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Gain Privacy – Screening Your Apartment Balcony

Privacy is important to all of us, everyone needs space, with fresh air, without being on display to the world.  

There are 3 main types you can use:

  1.  Attached
  2. Freestanding & Easy to Move 
  3. Independent Elements

If you are looking to keep your balcony warmer in the winter, you need to read this “18 Ways Tp Keep Your Porch Warm In The Winter”

Privacy Screening for Your Balcony.


Outdoor Curtains

Curtains hung on your balcony that you can slide open to catch the breeze, and let in more sun, or close to stop prying eyes and provide shade, can be the ultimate luxury feel.  These will make you feel like you are on vacation.  Be sure to get curtains like these that are meant to be outside and can stand up to the sun and resist mildew.   For a very light touch that will just filter both the sun and the visibility, these are my favorite, don’t miss out on them!  

Curtains will need curtain rods to hang from.  If you have structure to hang them from,  I use these tension rods, they are strong and durable.  

 If you do not have a square opening between 2 walls or posts to use tension rods, you can use these rod supports that do a great job with a full ring that the rod does not get blown out in a light wind. There is this great option of a shaped curtain rod 

If your balcony is breezy, use two sets of either type of curtain rods, top, and bottom, to eliminate the flapping of the curtain fabric.

If you do not have permission to attach the rod supports, scroll down to freestanding to pick from there! 

Curtain Tie-backs:

I like the magnetic sets for outdoors, also the simple effectiveness of a hook to pull behind if you do not struggle with strong winds.  If you are anywhere near a shoreline, the knotted rope tiebacks are a must-have.  Here are my favorites, and they will last outdoors.  Which is your favorite?

Curtain weights are definitely your friend, especially outdoors, they keep your curtains from flying away in the slight breeze!  They keep your curtains grounded, so they can do the job of protecting your privacy, rather than drawing attention to you like flags in the wind!  Yes, it’s the details that count and make the difference!

These can take the moisture of outdoors, how many, and what weight will depend on the strength of your breeze.  Start with 1 for every 2 feet of the curtain, and increase as needed.

Friction curtain rods, when quality construction, will be just perfect for the job of holding up, and/ or securing the bottoms of curtains in areas that you do not want to make permanent installations, such as a rental, or you have stone columns you are using to support your curtain rods.  This provides a no-drill option!  I love a good no-drill option!

Here is an article about hanging things to brick without a drill! Great for renters!

Or, if you have vinyl siding instead, check out here; How To Attach To Vinyl Siding, No Drill

These are not friction and will need to be mounted, but are too good to not bring to your attention!

Roll Up Shades

Want your privacy screen to not blow around in a breeze, tuck out of the way and have a design feel different than the softness of curtains?  Roll-up shades are just the thing!


If you can clamp these down, or screw them into your balcony flooring, these are amazing retractable panels, check them out!

Freestanding / Moveable:

Balcony Railing Fabric 

There are many more to choose from than you might think, check out these below, and browse for more design options too!  Look for quality grommets, aluminum grommets that won’t rust, and UV-resistant fabrics that do not fade.  This will also keep you from losing items that would otherwise fit through your railing, and lost below!  Like your glasses, or phone…

If you have something to anchor this too, the new sail fabrics are the latest in outdoor shades.  There is no reason this can not be set up on an angle to provide privacy as well!  Word to the wise, brick clips would NOT work to hold this to a brick wall, with clips, the weight has to be down and the pull would be out and away from the wall.  For great uses of brick clips to attach items to a brick wall, no holes, Click Here. 4 Tested Ways To Hang Things On A Brick Wall, No Drill.

Patio Frame / Canopy

Have just the open space, without anything to attach screens from, use a patio frame.  There are the standard sizes and larger of course, and I will link to some below, but also there are a few smaller sizes just right for a smaller apartment balcony.  Watch the height if you have a roof overhead on your balcony!  Take a look:

Just want the one wall to screen, and something more decorative than the standard white tent canopy?  This is a single wall that fits the 10×10 canopy frames, and several colors to choose from.  As long as you have something to attach it to, these work so much better than sheets, or other fabrics not made for the outdoors.  

The green is my personal favorite, but you knew that already didn’t you!

Freestanding Folding Screens

  • Lattice
  • Wicker
  • Bamboo
  • Reed
  • Fabric
  • Shutter
  • Wood slat
  • Corrugated panels, acrylic, metal

This is a real bamboo folding screen that direct linking was not an option, but you really want to check it out! I loved it!.. Here is the link to Amazon, and this is the item to search for: MGP Bamboo Screen Divider with 4 Panels. It is part of a special program that does not allow direct linking, but this is how to get to see it. I found a way to get you to it!

Independent Elements

Arbor Bench Planter with Screen

Beach Umbrella, Sunbrella

Need screening from overhead, or an upper view, these sun umbrellas will fit the bill.  A wide, yet narrow, rectangular-esque one, with just one center pole.  As well as ones that have an elbow you can tip to the side for just the right angle to block the sun, or neighbors prying eyes!


  • Vine- trellis up
  • Vine-hanging
  • Large potted
  • Hang vertical planters from overhead

Plants for your balcony will be a great, natural screen.  Which plants depend on the conditions on your balcony. 

To hear more, read this post just on “Tall Outdoor Plants In Containers For Privacy”

Click here to find the best ones for you! How much time during the day does your balcony get direct sunlight and what time on the day is it?  Do you have a constant breeze, strong wind, or no breeze at all?  Get this PDF I made for you to take to your local independent garden center (where the people who can answer questions are) and remember to add your wind on your balcony to get the best local recommendations for you.  Get that here.  https://besidethefrontdoor.com/speed-dating-for-you-your-plants/.

Wondering if you need gravel in your containers and don’t want all that weight on your balcony? Click here for the answer….

Find Out More About Keeping Plants in Containers, and Keeping Your Neighbors Happy Too!

Be sure to consider all 4 categories of plants above.

Have to contain your water from your downstairs neighbors?  Want more growing space for more tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and more?  The ultimate is the Garden Tower, you can read a full write-up on it: https://besidethefrontdoor.com/attractive-effective-gardening-vermicomposting-on-your-porch/

Not only is it my favorite, is even made in the USA, and that is hard to find these days!

Related Questions:

Can My Neighbor Attach Things To My Fence?

No, your neighbor can not attach items to a fence that you own, even if it is on their side.  BUT, before you get heated though, CHECK to be sure it is not a fence held in common of the two properties.  Be sure you own the fence in its entirety and check with local regulations and zoning.  You do not want to take a stand on your neighbor removing something, just to be reported and fined because your fence turns out to be 1” over the height allowance, or is actually in violation of some sort.  See what you can work out with your neighbor first, before taking other actions is always the best policy!

Is Covering My Balcony Illegal?

Covering your balcony in most of the United States is not illegal, however, there may be local regulations restricting or prohibiting it.  Check with your landlord, leasing agent, HOA, or local zoning office to protect yourself from costly local infractions.


Toni has a bachelor degree in Plant & Soil Science, has lived, gardened and growing all over the US, in Vermont, Tennessee, Idaho, coastal North Carolina and Virginia. She has been sharing her knowledge through writing, one on one consulting and talking to anyone who wants to listen at social gatherings everywhere : )

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