When it comes to features in HDBs, balconies have to be some of the most coveted additions out there. If you’re lucky enough to score an HDB unit with a balcony, finding ways to spice it up could be an interesting conundrum, thanks to the fact that they’re technically not considered true rooms and at the mercy of nature’s elements.
Rather than just settling for some weatherproof balcony furniture, here are 6 real HDB balconies that prove that the sky’s the limit, and we’re just not utilising our space right.
Image credit: @460home
Jungalow might have been in-trend in 2018, but 5 years later, the plant obsession is here to stay. The green-thumbed homeowners amongst us can take their gardening beyond just their HDB corridors by converting their balconies into botanical paradises.
One HDB owner went as far as to transform her internal balcony into Botanic Gardens 2.0.
Image credit: @myplantsaremymodels
For one, a balcony makes a great plant conservatory because it normally is bathed in natural light for most of the day. This means no more constant ferrying of plants to and from their spots in the house just to ensure they get sufficient sunlight. It also makes watering your plants an easier task as you won’t have to worry about accidentally getting your delicate furniture wet in the process.
The benefits of having a healthy dose of greenery in your home can also work wonders on your state of mind and wellbeing. We’re talking about improved creativity and focus and lowered anxiety levels. Need we even mention their air purifying properties?
Take a leaf out of the book of these homeowners and invest in a sturdy tiered shelf that’ll act as your plant display. Don’t forget to pepper your balcony with hanging plants such as birds’ nest ferns and Boston ferns to optimise space and enhance the garden vibes.
If you’re willing to go above and beyond with your gardening endeavours, you can even try planting small fruits and herbs in your balcony too.
Some easy and low-maintenance plants to start with are money plants and philodendrons, which do not require copious amounts of sunlight and water to thrive.
Image credit: @one_treehouse
2. Reading Nook
Image credit: Neu Konceptz
Self-declared bookworms know that hiding away with a book is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and the idea of reading a good book in a personal reading corner is pretty much heaven. Fortunately, those Pinterest reading nook vibes can be easily achieved without sacrificing an entire room for your designated home library.
It’s incredibly easy to transform your balcony into a relaxing reading nook you can flex on your socials, all you need is a cosy armchair, a coffee table for holding that important cuppa tea, an assortment of cushions and a standing lamp.
If you do intend on keeping your books in your balcony, it might be a good idea to get a suitably-sized bookshelf to keep them organised. Consider investing in a taller shelf in order to accommodate more books as well, since most balconies do tend to be on the narrower end.
Image credit: @ziptraksingapore
Our erratic weather can also pose a threat to both your books and furniture, so it’s crucial that you weatherproof your balcony. Consider getting Ziptrak’s outdoor roller blinds to keep rain, insects and the sun out.
3. Balcony Bar
The balcony bar setup also doubles up as an alternative WFH spot with a view.
Image credit: @tetherbar
Unwinding with a nice drink on a rooftop bar is a great way to end a long week at work, but you don’t necessarily have to fork out exorbitant sums just to enjoy such an experience. In fact, you can replicate such an experience in your own HDB balcony. Bonus points if you’re blessed with a great view from your balcony, too.
You can purchase wall-mounted bar cabinets like this on Etsy.
Image credit: Etsy
There’s the option of getting a custom bar table fabricated to fit the length of your balcony, or getting a ready set of bar tables and stools from furniture stores. You can even install a wall-mounted bar cabinet to level-up the entire setup and grant you easy access to your favourite tipples.
4. Laundry Room
Image credit: The Local INNterior
We’ve likely heard of the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. If you’re particularly short on space, try turning your balcony into a laundry room – it wouldn’t be a waste of space if you manage to pull it off well.
Most balconies do tend to get plenty of sunlight during the day, and you can get your interior designer to incorporate built-in storage cabinets to neatly house your washer and dryer with additional space for your washing detergents and hangers.
To avoid having laundry racks making an eyesore out of your balcony, opt for automatic laundry drying systems such as Steigen. Their laundry systems come in a range of sophisticated colours from rose gold and royal blue to pastel pink and matte black to help add a touch of glam to your space.
5. Pet play area
This creative Singaporean homeowner made full use of his balcony’s vertical space for a feature cat wall.
Image credit: @tftthishouse
For some pet owners, the balcony can be a massive out-of-bounds area for their precious kitty or pooch, due to safety reasons. However, it is possible to turn the balcony into a safe area for them to play in, and this can be achieved by installing invisible grilles to ensure their safety. Installing a glass door for your balcony allows you to take a peek over to keep an eye on them every so often as well.
To simulate the outdoors, you can even get some synthetic turf for them, which is not only safe and durable, but extremely easy to maintain.
6. Office Area
Image credit: @eric_chua_77
While it may sound like an odd option at first, there are various characteristics of a balcony that can make it a viable home office. The compact size of a HDB balcony frees you from common home distractions such as your bed or TV. And if the inevitable midday glare starts messing with the visibility of your computer screens, consider purchasing some roller blinds to help keep the unwanted sunlight out.
While we’re at it, let’s talk about screen breaks too. It’s always important to give your eyes a break once in a while, so make sure to decorate your home office with a couple of plants for a nice pop of green on a desk if you aren’t blessed with greenery where you are.
BONUS: Personal workout area
Image credit: Charlotte, Telegram
Here’s an idea for those of us committed to working out more this year. Instead of having to travel to a gym and fork out monthly membership fees, consider bringing the gym experience to your home instead.
Although it may seem daunting on paper, you don’t actually need to haul any crazy-huge gym equipment in order to convert your balcony into a simple home gym. For simple home workouts, you simply need a yoga mat, as well as some small fitness equipment such as dumbbells, jump ropes, and resistance bands.
Lastly, it’s a good idea to get some storage units to neatly tuck away all your equipment after a workout sesh.
Creative double duty in your balcony
Making the most out of your balcony may be an extremely daunting task, but one of the biggest advantages they have is their extreme versatility, and it can be quite fun to explore new ways to make use of the space you’re given. From extra living space to pet playrooms to dedicated office space, there are limitless options out there for a humble balcony.
Read more about making the most of your HDB space:
- Smart Kitchen Storage Solutions
- Furnishing Options For Smaller HDBs
- How To Find HDBs With Balconies In SG
Cover image adapted from: @myplantsaremymodels, The Local INNterior, @tfthishouse
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