We don’t always make the best use out of our balcony or terrace; using it to store bicycles and swimming floats or to dry laundry, instead of enjoying the one bit of outdoor space we have. Let’s take a look at some ideas to turn your outdoor space into an outdoor retreat for entertaining friends, a spot for sundowners or a quiet nook for reading.
Outdoor Furniture Care
- Clean dust and built up dirt from all-weather wicker with warm soapy water and a cloth. Rinse thoroughly in cold water and polish with a dry cloth.
- Soap and water is all that’s needed to get rid of marks and stains on plastic furniture. If it does get heavily marked, spruce it up with spray paint made for plastic surfaces.
- Keep waterproof aluminium furniture looking clean and bright with a non-scratchy sponge and an all-purpose non-bleach cleaner.
- Protect wood against sunlight and rain with a UV-protective, waterproof sealer or stain. Clean regularly with soap and water, but make sure to rinse and dry it properly.
- While outdoor cushions may be water-repellent, it is better to bring them inside during heavy rain. Cushion covers should be washed regularly at a low temperature before dirt and food particles become embedded in the fabric.
Even if your balcony is small and every inch of space counts, there is no need to scrimp on style. Linking the indoors with the outdoors will ensure continuity and flow between your living room and balcony and will make the space seem larger.
Make sure the scale of your furniture and accessories is appropriate for the size of your balcony. For small balconies, choose a couple of chairs or a two-seater sofa and a small table. Add colour and individuality with patterned, all-weather cushions in similar shades to those on your living room sofa, and some key accessories.
Lighting needs to be an integral part of your balcony design if you intend using it in the evening. Set a romantic mood by stringing a set of outdoor lights on the balcony railings. Alternatively, use candles in hurricane glasses or lanterns, or even temporarily bring a living room lamp outside if you have a power point there.
If you must have laundry or bicycles on your balcony, try hiding them behind a folding bamboo screen.
211 Henderson Road, #01-02 Henderson Industrial Park
7 Joo Chiat Place
Big is Beautiful
Larger balconies and verandahs are perfect for entertaining. An outdoor dining table and chairs with a large parasol is great for alfresco meals. If you have space, add some comfortable, oversized seating to provide the perfect place for pre- or post-dinner drinks, or a chaise longue for a quiet reading spot.
If you have the space, consider hanging a weather-resistant artwork on an exterior wall to add style and interest. Look for metal or wooden pieces that are made for the outdoors. If you don’t have an exterior wall, use a freestanding art piece such as a sculpture or statue as a focal point. To keep things interesting, swap the artwork around from time to time.
Make a colour statement with plants in big pots. Make sure the plants you choose like the amount of sun or shade your balcony receives.
100E Pasir Panjang Road, #08-01 Century Warehouse
6270 8483 | www.danishdesignco.com
Just as carpets can be used to define a space in a living or dining area or bedroom, so they can be used outside on a balcony. Add a splash of colour and make your balcony more inviting and softer underfoot with an outdoor carpet.
The Orientalist’s collection of outdoor carpets by designer Liora Manné are made using a process called Lamontage. Acrylic fibres are intricately structured by hand and then mechanically interlocked by needle punching to create a nonwoven textile that resembles felt. Using nanotechnology, an EPA approved antimicrobial finish is permanently embedded in the material. This prevents deterioration, odour and the growth of mildew, making it extremely durable, and ideal for both indoors and outdoors. The Liora Manné collection offers a palette of more than 600 hues in circles, stripes, swirls and abstract patterns, including her signature mosaics.
Lamontage carpets should be vacuumed on a daily basis. Stains should be addressed immediately by dabbing or gently rubbing the stain with a cloth dipped in carpet cleaner or mild soap and water. Depending on traffic levels, the carpets should also be professionally steam cleaned at least once a year.
Balcony Safety for Children
Children aged one to five years are most at risk of balcony accidents, as they are naturally curious but lack the ability to recognise danger. Follow these tips to make your balcony safer:
- Make sure your child is supervised at all times when on the balcony.
- Keep sliding doors to the balcony locked at all times to prevent access to children, especially if you are not able to create a safe balcony.
- Keep objects that a child can use to stand or climb on away from balconies, including pot plants, outdoor furniture and boxes. Some children are strong enough to drag furniture to the balcony edge.
- Place plants in window boxes on the inside of the railing to prevent children from hanging over.
- Balcony railings should be at least 1m high, preferably 1.3m high.
- Railing uprights should be no more than 12.5cm apart, so that a crawling infant or thin toddler cannot get through. For added safety, install a safety net along open railings.
- Make it a rule that older children may not entertain their visitors on the balcony if you are not at home.