I love the thrill of decorating. Looking for inspiration, sketching out ideas – the possibilities seem endless! But it’s having so much choice that causes so much frustration!  Modern, Minimal, Rustic, Balinese, a little of everything? Custom-made? Ikea? Budget!?

Finally, we decided on a theme for our balcony – a rustic industrial look. Does that make sense? We’re thinking teak and stainless steel. I absolutely love teak – but my heart stopped when I discovered reclaimed teak! I’ll be honest, I wasn’t even aware that the options were out there until I started looking.

Have you seen some of the new tables at Starbucks, made from reclaimed railyway sleepers? It turns out, this is becoming popular and with the KTM railway in Singapore being dismantled, the wood is being taken and cleverly used by furniture designers.

One of them is Zia Concept, out in Telok Kurau. They can custom-make furniture from the wood from old railways or bridges. A piece of history! The wood has so much character – you’ll see holes from nails, old joints and cracks. The designer has an infectious love of design, with grand ideas, but said he would work with us to create something which suits both our needs and budget! I’ll update you on that. Plus they are very eco-conscious, careful about where they source their wood, making sure to never use wood taken from our precious rainforest.

Another shop I visited is Journey East. They have several locations around Singapore and stock a range of vintage and eco-friendly furniture. We looked at the Mamagreen-Icon Range collection which uses recycled teak. The pieces are clean, minimal and beautifully framed with stainless steel. Their d-Bodhi-Ferum Collection has an industrial yet rustic feel, using wood planks from old fishing boats. The look is worn, weathered and tells a beautiful story.

I’m now on the hunt for more eco-furniture to drool over. I love the idea of sitting at a table made of wood that once carried trains, or tackled waves in the open sea. It’s kind of beautiful to think that this once hardworking wood can now live a life of leisure on my balcony.

Balcony Makeover

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