New Zealand

Better balconies: Lessons from Coronavirus

The main thing Coronavirus taught us, it is that we never know what’s around the corner...

But an equally valuable lesson is that our home is much more than just our castle!

During this pandemic, it has also been our workplace, our gym, for some a schoolhouse but for many it has been a place of absolute solitude.

One of the most impactful media images of this pandemic was social media footage of hundreds of quarantined apartment dwellers in Italy standing on their balconies singing together in a bid to lift the spirits of the whole community.

‘Better balconies’: Before the re-design

Never has the home environment needed to be so adaptable, and with isolation taking such a toll on mental health those who are lucky to have access to some green space have found it both comforting and nurturing. An increasing number of studies show that time spent in green spaces is beneficial to mental health and physical for both children and adults.

Some experts say that post-COVID we will see a movement of people away from city apartments and some say it will change how architects look at the design of future developments. For sure, the value of having a personal outdoor space such as a, balcony, terrace, or roof garden has been highlighted throughout this pandemic.

‘Better balconies’: After the re-design

Having a personal green space not only extends the size and versatility of your living space, it also provides natural light, increases air circulation and offers opportunities to grow flowers, plants and vegetables, perhaps even increasing self-sufficiency.

For many years’ global metropolises have embraced sky gardens, we have reported on some amazing examples in Singapore, New York but you don’t need to own a million-dollar property to enjoy a green oasis of your own. In ANZ, #balconygarden has been a recent trend with 533k Instagram posts and over 10,000 average monthly searches.

Experts at “Love the Garden” told us to take typical small spaces such as a windowsill or apartment balcony and reimagine them with interior design themes. They say: Whatever the space you’re working with – outside or in – or your favourite style, you can find the gardenless garden to transform your space and get all the benefits of the greater outdoors. 

A living wall is an incredible feature to create using plants in an otherwise unused space. 

“To get this look and ensure your living wall really stands out, it should be the centrepiece of the space, immediately drawing the eye. The rest of the area should be simply designed so the feature stands out. Don’t go over the top – opt for one striking wall to really make a statement”.

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