for a splash of color.
Plant TypeDescriptionIdeal for Juliet BalconyCare and Maintenance
FernsFerns are shade-loving, non-flowering plants with feathery leaves. They come in various shapes and sizes; some can be grown as hanging plants.YesFerns prefer indirect light and high humidity. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Mist the leaves regularly to maintain humidity.
SucculentsSucculents are drought-tolerant plants with thick, fleshy leaves or stem that store water. They come in various shapes, colors, and sizes, making them popular for low-maintenance indoor and outdoor gardening.YesPlace succulents in a bright spot with indirect sunlight. Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between watering. They prefer well-draining soil and should be protected from frost and extreme temperatures.
HerbsHerbs are aromatic plants used for culinary, medicinal, and ornamental purposes. Popular herbs include basil, parsley, cilantro, and mint. They can be grown in containers, making them suitable for small spaces like balconettes.YesHerbs generally prefer full sun or bright, indirect light. Keep the soil moderately moist but well-draining. Regularly harvest leaves and pinch back flowers to encourage bushier growth and maintain flavor.
Flowering PlantsFlowering plants produce beautiful blooms that add color, fragrance, and visual appeal to indoor and outdoor spaces. Examples include petunias, geraniums, and begonias, which can thrive in containers on balconettes.YesFlowering plants require varying light conditions depending on the species. Provide adequate water and well-draining soil. Deadhead spent blooms to encourage new growth and fertilize regularly during the growing season.

Tips for Maintaining Plants in Limited Space

  • Rotate plants: Regularly rotate plants to ensure even exposure to sunlight.
  • Choose compact varieties: Select plants with compact growth habits to maximize space.
  • Prune regularly: Regular pruning helps maintain the plant’s size and shape.
  • Water wisely: Be mindful of each plant’s water requirements to avoid over- or under-watering.

Vertical Gardening Solutions

Maximize your limited space with vertical gardening solutions:

  • Wall-mounted planters: Attach planters to the wall near the Juliet balcony to create a living wall effect.
  • Trellises: Install a small trellis for climbing plants like ivy or jasmine.
  • Shelving: Use narrow shelves or ladder-style plant stands to accommodate multiple plants.

Hanging Planters

Hanging planters are an excellent solution for adding greenery to a Juliet balcony without occupying floor space:

  • Suspend from the ceiling: Install ceiling hooks to hang planters above the window or door.
  • Attach to railings: Use railing hooks or brackets to hang planters directly on the Juliet balcony railing.
  • Macramé hangers: Create or purchase macramé hangers for a bohemian touch and add visual interest.

3. Improve Natural Light and Ventilation

Juliet balconies

Enhancing natural light and ventilation can significantly positively affect the indoor environment and occupants’ well-being.

Importance of Natural Light and Ventilation

  • Energy efficiency: Natural light reduces the need for artificial lighting, while ventilation reduces the need for air conditioning, both lowering energy consumption.
  • Health and well-being: Exposure to natural light can improve mood, sleep quality, and overall well-being. Proper ventilation maintains indoor air quality and reduces humidity.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Natural light can make spaces feel larger, brighter, and more inviting.

Selecting Appropriate Doors and Windows

Choose doors and windows that maximize natural light and ventilation for your Juliet balcony:

  1. French doors: Hinged double doors that open inwards, providing ample light and ventilation when open. They offer a traditional and elegant appearance.
  2. Bi-fold doors: A series of panels that fold against each other when opened, creating a wide opening for maximum light and ventilation. Bi-fold doors provide a modern and functional solution.
  3. Sliding glass doors: Large glass panels that slide horizontally, allowing natural light and ventilation without requiring additional space for door swing.

Using Light-Enhancing Materials and Colors

Incorporate materials and colors that can enhance natural light and create a brighter space:

  • Mirrors: Strategically placed mirrors can reflect and amplify natural light.
  • Light colors: Use light-colored paint, curtains, and furniture to make the room feel brighter and more spacious.
  • Translucent materials: Choose translucent or frosted glass for doors and windows to allow light in while maintaining privacy.

4. Expand Your Living Space

Utilize design elements and techniques to create the illusion of a larger living space, especially when incorporating a Juliet balcony.

Creating an Illusion of More Space

  • Mirrors: As mentioned earlier, strategically placed mirrors can reflect and amplify natural light, making the space feel larger and brighter.
  • Transparent materials: Using transparent materials like glass or acrylic for furniture, doors, and windows can create a sense of openness and continuity.
  • Connecting indoor and outdoor spaces visually: Ensure that the design elements of the Juliet balcony and the interior space work together harmoniously to create a seamless visual connection between the two areas.

Coordinated Design Elements

To create a cohesive and visually connected space, coordinate design elements between the interior and the Juliet balcony:

  • Furniture: Select furniture with similar styles, materials, or colors for indoor and outdoor areas.
  • Accessories: Use complementary accessories such as cushions, throws, and rugs in both spaces to create a sense of unity.
  • Layout: Arrange furniture and decorative items in a way that visually connects the indoor and outdoor spaces, drawing the eye outward towards the Juliet balcony.

Matching Colors and Textures

Incorporate matching colors and textures throughout the interior space and the Juliet balcony to create a harmonious and unified appearance:

  • Color palette: Choose a color palette that works well in both spaces, using similar or complementary hues for walls, furniture, and accessories.
  • Textures: Use similar materials and textures for items like curtains, cushions, and rugs to create a consistent visual experience.
  • Patterns: Incorporate patterns and motifs that complement each other in interior and exterior spaces, creating a sense of cohesion and continuity.

5. Ensure Safety and Security

Juliet balcony

Safety and security should be top priorities when incorporating a Juliet balcony into your living space.

Importance of Safety Features

  • Prevent accidents: Properly designed and installed railings and barriers can prevent accidents and ensure the safety of occupants.
  • Compliance with regulations: Meeting building code requirements ensures the Juliet balcony is safe and adheres to local regulations.
  • Peace of mind: Ensuring the safety and security of your home can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you and your loved ones are protected.

Building Code Requirements and Regulations

  • Height: Railing heights for Juliet balconies are typically regulated to minimize the risk of falls. Be sure to check your local building code for specific height requirements. In the UK, Building Regulations 2010 require a minimum height of 1100 mm (about 43.3 inches) for residential Juliet balconies. Commercial buildings or public spaces may have higher requirements, so consult local building codes for accurate information.
  • Spacing: Building codes often stipulate the maximum gap allowed between railing balusters or panels to prevent children from slipping through. The gaps between the vertical elements (balusters or infill) should not exceed 4 inches (100 millimeters). The gap between the bottom of the balustrade and the floor should not exceed 2 inches (50 millimeters).
  • Materials: Certain materials may be required or prohibited by local building codes, so verify any specific regulations for your area.

Adding Security Measures

In addition to meeting safety requirements, consider adding security measures to protect your home:

  • Locks: Install high-quality locks on doors and windows leading to the Juliet balcony to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Sensors and alarms: Integrate sensors and alarms into your home security system to detect unauthorized entry through the balcony. This could include glass-break sensors, door/window sensors, or motion detectors.

6. Seasonal Decoration and Personalization

Wooden Juliet balcony

Adapt your Juliet balcony to different seasons and personalize the space to reflect your unique style and preferences.

Adapting the Juliet Balcony to Different Seasons

  • Spring: Use fresh flowers and pastel colors to create a light, refreshing atmosphere. Introduce potted plants, window boxes, or hanging planters with seasonal blooms.
  • Summer: Incorporate bright and bold accents, such as vibrant accessories, to celebrate the warmth and energy of the season.
  • Fall: Embrace warm tones and autumn-themed decorations, such as wreaths, pumpkins, and dried foliage, to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
  • Winter: Install festive lights and holiday decorations, like garlands and ornaments, to bring warmth and cheer during the colder months.

Personalizing the Space

  • Showcasing personal style: Reflect your unique tastes and style through your choice of colors, materials, and decorative elements. Consider incorporating your favorite patterns, textures, or themes to make the space feel truly yours.
  • Displaying small art pieces or sentimental items: Showcase small art pieces, sculptures, or other meaningful items with personal significance. Be mindful of the outdoor exposure and choose items that can withstand the elements.
  • Incorporating unique and creative design elements: Add personality and flair to your Juliet balcony by incorporating custom or one-of-a-kind design elements. This could include custom railing designs, unusual planter shapes, or imaginative lighting solutions.


In conclusion, a well-designed and thoughtfully curated Juliet balcony can unlock potential for your living space.

So what can I do with a Juliet balcony? You can elevate your home’s charm and functionality by focusing on aesthetics, creating a garden oasis, improving natural light and ventilation, expanding the perceived living area, and ensuring safety and security.

Embrace the versatility of Juliet balconies, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different designs, materials, and decorative elements to create a unique and appealing outdoor feature.

With the right approach, your Juliet balcony can become a true asset to your property and an enchanting space to be enjoyed year-round.

Related article:

What is the Point of a Juliet Balcony? Top 10 Benefits!

Can You Walk Out onto a Juliet Balcony? Unveiling the Truth

Can You Sit on a Juliet Balcony? Discover the Safety Facts

Zoltan Szatmari

Zoltan is a test and industrial engineer from Europe who loves learning anything new and working on small projects. When he is not working, he is usually hiking or going to the cinema.

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