Living in an urban area does not take away a person’s need to enjoy the outdoors. The convenience, however, of living close to work, leisure, the arts, and other amenities of city life means sacrifice. Where our rural friends can enjoy magnificent porches and expansive acreage, urbanites often have a miniature outlet into the open air.
With the right touch, an urban apartment balcony can evoke images and the feel of the countryside just outside your living room.
Where plants get placed and how they grow can help to create desirable illusions that can transform your balcony. Plants that have a lot of vertical growth like bamboo can draw the eyes up and create the illusion of more space. Tall and leafy plants can also create a natural privacy barrier that can put you in your private garden.
Another savvy move lies in hanging plants around the outside of the balcony rail, preserving space while maximising greenery.
Why You Should Use a Variety of Plants
Design experts agree that when incorporating plants into a small balcony design, use a variety of plants. In temperate climates, try to integrate evergreens to preserve the greenery all year round. Add to those your own personal favourite seasonals to brighten up the space with colour. Anyone who likes to cook, from serious chefs to foodie hobbyists, should make space to plant their favourite herbs.
The biggest challenge lies in selecting the right furnishings. Limited space will prevent you from using typical patio furniture. Some have used a sturdy chest, blanket, and throw pillows placed against the wall of the building to create a functional loveseat. Fruit or milk crates can give table space without taking up too much room. Although this will not create a classic high-end look, it can provide a bit of chic Bohemian contrast to the typical modern urban apartment.
Start Small and Build Confidence
Designing a small balcony takes creativity, planning, and work, but it can also be fun. Experts suggest that inexperienced do-it-yourselfers start small and slow. Those who go out to try and decorate the space all at once may find that they underplanned and overbought. Start with a chair and a few plants, figure out how much space you have left and what you want to do, then proceed from there.
Designing a balcony space will challenge your creativity but it also gives your whimsy a chance to run free. Enjoy yourself as you invest your creativity and money into creating a space that’s both fun and functional.
Unique Staircase Design for Landed Properties
Pristine, glamorous and luxurious… these are just some of the words which come to mind when you think of landed properties in Singapore. From industry-leading design to the most exclusive materials, landed property architecture inspires visitors and impresses every guest. While many people overlook it, there is one part of your home you should not neglect — your staircase. A beautiful staircase sets off your home and and takes it from stunning to awe-inspiring. Below, we look at some unique staircase designs which you can consider for your property.
Sweeping, Artistic Lines
Gone are the days when staircases must be simple. You can build seamless, fluid staircases which are in themselves a work of art for guests to admire. These staircases blend perfectly into your colour scheme and architectural design. They also draw the eye around the impressive size and scale of your home. If you are looking for a way to inject subtle brilliance into your property, look no further than soft, beautiful staircase lines with seamless skirting.
Don’t Neglect the Under-Stairs
The most innovative staircases have extraordinary attention to detail. Using sleek, minimal designs or bold, splashy colours to accentuate your surroundings, you can give yourself improved storage space — or a place for that special vase to really stand out. Want to impress your guests while making your home as delightful and peaceful as possible? You can even build gardens around the under-stair area, giving you that quiet spot to curl up in and admire your home.
Choose the Right Lighting
Perfect lighting can make your staircase look like you are walking on air. From dramatic, contoured LED lighting to studs which glisten like diamonds, soft lighting is that subtle touch of detail so many staircases often lack. Whether you want a romantic or striking ambience, there are luxury lighting options out there for you.
Consider the View
If your staircase overlooks a garden space, or if you’re lucky enough to have a double volume home, think about how your stairwell complements the overall aesthetic of your home. As you travel upstairs, consider hanging striking artwork or building wall inserts filled with customised ornamentation.
Think about how the garden you are overlooking can complement the indoor design — your landed property should work as one sophisticated unit, after all. That is what makes truly luxurious homes stand out.
Choosing Materials and Textiles
With options such as stunning glass or custom stone, the materials you use for your staircase are everything.
Glass can be used for balustrades, railings and even stairs. You are sure to be the envy of your neighbours with a seamless, cutting-edge design like this.
Combine glass with a floating step effect to feel like you’re truly flying. This look is especially striking if you don’t have double volume space but want to create the illusion of vast spaces.
Looking to be environmentally friendly? Choose unique, lesser-used materials such as bamboo instead of wood for an original and green staircase.
With the right care and attention, you can take your staircase to a new level of splendour.
Decorating Double-Volume Spaces in Landed Properties
Singapore landed properties are characterised by stunning, innovative architecture, seamless and sleek design, and incredible, gorgeous lighting. With streaming sunshine, sprawling walls and high windows, the ambience inside a landed home is nothing short of heavenly. If you are lucky enough also to have double volume space, how you decorate the area affects your home’s overall character. We offer some tips for decorating this oft-neglected space, so your property stands out.
Neutral, Fresh Colours
You want your double volume space to make your home seem larger, not smaller. Your walls should be something of a blank canvas for you to build on. Choosing soft colours for walls, such as cream, ivory, grey and white, lets you add striking features which stand out and catch guest’s eyes. Give your guests the illusion of a mansion with this timeless tip. If you want something a bit more unusual, tile or paint one feature wall in an entirely different colour to create an alluring centrepiece.
Large Hanging Art
If you want to draw eyes upwards, so guests take in the height of your walls and ceiling, art is a beautiful and effective way to do this. Art which hangs down more than one floor serves as a feature point, and you can pick art which best reflects your tastes.
Perhaps you don’t want to draw too much attention to your high walls. That’s fine. Instead, you can select dainty mirrors and smaller paintings or artwork which help break the space between the living area and the upper floor. Alternatively, you can paint a lower wall in a different colour, or tile it to give the illusion of a more compact space.
Consider your Outdoor Space
Your whole landed property should work together as a harmonious, single unit. This includes the garden and any outdoor landscaping. You may consider wood ceiling features or wooden floor panels to run along walls and floors overlooking the garden, to create an exotic, sumptuous atmosphere, or choose colourful plants which complement the interior space.
Lighting is Everything
The beauty of a double volume space is how light and ethereal it can make your property. You do not want to compromise this beautiful architecture with ill-chosen lighting. Low-hanging chandeliers can focus the eye’s attention on lower levels, keeping the sense of space but making it less bare and imposing. This is helpful for small areas, such as the dining area, where you want a sense of privacy and intimacy.
Soft, well-chosen lighting will also glisten in the evening, casting your walls with a beautiful golden glow and making your outdoor pool shimmer. Your guests will be impressed by your impeccable attention to detail all year round.
Pick the Right Furniture
Equally important is the furniture you choose to decorate your space. Bright, colourful chairs and tables can draw eyes away from the high ceiling while not compromising on space, and softer colours can create a harmonious environment.
Bookcases can be incredibly versatile, too. Choose high bookcases to reach up to the next level, or smaller cases to keep the attention focused on the lower or higher level. Again, it’s helpful to consider different sections, such as the living space, and whether you want a cosy or sprawling feel.
Choose unique ornaments and spread them out well to create the feeling of even more space. Fireplace mantelpieces are particularly useful for this. If you want to brighten your home with features, choose standing ornaments, vases or plants which complement the colour scheme and fill those bare, hard-to-disguise corners. With thoughtful design and attention to detail, your double volume space can be exquisite and used to the best of its advantages.
Designing a Unique Swimming Pool
Singapore homes ooze luxury and architectural innovation. From cutting-edge technology to sleek, elegant designs, every landed property can be customised to suit your needs – and impress visitors. Your swimming pool should be no different. Your pool should complement your landed property, and keep you cool on lusciously hot days in style. What is more, you should only select the highest quality building materials to ensure your pool stays functional and beautiful for as long as possible. Below, we offer advice on unique swimming pool designs, and covers to keep pools clean while not in use.
Swimming Pool Options
Sizes and Dimensions It may seem there are a dizzying variety of options available for swimming pool design, but do not let that overwhelm you. Your primary focus should be on designing a unique pool which is the right size, shape and depth to complement your landed property. If you have a sprawling, expansive garden, you can install a long, wide pool for gentle swimming and lounging on hot days. Your pool can serve as an attractive centrepiece for your family and guests alike. With a more petite garden, you are best choosing a dainty pool or one with unique lines to sweep around your property. Although leaves and petals may gather in the water, rich foliage around your pool creates the illusion of a tropical rainforest paradise.
Material Options Unique swimming pools should be carefully built from the foundations up. Interestingly, concrete is ideal for building a custom pool. With the help of landscapers and designers, concrete can be shaped to whichever layout you desire – and the walls can be painted or tiled to complement your garden aesthetic. There are, of course, alternatives, such as fibreglass. A fibreglass pool comes as a single shell which can be fitted above ground – ideal if you wish to avoid disturbing your garden’s foundations. Vinyl pools are the most delicate; however, what they lack in strength they make up for in safety, with non-slip and algae-resistant qualities.
Water Composition When building a unique pool, you want to choose your water carefully. You can opt for saltwater, which gives a natural, peaceful swimming experience and is kinder to skin than simple chlorinated pools. However, chlorinated pools have anti-bacterial and anti-algae properties. For real luxury, you can even opt for mineral-based water which is sanitised without chemicals. Impress your guests with this option – the original Oxidizing Ionization was designed by NASA.
Covers The perfect pool is not complete without a unique cover to protect it – and to keep your children safe when the pool is not in use. Pool covers reduce evaporation, prolong your pool’s lifespan and keep your water cleaner. Choices include:
Solar Covers This absorbs warmth, uses cutting-edge technology and is easily installed. Thermal covers are a similar option, and are perhaps more durable than solar ones in the intense Singapore sun.
Automatic Covers One of the most expensive options, these can be opened and closed at the touch of a button – perfect when entertaining guests on your patio.
Safety Covers These can support your weight and are safe to walk on, and so are particularly useful if you have small children.
Ambience Do not forget the most important part – ambience. Soft, tranquil lighting makes your pool glisten in the evenings and turns your patio into a romantic paradise. Unique pools are also enhanced with luscious, colourful flowers and ornaments, and features such as underwater lighting and solar-powered temperature control.
Whether you want a king-sized, grand pool or something more petite, unique swimming pools require careful thought and design. But in just a few small steps, you can sculpt the pool of your dreams.
Sheltering from the Natural Elements – Awning and Shelter Options
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Here are three of the best water features to consider: (more…)
Bungalow Style Homes Are the Perfect Fit For Sustainable Construction
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Landed houses are a hot commodity in Singapore, and it is the prestige of owning land that many buyers are attracted to. In order to maintain or even increase the value of a landed property, landscape design is key.
Paying respect to the land and the traditions of Singapore must be held in balance against following modern trends and the current market. Here are some landscaping design ideas that will suit any landed house, and give a touch of class above and beyond what the property provides. (more…)
How Can You Prevent Roof Leaks in Landed Property?
Singapore is home to stunning houses that boast functional design and bespoke construction. Those lucky enough to own such a home will attest to their splendour; their sheer brilliance conveys a great deal about the touch of class that is the benchmark of the architectural virtuosity in this island city-state. (more…)
7 Stunning Houses You Didn’t Know Existed
Singapore is alive with stunning architecturally designed homes. Many architects and design experts have forged their careers in this south-east Asian gem of a cosmopolitan paradise. Singapore is a magnet for international talent, and features some of the most stunning and remarkable houses in Asia. Here is a collection of must-sees when in Singapore: (more…)