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Shoebox apartments in Singapore need planters?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Reader:
I have been thinking of getting a shoebox apartment for a while and your blogs on tiny living resonate with me. I have been looking around and I have two options now. Both are about the same size but one of them have a planter that is about 3 meters long by 1 meter wide while the other one does not have a planter nor balcony. I know you have a planter in your apartment and wonder if you would have preferred more indoor space instead.

AK:
Welcome to tiny living! To be honest, before I bought this place, I thought planters and balconies were a waste of space, especially in a tiny apartment.

Hey, less than 500 square feet of space and almost 10% of that that is outside (and the percentage could be even higher for some other projects which is just the developers taking buyers for a ride, I feel)?

Alamak. Singapore so hot and humid. I rather switch on the AC and stay indoors, right?

Anyway, that was before I actually moved in.

After moving in, I realised just how important that outdoor space is.

From a pragmatic angle, it gives me a space to dry my laundry. I get a folding rack and place it in the planter when I need it. After use, rack gets folded flat and stored indoors. 
I could use the dryer function in my washer/dryer but that consumes a lot of electricity and it feels like evaporating money together with the moisture. Don't like that.

From a recreational angle, having some outdoor space is a good idea especially if you are at home a lot like I am. My planter gives me a place to do some gardening and to spend some time outside without leaving home especially on breezier and cooler evenings. 

I have to say that it helps that I am on a high floor and unblocked from all angles. If I could clearly look into my neighbour's home from my outdoor space, I am less likely to use the space. If we can see other people means other people can see us too.
OMG!

You have to remember what a planter in a condo means here. URA wants us to help green Singapore vertically and that is what planters are for. 

Installing some decking over the planter that makes it the same height as the floor of the indoor space is illegal. I know many do it but I don't want to do anything illegal. 

My solution?
I got these from IKEA and lay them on the floor of the planter. It probably costs 5% of what an illegal decking job would have cost too. Cheap and practical just like me. 

Bad AK! Bad AK!

Anyway, whether having a planter makes sense or not for a tiny apartment probably depends on your lifestyle. 

If you go out a lot and are hardly home, maybe, it is not as essential.

Related posts:
1. Shoebox apartment living.
2. Saving on outdoor lights.

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