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Don't need a balcony in Singapore? Here are 3 alternative uses

Balconies in condominium units tend to be larger than those in HDB flats for good reason. Apart from the obvious fact the former is priced at a premium, balconies make up for the lack of two roomy provisions in HDB flats - service yards and storerooms. While condos come with utility rooms, and cramming a washer into the tiny kitchen isn’t off the table, you would be hard pressed to carve out additional storage space.

That’s where your “upsized” balcony needs to step up. Here are some ways to make a full-fledged storage nook out of your balcony without turning it into an unsightly, exposed storeroom.

1. Laundry yard

If your kitchen is stacked to the brim with bulky appliances, consider placing it on the balcony. Besides, what better way to utilise the water point there? A washer may look out of place in the “outdoors’, but there’s nothing a little cabinetry can’t fix. You can even conceal the machine behind a wooden flap. Built-in cabinetry also provides plenty of compartments for storing miscellaneous items, from cleaning liquids to clothes pegs. Because we all know what visual clutter they make.

Another eyesore? Expansive laundry racks. The multi-tiered ones, while functional, often end up obstructing the view and natural light you paid for. To avoid making your home feel more stuffy and cramped than it really is, small families can opt for automated laundry racks. Better yet, couples living alone can install wall-attached ones to be deployed and collapsed at whim and fancy.

2. Kitchen

What happens if you’ve already made room for your washer in the kitchen? Chances are, as the onslaught of housewarming parties and grocery runs beckon, you would eventually run out of space to store new crockery, appliances, and supplies you purchased in bulk for a cheaper price because #adulting.

Luckily for you, there’s room for an outdoor kitchen on the balcony. Contrary to what catalogues will have you believe, it isn’t all about bar carts and barbecue grills. If anything, you’d have an easier time maintaining a grease-free outdoor kitchen.

Cooking appliances like your microwave oven, air fryer, and toaster can stay in the kitchen, though we aren’t opposed to a Nespresso machine on the balcony. Meanwhile, the fancy stash you rarely use, like that tea pot set or suite of wine glasses, can be relegated and reserved for special occasions. Until then, leave the pots and pans in the kitchen and let the ones that sit and look pretty come out to play.

3. Workshop

Perhaps cabinetry is too committal for you. Or maybe the kitchen is too underutilised to warrant an extension. Nevertheless, storage space is always welcome - on that much we can agree. Which is why an outdoor workshop may serve you well. Think of it as a lightweight utility room, if you will, minus the hideous Toyogo boxes and cartons.

The good thing about an outdoor workshop? It’s idiot-proof and requires no carpentry. In fact, it can be assembled with modular components from IKEA in a jiffy. Think wall racks for bicycles, and pegboards for handyman tools you use frequently. Outdoor shelving units, complete with weatherproof organisers in steel and wood, nail both function and form by lending your home an industrial look.

Liked this piece? You may also enjoy our other article on overrated balcony fixtures.


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