The pandemic has left most city dwellers cooped up inside apartments. And let’s face it; living in a crowded concrete jungle can make us feel cramped and stuffy. In dense urban cities like Kuala Lumpur where many urbanites resort to vertical living, private outdoor space is considered a blessing. If your apartment comes with a balcony – large or modest – enjoy it!
A balcony can bring light and fresh air into the rumah and project a sense of space, making your apartment feel brighter, bigger and airy. In essence, you own a little piece of the great outdoors that can be customised to suit your style and preferences.
With a little investment and creativity, you can turn your balcony into your own functional outdoor oasis. The key is to visualise what it could be and make it work for you and your needs. Like everything else, it totally depends on your preference. Below are some of the balcony ideas for your little nook.
A balcony that is converted into a mini garden is a common choice made by many. As we all know, plants offer us a fresh and lively feel to a space. It is even better if they are edible. For example, most herbs will flourish on a balcony with plenty of sunlight. The best part is that herbs often only need very little space to grow.
It is even better to be creative and play with colours and plant types. A mix of vibrant flowers and a variety of plant species can make your balcony brighter and add an inviting ambience.
With limited space, vertical gardening is the way forward. You can use vertical planters that are super easy to maintain. A cheaper alternative is to purchase planters that can be fixed on the railings. You can also hang pots from the ceiling too!
Outdoor dining space
If you own an apartment with a decent view, your balcony can be a great space for outdoor dining. Imagine having a relaxing breakfast with the morning breeze hitting your face and the sounds of birds chirping. In fact, morning sunshine and fresh air are generally considered to be mood improving. You will also get the much-needed Vitamin D.
Your balcony can also help you to unwind after a stressful day at work. Having dinner while watching the city lights is likely to be more pleasant than watching TV indoors.
Unless you have plenty of square footage to work with, it is best to go with a minimalist theme. Simply look for a foldable outdoor table and chairs set, add some cushions, and you are good to go.
Space for small gatherings
Your balcony can also be a one-of-a-kind relaxation zone, especially if you love to entertain family and friends regularly. You can either fit some outdoor furniture or, for a leisurely atmosphere, you can install a hammock or get outdoor pouffes.
Your balcony is the perfect place to socialise and entertain your guests while enjoying the breeze and view. It can also be a great place to have a quick, private conversation away from other guests.
If you have a slightly larger balcony, opt for larger and more comfortable seating. You can get a large upholstered bench that can seat many people and as well as a coffee table too.
As a tenant or owner of an apartment, you might be wondering if you can barbecue on your balcony.
Well, over time, barbeques on balconies have become more convenient. There is plenty of barbecue equipment designed to optimise a small space for BBQ enjoyment.
There is only a small amount of space needed on your balcony to fit a slim portable grill and a side table to place all that food and drinks. It is safe to go for an electric BBQ that can be ready for use within a few minutes. Plus, you will less likely be bothered by smoke too!
Do not forget to get a few stools as well for seating and enjoy your BBQ!
Open air workstation
Since many of us are working from home these days, your balcony can serve as a place to work in the open air. One way to improve your mood and motivation while working from home is to have lots of natural light. Vitamin D from sunlight can help in improving your immunity too.
Working outside can also help in stimulating your creativity and sustaining your motivation. It is especially better if your balcony features various plants!
Depending on the size of your balcony, you can fit a comfy desk, a chair, and maybe some décor pieces. You can create a shared workstation or divide it into two different zones – the work zone and the rest zone.
Personal gym for light exercise
Everyone knows how beneficial daily exercise is to the body and mind. Starting your day with a little exercise is always a great idea. But there is almost always an excuse to skip the gym, right? It is either too early or too late, too tired or no spare time.
Well, what if you can achieve your fitness goals in the comfort of your own home?
You can enjoy a bit of morning meditation or yoga sessions out on your balcony. All you need is just a yoga mat and maybe a Bluetooth speaker to listen to your instructor or some music.
Other than yoga, you can also do hula-hooping or use your walking pad on the balcony. The key is to choose the types of equipment that are easy to store and space-saving.
Comfy reading Book
Malaysian weather might not be that conducive to sitting at some parks outside and catching up on your reading. Though a true book lover could just sit anywhere and get lost in their imagination, owning a reading nook is always the dream.
If your home lacks space for a dedicated reading area, how about your balcony for a tolerable compromise? You can create a special nook to enjoy your novels by placing some cushions and pillows on the balcony. Add fuzzy blankets, some plants, and maybe cute lamps – and now your cosy reading nook is ready!
Adding a Jhoola or swing can also improve the aesthetic value of your balcony. With many choices in the market, a swing is more than just a decoration piece. A nestled jhoola, for example, happens to be the comfiest spot for a book and a cuppa.
Fun play area for the kids
Although a balcony can never replace a big backyard, you can create a fun-filled play area with a little creativity.
You can either make a seating area with some board games or a crafting station for your toddlers. If you have an unused wall, you can hang a chalkboard and let their imagination run free. Try to brighten your balcony with some colourful paint or decorate it with your kids’ favourite colours.
Your balcony can also be an outdoor playhouse. Set up a teepee tent with a few cushions and pillows. Your kids can have their own space, keeping them occupied while you are having a little rest.
Just remember to avoid anything climbable, and make sure your balcony is secured. There are a lot of balcony installations to improve its safety and reduce fatalities. An invisible grill, for example, is the most basic preventive step you can take. It is made of thin cables that provide safety without obstructing the view from your balcony.
For the pet parents out there, nothing is more important than keeping your beloved pet happy and safe. And this includes more outdoor time where they can enjoy the fresh air and lounge in the sun. With a few helpful tips, you can turn your balcony into a pet-friendly space.
Since balconies are mostly elevated, it is crucial to ensure that the railing is at a suitable height and that your pet cannot fit through it. In addition to that, make sure that any plants on your balcony are not toxic to your pets, such as spider plants and Boston ferns.
You might also want to install comfy flooring for your pets to lay down and sunbathe. You should also consider adding a bed for your pet, maybe a small inflatable pool, or an outdoor play area.
Sun drying your clothes
Hanging clothes on the balcony is pretty much the norm in Malaysia. However, with limited space for a clothes rack, more people have chosen to get a dryer instead. It is more convenient and time-saving. Yet, hanging and drying the laundry outside is still very much preferred by many since it gets ample sunlight in addition to saving electricity.
Many apartments come with long and narrow balconies. If your balcony has limited space, it is ideal to use collapsible racks that can be stored away. You can also fit a laundry pole that is made from tension rods which can be adjusted to the height of your balcony. Another option is to install a ceiling-mounted drying rack that is commonly used nowadays.
Multifunctional furniture is a golden solution for apartment dwellers. You can utilise your balcony space for an outdoor storage area. Opt for seating with built-in storage to make the most of your space. For example, you can pick a bench-style seating with space to tuck a few baskets beneath the seating. You can use these baskets to store away toys and unused items.
Additionally, do not let your wall be left unused. You can install an open shelving display which can help elevate your balcony aesthetic. However, make sure the shelves are sturdy for any unpredictable weather changes.
If you are a cyclist or you enjoy casual cycling every now and then, your balcony can be a great place to store your bike. Get some wall-mounted hook to hang up your bike and save some floor space. Your bike will be safe and secure.
Enjoying the sun
Adequate Vitamin D is important to your health for many reasons. It helps strengthen your immune system, reduce health risks and improve your sleep quality. Sunshine also boosts your body’s level of serotonin, improving your mood and boosting your sense of calm.
Your balcony can be the perfect place to bask in the sun. It is even better if your balcony is beautifully decorated to offer a real feel-good atmosphere. If your balcony faces the south, it can be the ideal spot to create a sunny retreat. With all-day sun, you can have your own dedicated sun lounging area to chill. Just fix a daybed or lounge chair to enjoy the sunshine in peace.
You can have a functional balcony without neglecting its aesthetic and design. A well-decorated balcony can be very cosy if you put some time into decorating it properly.
Decorating your balcony can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you have limited space. You have to take into account the size, choose the right furniture, pick a design or theme, and above all, actually create a space that you love.
Hopefully, you now have some ideas and inspiration to decorate your balcony. A multifunctional piece of furniture is the best choice, especially if your space is small. Additionally, you can always choose foldable items for your space.
It is our hope that you will find this article insightful toward maintaining a cosy, beautiful, and tidy balcony.
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