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More than just plants: 6 ways to incorporate the outdoors into your home

Be it extra space on your balcony, front porch or backyard, spruce things up with these outdoor features.

It’s easy to see why it’s a trend to bring nature into your home: It creates a calm and soothing effect indoors. So, if you have an idle space – whether it's just a spot on your HDB balcony or a yard – and want to transform it into a comfortable haven, keep these outdoor living ideas in mind.


Ideally, the style of your outdoor dining area should mimic that of your home interior. This helps to achieve a seamless transition to the outdoors.

Tables and chairs with intricate detailing may cause outdoor spaces to look cluttered, so opt for minimalist pieces to keep the area simple and elegant. The weather in Singapore can be unpredictable, so remember to keep your dining area sheltered. Garden parasols are easy to install and are portable, so they're perfect when you change your mind about how you want to organise your space.

READ: Feeling warm at home? Turning up your air-con at full blast might not be the best solution

To add to the ambience, put up some string lights, cover your chairs with patterned fabrics or add cushions. Consider a barbecue grill, too, so you'll not only eat but also cook outdoors. And just like that, you can now host exciting outdoor parties or enjoy a fresh dining atmosphere in the comfort of your own home.


It doesn’t have to be an expensive project, too. A DIY outdoor bar can be easily achieved by recycling old furniture such as wooden cabinets. While it is nothing luxurious, it gives you extra space and an added ambience. 

(Photo: Pexels)

Do keep in mind though, that you have to purchase juicers or suitable glasses if you are looking to create a variety of cocktails. If you have a sheltered outdoor space, take things to the next level by installing a TV set. Enjoy your favourite sporting action with your friends without having to jostle with the crowds in popular sports bars in Singapore.

READ: Entertain often? Here are top tips on how to design the perfect home bar


Besides being great places for gardening enthusiasts, greenhouses are also aesthetically pleasing. But if you are looking for a cheaper or practical alternative to a greenhouse, consider raised garden beds. They help to separate your soil from the ground to keep out garden pests. Some are even catered for growing edibles. The raised beds also define your gardening space make them stand out. If you are just starting out in gardening, they are also good focal points for your gardening efforts.

Another tip to consider is artificial grass. Select specific plots for gardening and fill the rest with artificial grass to give off a picture-perfect look. The initial instalment may be pricey, but you get to achieve that seamless urban garden without having to maintain large plots of grass.

READ: How to get your eco-friendly renovation ambition off the ground 


These are small, functional rooms designed to be creative spaces for work and relaxing. Whether you are a workaholic looking for a better place to hustle, a gym junkie seeking extra workout space, or just someone looking for some extra privacy, a garden pod may be your in-home escape. Not for the HDB home-owner but if you have a yard, it's something to consider.


Water features help to add a sense of tranquility to an otherwise one-dimensional space. Waterfalls, fountains or koi ponds could act as focal points for your extra space, while ponds running parallel to driveways can give the illusion of a larger area. 

When it comes to water features, it is important to know what style you like and how much you intend to spend as the possibilities are endless. Do you want a raised fish aquarium or an under-the-deck pond? Is the water feature the focus of your space, or just part of your urban oasis? 


Those with the luxury of space and a looser budget, consider building a moat around your house. The still water helps to cast a serene effect over your home. It’s also a sure way to stand out as moats give the illusion of a house on water, and are sure to draw envious looks from your neighbours. 

Do note that moats are expensive to maintain, and you need to ensure that proper systems are in place to regulate the flow of water. Mismanagement could land you in trouble with the authorities over mosquito-breeding concerns.

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Source: CNA/bk