"One art of living is called Chengdu" - the first season of the urban art of living public welfare selection program "the Most Beautiful Chengdu Style", hosted by Chengdu Media Group, is themed "the search for Chengdu's most beautiful balcony", which has drawn participation from a huge number of "balcony beautifying virtuosi" since its beginning on May 28, 2018. After seeing these balconies being transformed into works of art, even someone as lazy as me truly decided to clean up those piles of miscellaneous items that were covered in a thick blanket of dust.
After carrying out a thorough and exhaustive study on the outstanding pieces in "the search for Chengdu's most beautiful balcony", I came up with this Detailed Guide to Building "the Most Beautiful Balcony". As usual, there is no need to thank me!
Trick One: Plants are the "Soul"
Whether you choose "Instagram style", "Chinese style" or "random style", a balcony pulsating with vitality mandates some greenery. "Instagram style" balconies more or less require plants from the monstera genus, but if your balcony is more traditionally Chinese in character, then asparagus fern is the choice. To make the little landscape even more impeccable, you can incorporate plants of different heights and vessels of different shapes.
See how contestants in "the search for Chengdu's most beautiful balcony" utilized plants for decoration.
Hu Min's balcony is about ten square meters in area, and she dedicated three whole years to enhance the space. In November 2017, she even signed up for a floral arrangement training course and spent her weekends under professional guidance in order to learn more about floral arrangements and cultivation, which can be seen in the intricate layout of her balcony.
Trick Two: Make Full Use of Miscellaneous Items
Old paper cartons at home can be utilized as containers, and figurines that have been idle on the bookshelf can become the highlight on the balcony. Let your imagination go wild and you might be surprised at what springs up.
Zhang Ping developed a habit of "searching in dumpsters and garbage bins". Abandoned wooden cases, broken glass bottles, disused rubber tires...he would gather these items, clean them thoroughly, fill them with soil and plant and all kinds of flora, thereby reusing and maximizing their value from a different perspective. On his balcony, roughly 80% of the items were discovered from some sort of dump somewhere.
Trick Three: Go Gadget Flow
Worrying about cleaning up that messy balcony? There are so many hi-tech gadgets out there, and it isn't hard to find a product that can help with your chore. And if you are the DIY type of person, it would be even better.
Guan Wei installed an automated irrigation system on his balcony to help nurture his plants. Since the deck is more than 70 square meters in area, cleaning up the space is quite a labor, so Guan Wei added a robot floor sweeper. Since then, ridding the balcony of leaves and dust has become the daily mission of this "little device".
Trick Four: Make It a Part of Life
At the end of the day, the house is a space for people to live in, and even the most gorgeous balcony still ought to be a part of daily life. Grow some vegetables, play with the pet cat, chill out and listen to some tunes or read a book, and then you will discover that the "life force" on the balcony is also a kind of embellishment.
Liu Liwei's open-air balcony is about a dozen square meters in size, and it is where she cultivates plants such as chili pepper and bougainvillea. Liu Liwei's retired father would take care of the chili peppers on a day-to-day basis, and different categories of pickled and cured vegetables are hung out or laid out to dry on the shelf on the other side.
What does your balcony look like? What special tricks have you learned to help keep the balcony nice and tidy? Do please share~
Photos by Chengdu Evening News