Balconies are a rare luxury in modern Singapore apartments. If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to purchase a HDB balcony flat, don’t let it slip away.
22 August 2022
Apartments with outdoor spaces have always been coveted in Singapore’s major cities. This has only been amplified with the increase of people staying at home during lockdowns and while working through the pandemic. Calls for the HDB to construct more balcony friendly apartments are louder than ever, with the impact of isolation and quarantine revealing a clear need for accessible – and private – outdoor spaces in modern living.
The majority of flats in Singapore with private outdoor spaces are luxury flats such as executive maisonettes and condominium apartments. However, HDB units with balconies do exist and are available (though mostly on resale). The majority of these houses are located in the OCR districts, with the newest situated in Punggol. When it comes to resale flats, the ones with balconies are usually the largest available such as five-room HDB flats or executive apartments.
Because balconies are so precious, making the most of them is a critical part of designing your home. If quarantine has taught us anything, it is the value of an outdoor space that belongs just to you. Your balcony should provide an escape from the internal world, opening up a space where you can connect with nature and let the stresses of the day slip away. One of the best ways to do this is to tailor the balcony to your exact needs and design preferences, rather than what is the most popular style at the time. Here are some basic stepping stones to help get you started.
10. Balcony window
For those who want to spruce up their existing flats without moving home, a balcony window is a great idea to reap the rewards of a balcony apartment. Balcony windows are large window strips which can be fully opened to the outside air.
There are many different types of balcony windows on the market, but the most popular styles are folding windows as this will allow maximum openness of the apartment to the world outside. Tilt turn windows are also very popular. The window pictured above was installed by ZGH Aluminium, one of Singapore’s leading window designers and suppliers.
Be mindful that you will need a permit to install new windows in a HDB flat. For an overview of HDB renovation guidelines for residential projects, see here.
09. Elegant condo balcony
Balcony condos are without a doubt the royalty of the BTO balcony family. As such, they should be designed with the same strength and grandeur they command. The first step to a classy balcony is to install high quality balcony flooring, such as a floating timber floor. Creating a cohesive environment is crucial to balcony design, so toning metals like the copper, iron and steel in the design above is a great way to communicate unity. A personal touch such as a piece of art or a telescope for those stargazing nights goes a long way.
08. A balcony bar
This ingenious design by The Interior Lab is a perfect example of how to enclose a balcony to create a new space. This artfully designed apartment was a gorgeous labor of love from bedroom to bathroom, but the balcony bar shines out as one of its star features. The perfect place for a lovers nightcap or to entertain a small group of friends, this is one of the greatest balcony ideas Singapore.
07. Big balcony
For a 5-room HDB with balcony, space is usually abundant. This means you get to design a large communal area rather than the intimate balcony spaces that most HDB flats lay claim to.
A big balcony like the one pictured above has ample space for not only furniture but design elements as well. Decorating the space with a plant wall or a Christmas tree is a beautiful way to ensure that the space brings joy to the household even when it is not being used.
06. Small balcony ideas
What 3-room HDB with balcony flats lack in floor space, they make up for in charm. As such, cozy furniture is definitely the way to go. A cute little hanging chair with comfortable pillows, a beautiful rug, some art, and an abundance of plants to brighten the space is the perfect way to create your own little comfy oasis.
05. Extend living room to balcony
Some people choose to forgo the separate balcony space altogether and incorporate everything a balcony offers into their living room. This is easily done with the installation of bi-fold doors, which can be pushed to the side at whim. However, extending the living room space is more than simply opening a door – you will want the balcony space to match stylistically with the indoor area onto which it joins.
04. Designer balcony flooring
The best balcony designs begin with a beautiful floor scheme. White rocks and zen gardens are becoming extremely popular at the moment, as they bring a sense of calm and nature into the world of urban living. Floating floors are affordable and easy to install, making them the go-to material for a small balcony renovation. Timber and tile are easily the most common forms of high-end balcony flooring.
03. Balcony screen
For those who appreciate privacy when enjoying their outdoor time, a balcony screen is definitely the way to go. Balcony screens can be installed on the edges of balconies to prevent people in neighboring apartments or on the street from seeing into your balcony.
They also protect the privacy of your home and its occupants as they block some of the interior from view. Balcony screens come in many different styles and colours, though a natural plant look is easily one of the best to keep your connection with nature strong.
02. Cozy up to the heights
A small balcony does not have to mean a cramped balcony. Seating like this which follows the shape of the balcony is a great idea to create a cozy space for you and your loved ones.
01. Balcony garden
Another practice which took off during the pandemic, installing and caring for a balcony garden is a great way to improve your mood and heighten the aesthetic of your home. Plants have numerous physical and psychological benefits – including air purification – and tending to them has been proven to give humans a sense of routine, accomplishment, and productivity. For information on the best plants for HDB flats, see here and here.
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