Saturday, July 12, 2008

Home Improvement

Meet our latest family project -- our new and improved balcony!
Richard and I had always wanted a place where we can sit and talk while having coffee. We agreed that our dreamhouse must have a veranda complete with lounge chairs, comfy cushions and other stuff to complete that relaxing vibe. Since our dreamhouse will take a couple of years to build -- more like a couple of years to START to build, we had to make do with the small balcony in our apartment.
Living in a serviced apartment has its pros and cons. It's nice to have housekeeping staff who cleans your room six times a week, you get fresh towels everyday, they empty the trash for you, they have excellent security and everything is just a phone call away. When you don't feel like cooking, you can order room service. When you need to buy something but you don't want to go out, the convenience store on the fourth floor can deliver the items to your unit! With this kind of service, I sometimes find it hard to leave our apartment -- except when there's a big sale in the malls! Needless to say, Yan and I do not get much fresh air. Bangkok is not actually pollution-free but I guess it's better than aircon-recyled air! With this kind of service, you can stay holed up in your apartment for days and that is the downside.
You see, living in a building gives you very limited outdoor space. It's a far cry from our humble barangay in Tagaytay where there are trees everywhere, the weather is perfect, and the view is stunning (if you're in Starbucks that is)! Sure you get a nice view when you look out the window. You see other windows and balconies too! If you want to see trees or a view of the pool, you have to look down. Not a good idea if you have fear of heights. There are times when the view can be awful like this one time I saw a half naked lola hanging up her laundry on her balcony. She only had a skirt on so her boobs were literally hanging loose! Exposed to the entire neighborhood! Yikes! I almost sprayed my morning coffee on our curtains.
So how do you address the problem of staying in your apartment and getting a feel of the outdoors at the same time? You furnish your balcony! And that's exactly what we did. We spent months looking for the perfect garden set, and once we found the one that we were looking for, we spent a couple more weeks to complete decorating it.

Here's our balcony before; bare and boring.

Now here's our balcony with the garden set. Still a bit bare, but it's starting to look interesting. I wanted to buy teakwood chairs, but they're more expensive. One chair costs as much as this entire set! Plus, I thought that with plastic, it's ok if the furniture gets wet in case it rains!

To give our balcony a total garden feel, it needs foliage. So we headed to the weekend market (more about that on the next post!) to buy some plants.

My little girl was very happy to see so many flowers in one place! Halatang sabik sa outdoors. Haha!

This shot was taken by Richard. Ahluvit!
So many plants and flowers to choose from!
I don't have a green thumb so I had to ask my mom for advice on what kind of plant will be perfect for our balcony. She told me that it has to be a plant that you can put under the sun (apparently, there are plants that need to be placed under the shade or else they will wilt). So armed with this single piece of information that I have, the first thing that I asked the seller was: "ok to put under the sun?" (sometimes you need to speak barok english so they can understand you because not all Thais can speak or understand english) She said yes, so my follow-up question was, "water plant everyday?". The manang laughed at me. Of course I have to water everyday! At that point, she seemed to have second thoughts about selling me any plants because she probably thought I won't water them at all! Haha! But we were able to buy a couple of plants.
Alyannah helping mom with the plants. Excited talaga sya!
I wanted to have a yellow and orange theme for our balcony so I bought plants of the same color.
The plants came with a free black pot, but I'm so OC so I bought white pots to make them look clean and to match the existing furniture.
This is Alyannah's self-appointed spot in the balcony. You can't make her sit anywhere else but here.
This is our balcony with flowers. It may not seem much now, but we will be adding more plants soon to make it look more like a mini garden. Let's just hope that the plants will survive its first week. Haha!


Diwata said...

your patio will be mossie-free b'coz the marigolds that you bought are suppose to repel them. ; )) ENJOY YOUR PATIO.

Domestic Goddess said...

oh, so they're marigolds! hahaha! i just bought them because they have nice, big, yellow flowers. haha! i just hope they won't wilt right away! gardening is fun pala :)