Easy ways to spruce up a boring balcony.
11 July 2014
Every square foot counts when you’re living in a small apartment. This includes oft-ignored areas like the functional laundry yard and the narrow corridor that leads to the bedrooms. One particular space that many homeowners overlook is the balcony. This small space is typically left untouched, but when floor space is such a valuable commodity, why not turn a boring balcony into a functional room? Here are some ideas.
If you prefer a simple, laidback feel, you can easily turn your balcony into a cosy corner with a few cushions and soft furnishing. Bring out a couple of scatter pillows and soft throws to instantly create a cosy corner. Keep in mind that not all fabrics are made to withstand the harsh Singaporean weather. You’ll need special fabrics for outdoor usage, specifically something that can take a beating from the sun and rain.
Textile company Quedos has several collections of outdoor-friendly fabrics, like the Tex-Treme range of beautiful sheers, draperies and fabrics. These fabrics – which can be used as upholstery on your outdoor furniture, draperies on your windows or as cushion covers – are perfect for our equatorial climate. They’re sunlight resistant, and won’t fade or turn yellow in the heat. They’re also mildew, moth and termite resistant.
That empty span of outdoor space would be the perfect place to put a water feature. Whether you’re thinking of a bubbling water fountain or a tranquil fish pond, here’s your chance to carry out your own mini landscaping project. You’ll get to enjoy the relaxing sounds of flowing water and maybe relax in the company of pet fish.
Water Concepts and Consultancy is a local company that focuses on “exterior design”, specifically in transforming outdoor spaces into striking works of art. According to owners Jazz Liew and Anita Lim, many Singaporeans who live in condominiums and HDB flats are interested in making the balcony an attractive spot with water features and mini sky gardens. The company can make use of the existing planter in your balcony to house a fish pond or water feature, complete with a built-in filter system that is hidden from view.
In a tropical country like ours, it’s surprising that so few Singaporeans take up gardening as a hobby. The answer is a typical one: lack of space. But transforming that sliver of balcony space into your very own herb garden isn’t that difficult. In fact, the benefits are plenty: fresher cooking ingredients and a fun hobby that the entire family can partake in.
A rising number of people who live in crowded cities around the world have jumped on the herb-growing bandwagon. In Singapore, new start-up Small Space Sprouts aims to encourage homeowners to set up their own organic gardens at home by simplifying the entire process. The online venture lets you purchase pre-packaged DIY growing kits that are ready to go. Also available are pre-planted containers, wall-mountable planters and a bunch of accessories that make the process productive and fun.
Everyone enjoys sitting at a table outside a café, enjoying a hot drink while watching the day go by. With your own balcony, why not recreate this experience at home? Bring out a couple of comfy chairs and a small sidetable and set up your own alfresco dining space.
According to a representative from HAUS Furnishing, there’s a growing trend of homeowners who want to create these alfresco spots at home. The main problem is the size of the outdoor furniture, which are typically too big for a standard HDB flat or condominium apartment. This is why HAUS Furnishing carries a range of outdoor furniture tailored for apartment living with snug sizes that won’t take up too much precious real estate in your home. These furniture pieces are also versatile enough to be used both indoors and outdoors.
Choosing the right flooring for your balcony is the first thing you should do, as this affects the entire look of the outdoor space. It’s important that you pick outdoor decking that is weather resistant and waterproof, as the floors will bear the brunt of Singapore’s fickle weather. Timber decking is one of the most popular flooring options for a balcony; nothing beats the feel of sturdy wood beneath your feet when you step outside to greet the morning sun.
Timber flooring experts Lumbermart has a range of timber decking that is suitable for use in your outdoor areas. The premium hardwood African Green Heart timber decking in particular, sports a beautiful shade of golden brown. As it matures in the sun, the wood takes on a stuuning reddish-brown hue.
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