We catch up with influencer & entrepreneur Shamim Kassibawi & Neeshay Nouman from The Niche Corner on a balcony makeover. Shamim is the founder behind PlayDate: a social app for toddlers and is PR Director at Spread Communications.
Q: Why did you decide to revamp your balcony?
Shamim: We started with the balcony for a couple of reasons after the lockdown. We realized how important outdoor living is. We're not ready for a villa just yet because I feel like once you go to a villa, there's no coming back. So we wanted to do our balcony up as we started to entertain a lot more at home and spend more time at home. We also obviously wanted to take advantage of the next few months of being able to sit outside and have the outdoors. So, yeah, it was a priority for us to revamp the balcony.
Neeshay: What really made the balcony revamp demand surge is the lockdown. I think everyone had so much more time on their hands to just kind of sit and unwind - you don't want to sit indoors all the time. That also means that you will need to invest a bit more in your outdoor spaces. So typically, you'd have balconies with just the clothes hanging drawing there and no one would really sit there. But now this is actually another space for you to kind of just be with yourself - to relax after a long day, to sit back, have a cup of tea and that's what I really try to accomplish for Shamim. She's a very busy woman - in ten different places at one time.
Q: What was the brief of the balcony renovation? Walk us through it.
Shamim: I had a certain vision - I knew I wanted to go for black and white, and I knew I wanted like a little bit of greenery. Neeshay just helped me so much to bring it together- and do it in an affordable way. We don't own the property, so it was important to kind of just make it look really pretty, but not go over the budget, which is what she achieved. Bargain hunting is a talent - like making something look super high end and expensive and luxurious on a budget is a true talent.
Neeshay: Shamim was after wooden pallet furniture on her balcony, but she wasn't exactly sure how we should make it fit or where we should put it. We got in touch with this guy who made us these lovely cushions and pallets exactly the size that we wanted for it to be functional. Shamim also wanted a really monochrome theme, so I tried to stick to shades of cremes, white and black and added touches of green. I think green really elevates just about any space, no matter what your theme is. The cushions are predominantly from H&M home. Home Centre has just been amazing for finding small bits and bobs and outdoor materials that will not deteriorate from to being in the sun all day. There's a bit of IKEA too. The shelves are not typically what you will find in a balcony setting, but I like to think outside the box. This is something that people would usually put their books on. We also added some lights to create an ambient setting during the evenings.