On small balconies it doesn't make sense to make the floor design too complicated. Instead, picking one element and then decorating around it is the way to go. On this small balcony (40 sq. ft) in Toronto, the customer wanted something soft underfoot and decided on some faux grass throughout.
This is not the astro turf anymore that you remember from years ago. Suppliers have gotten a lot more advanced and the grasses are incredible! This one even has dead "thatch" woven in the grass so that it looks and feels like a real lawn. As well, heat is no longer a problem as the backing has air and water holes to allow the grass to breathe and cool down. Beautiful stuff!