A Happy Home - The Balcony

Posted by ~Summer~ on 5.6.17
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As much as I've enjoyed writing on the A Happy Home series for the past few months, it's coming to an end and in this post, I will be doing my final tour and show you around our balcony!

Yes, it's the first time ever that I have a balcony in my house and I'm very, very thankful for that. That is, even though I've realised that having a balcony right at the living area means a dusty house or that we have found ant nests and gotten panic attacks by the bugs that flew into our home a few times. Yup, not complaining, just saying the truth. I still very much welcome the extra space and the fact that we have a superb view and a nice breeze makes the home so much more welcoming and cosy.

We've made some changes to the balcony setup over the last couple of months because some initial ideas didn't seem to work out that well. So today, I'll be showing you how it has evolved and what it looks like at the moment.

The first thing we did to the balcony was to install invisible grilles because I really need that peace of mind since it's impossible for me to keep tabs on the three little ones every minute of the day. Thanks to Meridian Invisible Grille (read my review here), at least I now know that the kids will not accidentally fall over the railing or climb out of the house. Yup, we are contained!

A look around our neighbourhood revealed that only a minority of households chose to install outdoor blinds. However, I am so glad that I pushed for it and persuaded the hubby to do so because that means that even on rainy days, I just need to lower the blinds and not have to rush to keep the laundry - which is hung to dry at the balcony. It also helps to prevent our furniture - cupboard, table, chair - from getting too wet because the rain does tend to splatter and make things wet.


Talking about laundry, here's how our clothes rack looks like. Huge, isn't it? Yup, we got this Ultimo Casa Deluxe from JML which I adore because firstly, it has a large drying capacity and can really hang a lot of clothes, including a height adjustable rod that you can raise up high so that you can even hang bedsheets and quilt covers easily. Secondly, it comes with wheels, is easy to maneuver and has a stopper so that you can lock the wheels in place too. In addition, you can also adjust the width or fold it up for easy storage too - not that I do because we have to do our laundry every alternate day.



We also have this clothes hanger stand that serves many functions - sometimes we hang our used towels here to air dry, sometimes I put the clothes that need to be ironed here while I hang the new batch of laundry, sometimes I get ready our clothes for the next day and hang them here. I've also recently used it as a stand while I try to give our clothes a steam refresh (read my upcoming review on the Tefal Tweeny 2-in-1 soon). I also have to give credit to my father-in-law who helps us with the ironing from time to time too (usually the hubby's uniforms and kids' school uniforms) because it helps to reduce the hassle of this dreaded yet necessary chore.

So, I mentioned that we made some changes to the balcony over time right? Initially, it was used as a storage space for our bicycles and scooters, given the fact that this house doesn't have a storeroom. But, they gradually became an eyesore and I also didn't like the fact that they were suffering from the rain splatter and accumulating dust over time. Thus, I decided to move them to the Blue Room, which will temporarily function partly as the storeroom-cum-playroom until the boy is big enough to sleep on his own and make it his own bedroom.





Speaking of the boy, he has this huge Friso powered ride-on car which was a gift from my in-laws' friends. We kept it for months in the old house because there was no luxury of space to put it so one of the first things I did after shifting was to open up the box and assembled the car for my baby. Yup, I did it all by myself and was so proud I connected it properly and got it to work!

The irony was that before I could even bring him downstairs for his first proper ride, the sisters accidentally spoilt it when they knocked it against the cupboard while 'driving' it on the balcony. And now, it can't move. Yup, such a pity. But well, he is still very contented to have it as a stationary car so we are keeping it here on the balcony for the time being.

In wanting to have more alfresco dining opportunities as a family, I saw this good deal on Taobao and ordered this ratten table and chairs set - which was selling at a price of S$300. Not too bad, right? I loved the green cushions and how the chairs could tuck in neatly underneath the table.

Alas, the chairs turned out to be a little low for the kids and even for me. So, it wasn't as comfortable as I had imagined and the fact that the table took up almost the entire narrow width of the balcony meant that there was very little walking space left, which made the area look cramped. Eventually, the hubby and I decided to sell it off and I managed to sell it on Carousel at S$220 within a day. Not bad, right? It was my first time going into Carousel (just like how it was my first time shopping on Taobao when we knew we were moving) and I was surprised by how little time it took!

Well, at least we had some very happy memories taken here, one of it being on my birthday where the kids sang me a birthday song at this very table and presented me with their handmade cards. In any case, I think it was a smart decision because once the bulky table was gone, the balcony looked much more spacious and airy.



You know what's funny? I might have sold a table and chair set but I bought another in return - which was the exact table that we used to have but donated during the move. Yup, call me silly or call this fate, but we still end up with a Mammut table because it's just too functional and suitable for outdoors too. I really, really, really wanted a craft corner where the kids could go to anytime they feel like being creative so it was imperative to me that we found a space to set up a kids-sized table and chairs - something that I regretfully left out when planning for the house renovation.

Given how their bedrooms are small and more than half full once the bed frames arrived, the balcony was the most ideal place for me to set this up. So, we got the Mammut table and Kritter chairs (I wanted wooden, not plastic ones) and we now have this very simple but often used kids corner.



The kids have been doing some art and craft, puzzles and even taking the initiative to say that they want to draw, paint or make cards when they are free. That makes me relieved and thankful for how a simple change in setup managed to bring about positive effects too. For those who are keen on winning some art supplies and letting your kids explore with dot markers, I have a review and giveaway of Fiddle & Doodle Dabber dot markers coming up soon!



We have this IKEA Kallax shelving unit that has been with us for years and I was reluctant to part with it. Yet, we have no space to put it in the rooms so the only place that can accommodate it is the balcony. I'm not sure how well it will last outdoors but fingers crossed, at least we have the blinds to protect it and we'll just have to see how it goes. Anyway, to help protect our stuff from the rain, dirt and dust, we bought these inserts that come with doors and drawers in a colour theme that matches the Scandinavian theme of our living room. I assembled every single one of them on my own one night while the hubby was relaxing, enjoying his me-time and using his phone. Yup, all by myself! It's amazing how the sense of satisfaction comes after you do up everything.

Previously, we used this shelving unit for storing the hubby's tools, including bicycle pumps, screwdrivers, hammers, nuts and bolts and so on. After a while, I realised that most of it was not commonly used whereas art materials that I often use were kept in the LOVE cupboard in the dining room, which were hard to retrieve because the dining table and sofa would be blocking it (so that our sofa is as far away from the TV as possible). It became cumbersome for me to take any craft stuff, which was one of the reasons why I've been less active on the Creativity 521 series.

So, I decided to make a switch! Yup, that means my more regularly used art and craft materials are now stored on the balcony (by the way, the shelving unit can't contain all of it, yup, that's how much we have in our stash). I can't believe I didn't do it sooner because it gives us such easier access to the things we need for a craft session. Here's a quick peek inside the inserts.

Washi tapes, sticky tapes, blu-tack, scissors and sewing kit


Coloured paper, glitter paper, blank paper and all kinds of stickers


Acrylic paint, paint bucket, paint brushes


Water colours, markers, crayons, colouring pencils



As you can see, all these supplies and more are now easily within reach of the kids which makes it easy for me to task them to go to their art corner when I need to cook or clean the house.

Thanks to the inspiration from a dear friend who shares her creative ideas at Happy Tot Shelf, I've also set up a recycling corner for the kids to keep their favourite recycled materials for future crafting purposes. These are kept nicely in a box for now and I can't wait to see what the girls are going to create from them!



One of the uppermost shelving units is also dedicated for our terrariums, which will only grow more and more over time. Don't you think they somehow make the place look more alive? The small terrariums on the right are done by the girls themselves at A Tilly A Day whereas the beautiful rose in the glass jar is a chemically treated one that can last for 1-3 years and was a birthday gift from the sweet hubby.



Yup, we might not have much in the balcony but I'm liking it the way it is. A laundry corner and a kids craft corner, along with some free space for us to play around or do anything we want. That means I've showed you around our entire house (except for the toilets) on the blog already and it's time to end the A Happy Home tour. Awwww, I'm so gonna miss writing on our house but hey, you will always see updates of us on my social media.

A big, BIG thank you to all of you who have been reading and supporting this series, especially those who took time to write in to share their stories, questions and thoughts. I hope our review will come in handy for some of you and to those who were lucky to win in the giveaways, congratulations too! Till the next series on the blog, I already know what I wanna write on, all I need is more time! So, stay tuned!

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This post is part of the "A Happy Home" series where I share all about our new Scandinavian-themed house, the renovation process and some tips and thoughts. Moving is never easy but it comes with an indescribable sense of joy in building up the house of your dreams. Remember, home is where the heart is and nothing is more important than being able to build memories with the people you love.

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