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  • Writer's pictureKatie Unicorn

The fastest way to glam up that cold concrete balcony floor? Add a pebble border.

(psst... it's renter-friendly too)

Adding a pebble border is the ultimate DIY that adds an instant luxurious touch to any patio or balcony space. A high-impact low maintenance detail that won't break the bank, or your back!

There’s so little interest or personality on your standard balcony (none actually.) A typically cold and hard environment. Upgrading your flooring is the single most effective way of transforming the space. And adding a simple pebble border detail, like I did on this terrace makeover, will take take it to the next level.

Stone pebble border detail on rooftop terrace makeover

The best way to accomplish this look is to use it as an accent in your space, like we did here around the IKEA decking tiles we installed to upgrade the original concrete balcony floor. You can also add this detail around your area rugs, under seating areas, and around your plant containers and sculptures. It's a perfect elegant way to deal with those awkward leftover spaces you're not sure what to do with. Get creative with it!

The natural pebbles will add instant personality giving your balcony that relaxing, resort-like vibe we all crave. Bringing depth and charm to your outdoor space, making it more cozy and inviting.

Now, let's turn that cold concrete balcony floor into something beautiful and unique!

Pebble border detail around modular decking tiles and wall on outdoor balcony

Decorative pebbles surround Buddha statue and pedestal on outdoor terrace

Solar lanterns and a pebble border decorate an outdoor downtown terrace

How to Install a Balcony Pebble Border

Here is my recommended method for installing pebble borders in your outdoor space:

  1. Leave a 6”- 8” open border around the edge of your flooring for your pebbles.

  2. Purchase pebbles of your choice in a 1" to 3 "inch size range as they will look best. My personal favorite are Mexican Beach Pebbles!

  3. Know where to get your pebbles. Your local garden center or stone yard should be well stocked with options. If needing a larger amount of pebbles/stone, your local stone yard is usually the more cost effective option. And since they sell in bulk, you can easily get as much as you need.

  4. Calculate the amount of pebbles you need. Most stone suppliers have calculators on their websites to help you determine quantity, or you can call your local stone yard and they can help you directly.

Alternatively, you can follow this simple equation to calculate the amount yourself:

(Total linear feet X width of border) / desired depth of pebbles

A good rule of thumb for depth is roughly 1 1/2" - 2"

Pebble border detail between modular decking tile flooring and masonry wall on rooftop terrace

What to Avoid

  • Avoid choosing gravel or pebbles that are too small in size, as they can 'disappear' visually in your outdoor space. You are going for textural and visual high contrast. Too small of a stone material will just look like a messy pile.

  • Avoid placing pebbles where they might become loose or pose a hazard.(see image below for an example of this)

  • Only install your pebbles on your balcony where there is no risk of them falling off, or being kicked off through the railing. Make sure the pebbles are secure with some type of edge restraint where you place your pebble border/accent, like a wall or ledge. (see images below for examples of acceptable edge conditions)


💥 Pro tip: You can also add your pebble detail in other areas of your balcony/patio to tie the whole look together!

Now you're on your way to an easy and inexpensive DIY upgrade to your outdoor patio and balcony spaces. Get creative and have fun with it to truly make the space yours!

Katie Unicorn – Make room for whimsy™

Check out @katieunicornofficial on Instagram where we share DIY tips for your home and garden. You can also hire Katie Unicorn to create a small space design for your home and garden in the Dallas area.

Watch this patio transformation in:


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