Try these decorating ideas to take your balcony from eye sore to stunning—or to just plain cosy.
Show of hands if you’re guilty of severely neglecting your balcony. It’s one of those spaces that is truly versatile and can be anything it wants to be (unlike what we tell our children), and yet one of the most underutilised spaces at home.
Whether you have a spacious balcony on a landed property or a cosy nook that juts out of a high-rise, balconies have the potential to be one of your favourite spaces with the right treatment.
1. Garden balcony
Nothing beats coming out to lush greens after a long, fraught day at the office (even if you work from home and office is just one room away!). It’s a breath of fresh air and a wonderful sight for sore eyes if you’re living in a concrete jungle.
Go wild for a rainforest effect that’s a bit of a showstopper. This will keep the balcony space and the room adjacent nice and cool.
Manicured balcony gardens can be nice too. Find a theme and keep it trimmed.
Or make it practical by having an edible garden! Herbs and spices that are native to Malaysia’s tropical climate would be the easiest to grow, although with a bit more care and experience, you can even grow plants like thyme, rosemary, and lemons. Just imagine stepping into your balcony garden while cooking for a nib of turmeric or a sprig of rosemary. Q-U-A-I-N-T!
2. New floors or banisters
If the balcony feels grimy, old, or uninviting, it could be because it is. Exposed to the sun, rain, humidity, and air pollution, the tiles and banisters on your balcony will wear out much faster than the ones inside your home. Changing the floor tiles and banisters is like giving your balcony a facelift; familiar but put together.
Go rustic with wooden floors, or synthetic grass for an outdoorsy feel without the maintenance.
An interesting tile adds character and charm. Don’t be afraid to experiment with bright colours and prints, or unusual materials.
Or open up the space with glass balustrades. Très chic!
3. The water feature
With a little more cash, a water feature can turn your balcony from boring to bougie in a snap. If you can spring for it, having a water feature on your balcony is like having a literal oasis.
Jump into your balcony Jacuzzi and watch the sun set with a delicious cocktail. Who wouldn’t want that after a long day?
A customised pool for your balcony will run you a pretty penny, but it’s not quite as expensive as they used to be. Made with lighter, hardier, and more affordable materials, it’ll be a show-stopping way to beat the Malaysian heat.
A koi pond or water fountain is a good option for those who can’t be bothered with the maintenance. It’s also easy to scale depending on the balcony space you have.
4. Pretty and pragmatic
We don’t have to settle. With a little thought, your balcony can look gorgeous and still be functional.
A comfy couch, some throws, and a palette table can transform a small balcony into a cosy little nook for you to read (or scroll through your smartphone) with a cuppa in the morning.
If you have a spacious balcony, you can even turn it into a second dining area. Combine open and closed spaces with glass sliding doors that give you versatility and lets you take adapt to the weather.
A gym is not out of the question either. Talk to your contractor about laying some electrical wires. Roofs and high balustrades might be necessary to ensure the space stays relatively dry even during a thunderstorm.
5. That personal touch
For the DIY enthusiast, there’s nothing more satisfying than adding your own personal touch to make the space truly yours. While it isn’t the most cost-efficient way to spruce up your balcony, it isn’t something to sneeze at; a DIY project is extremely time-consuming and a labour of love.
Inexpensive and aesthetically rustic crates is a really neat cheat for furniture. Layer it with cushions and fabrics and voila! You have a stool that readily doubles as a table. Prop them on their side and suddenly you have a nice little shelf. It is surprisingly versatile, easy to personalise and most importantly, cheap.
Balconies are great in the evening when the temperature drops to acceptable levels. Consider the lighting situation and what you can do to liven up the space once it’s dark. Fairy lights equal instant whimsy, and is just a matter of planning the style and layout.
This article was written and contributed by Habitat.