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Interior designers share 5 ways to style a smaller balcony space

Ms Tay Ying Hui’s balcony, where she has managed to fit a sitting hammock, a small coffee table and chair, a herb garden and a hanging bed for the family's pet cat.ST PHOTO: JEREMY KWAN

Balconies of new private homes here will soon have a size limit. 

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said last week that developers will have to build units where balconies take up no more than 15 per cent of the internal floor area of the unit. They will also have to have a minimum width of 1.5m.

The move is to counter the trend of developers selling homes with large balconies and small interiors, which can be impractical for residents. There are no such limits currently and the rules will be applied to new condos with development applications submitted after Jan 16 next year.

With these new rules set to make balconies a little tighter in the future, The Straits Times speaks to interior designers for some tips on how to maximise the space and how to style a smaller balcony space.

Using furniture with multiple functions will give the balcony space more flexibility, especially if pieces can double up as storage and seating. PHOTOS: IKEA

1. SELECT MULTI-USE FURNITURE PIECES

Looking out for furniture pieces that have multiple functions will give the balcony space more flexibility, says a spokesman from Ikea's design team.

"You can maximise space by combining two light-weight square sofa sections to create a comfortable chaise lounge, or pull the sections apart to form two seats for guests."

Outdoor items that can double up as storage and seating are also a good choice. For example, Ikea carries a wooden bench that has a storage compartment and can also be used as a coffee table.

The key to making ones balcony look bigger is to create a seamless transition from the living area to the balcony. PHOTO: EIGHTYTWO.

2. GET FOLDABLE DOORS

Mr Terence Neo, design director of interior design company Eightytwo Terence, says the key to making ones balcony look bigger is to create a seamless transition from the living area to the balcony.

"You can create this by choosing to install foldable glass curtains or bi-fold doors that are collapsible. These will help to visually open up the entire space."

Having foldable doors, which can be tucked away neatly, will also help to create more room when hosting guests.

3. CONSIDER WOOD DECKING

Another way to make a balcony look and feel bigger is by levelling the balcony floor with outdoor wood decking, says Mr Neo.

The warm wood colours help to make the outdoor area look like a part of the interior living space.

Colourful cushions, soft throws and woven rugs are simple ways to enhance the balcony's relaxed feel and add comfort to the space. PHOTO: IKEA

4. TEXTURES FOR DEPTH AND WARMTH

Textiles have a way of warming up any space and making it feel cosier, says a spokesman from Ikea's design team.

"Mixing up the textures and materials used can also create some depth within the space."

Colourful cushions, soft throws and woven rugs are simple ways to enhance the balcony's relaxed feel and add comfort to the space.

5. A TOUCH OF NATURE

Balconies are a fantastic spot to start a herb garden or to have a couple of lush green plants.

Having some greenery in the balcony adds a refreshing dimension to the home, says Mr Neo.

Save space by selecting hanging plants or installing a wall trellis. These will also help to bring the eye upwards, thus visually lengthening the space.

 

This story was first published in The Straits Times. Click here to read the original story.

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