In need of a little inspiration? Here’s how to make the most of your small balcony or outdoor space in Hong Kong.
We all know the struggle, the flat listing claims to have ‘outdoor space’, but upon further inspection it’s nothing more than an area for someone to stand out in the humidity, or a place to hang your washing. However, if you’re one of the lucky ones who does have space to spare for a table and set of chairs, spending a little more to ‘jooshe’ it up and ensure that your balcony is actually functional can transform your home and make it feel much, much bigger. So, if you’re in need of a little inspiration, here’s some simple ways that you can make the most of your seriously small balcony in Hong Kong…
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Although space is a luxury in Hong Kong, do your best to choose comfy and cozy furniture. If all that’s out there is an old splintering deck chair, you’ll never embrace your balcony as an extension of your home. IKEA is obviously a go-to for affordable furniture, and it does offer some great space saving options such as two-seater sets and cool pieces like rattan armchairs, that can be dressed up or down depending on your interior vibe. If you’re looking for high-quality and something that’s unique, make a trip to Horizon Plaza and check out: Everything Under The Sun, Harbour Outdoor (which usually offers better lead times due to factories being closer to Hong Kong!) and Patio Mart, as well as furniture warehouses like Tequila Koala and Indigo Living (where you can buy its display items for seriously discounted prices).
Experts at The Home Stylist suggest that “if you really want to create a space you’ll use, don’t just consider outdoor dining but a beautiful living space too. A comfy deckchair, cosy sofa or armchair will make you want to spend more time relaxing in your outdoor space than a table and chairs. This is especially true of smaller spaces and balconies.” But with that said, as space is limited, don’t be afraid to keep it simple, either. A colourful Moroccan pouf would do just nicely!
A smaller balcony doesn’t mean that you have to choose between furniture or plants. After all, plants and flowers are an easy and inexpensive way to feel like your little outdoor area is an oasis away from the concrete jungle. Opt for plants that grow vertically (ie. less bushy!) or go for hanging plants that will take up almost no square footage – just bear in mind which floor you live on and ensure that any hanging planters are secured to railings, remembering to take them inside during heavy rainfall and typhoon warnings!
Even if your balcony lacks space for any furniture, go to town with the plants, open the doors and let the outdoors in. Just by letting in some fresh air and decorating the area with greenery, your home will feel more inviting and much larger. If you’re all set on the plant front and just looking for a quick refresh, a lick of paint goes a long way in jazzing up old planters. The Home Stylist suggest opting for whites and pastels, which “are always a great option for summery spaces” but “bear in mind that they do scuff easier.”
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It’s easy to get caught up in buying cute accessories for your balcony, but the one element most people tend to forget is lighting. “Lighting is the best place to start and there’s plenty of lighting options available for anywhere in your outdoor space. With battery and solar powered lights, lamps and fairy-lights, you can get really creative with where you add light and atmosphere to your outdoor space,” says The Home Stylist. A small balcony has no need for powerful lighting, so LED powered lights are a good place to start. String them across your railing, or fix them to the ceiling above and soak up the atmosphere over a few glasses of wine. If lights aren’t practical for your space, opt for candles in decorative holders or lanterns.
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“Candles in beautiful holders, fun statues and ornaments and decorative pots for your plants are all ways to make your outdoor space a little more interesting and personal,” suggests The Home Stylist, but textiles are also key in decorating your small balcony. Consider buying some fun pillows or seat cushions or drape a colourful throw over one of the chairs – H&M Home also stock some inexpensive and outdoor runners that are on-trend and perfect for hiding concrete flooring. “Go for a fun, bright colour scheme or even mirror your living room décor to help the flow from inside to out,” The Home Stylist suggests. But make sure you then have somewhere to store them come during typhoon season – they’ll start to deteriorate quickly in the damp!
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Featured image credited to @deer.home