Dos and Don’ts of Road Maintenance within your Society Gate

Roads are absolutely necessary for every apartment complex. They are used for easy commuting and also add an element of beauty to the society. But all of it becomes null if the roads are damaged or unusable. It is important to keep the roads in top condition so as to not hamper the daily life within your gates.

What is the need for maintenance?

Roads that are in regular use often end up riddled with potholes and wear-and-tear. This can be avoided if they are subjected to regular maintenance. Not only is it more cost efficient, but well-maintained roads also increase the property value of the entire complex.

In order to ensure that the roads are properly maintained, take up the issue with the apartment association during resident body meetings. While residents can take small steps in order to contribute, the apartment association can get the maintenance team to do the difficult tasks.

What are the types of problems?

1) Cracks: Cracks may form on the surface either due to repeated use or due to environmental degradation. Fatigue cracks occur due to the added effects of wheel loads. Environmental cracking develops in asphalt as it ages and is subjected to everyday temperature changes. These cracks are very small when compared to fatigue cracks  Water and dirt should be prevented from entering cracks as they might grow worse this way.

2) Surface Wear: Wear on the surface mainly occurs due to tire wear and material degradation (ravelling). Its maintenance includes removing the surface and/or covering up the surface which is worn. Surface treatment depends on the severity of the surface wear.

3) Rutting: This signifies permanent degradation in the layers of the road. This can happen if the structure design is improper or if the roads are overloaded. It can also happen if the surface layer is of poor quality.

4) Potholes: Pits or holes produced by wear or weathering on the road surfaces can be fixed through surface treatments.

What are the maintenance measures?

The roads in an apartment complex undergo a lot of destructive changes. The apartment association will have to take on different approaches based on the problem involved. Firstly,  residents should be constantly updated about the need to maintain roads by the apartment association. Littering on roads should be strictly prohibited and waste bins should be provided for this purpose. Stagnant bodies of water should be immediately cleared, especially after rain and the roads should be swept regularly by the maintenance crew.

Crack sealing is a process that’s followed in order to maintain roads and surface treatment can be done in order to prolong the life of the particular road. This treatment measures should be taken up by professionals, who can be hired by the apartment association.

A lot of factors affect the type of maintenance undertaken within the housing complex. These include the type of distress, vehicle loading, the general climate in the region, the cost of treatment; the roads expected life, the existing road type, and availability of good materials.

Residents can help maintain the quality of roads within the apartment complex by giving regular feedback on their defects to the management as well as bearing with the inconvenience caused during the repair of the roads.

Thankfully technology can add a touch of convenience while undertaking this task. ApnaComplex provides an integrated society management solution that can help you easily communicate with your fellow residents. Residents can use the Helpdesk feature to notify the committee of any defects that may need attention. On the other hand, committee members can use the ApnaComplex forums to raise notices that can be sent out to all the residents to keep them well-informed of the progress.


Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations: 7 Vastu Rules to Prosperity

Planning an auspicious beginning in your life or any new business?

This 13th September bring Lord Ganesha home!

It is believed, if you place Lord Ganesha in the right place, he takes away all your problems in life. Instead as a blessing, he gives you good luck, wisdom and prosperity!

Learn the correct and auspicious pooja time, date, rules and right placement of Lord Ganesha.

 

Courtesy of: Vastu Dekho 

 


7 Easy Tips To Improve Your Home Office

Almost every home has an area designated as “the home office” or simply, “the study.” Often these areas double as storerooms. However, with the recent rise in usage of work-from-home (WFH) option, it has become extremely important to have a workspace that is comfortable and free from distractions.

So if you are looking to redo your study to enable productive WFH, here are 7 tips to help improve the space. Whether you’re working from home, or simply a student, we hope these tips help create a stress-free environment.

1) De-clutter your workspace

The first thing that needs to go is unnecessary clutter that you may have lying around. Your office space should follow the minimal style for interior decor. Anything that doesn’t directly contribute to your work needs to go. Also, remember to keep a dustbin next to your desk for all those balled up papers or pencil shavings.

2) Let the light in

Remember to keep your workspace well lit and ventilated. Whenever possible, let the daylight stream in.  However, if this is not an available option, make sure you have a bright table lamp.

3) Don’t compromise on comfort

If you spend a lot of time at your desk, uncomfortable furniture is a big no-no as this puts a lot of strain on your back muscles. Invest in a good chair which supports your back adequately. Supplement it with cushions and a footrest. When you’re sitting at the desk, make sure the height of the desk reaches your chest.  This will reduce the strain on your body.

4) Make it easy to track time

Make sure there is a clock that is easily visible from your seat. Not only will this help you manage your time, it also will remind you to take breaks while you work. According to psychology, it is important to take a short 5-10 minute break after every 40 minutes of continuous mental effort.

5) Get some greenery

Consider placing a potted plant nearby. Plants make a room look welcoming. They also have a mild detoxification effect on the room. Consider placing sweet-smelling herbs around the room. This can also help reduce stress.

6) Make it quiet

It may be a good idea to soundproof the room. Background noise, by common knowledge, hampers performance. So if you live in a very noisy neighbourhood, it may help to block it all out.

7) Put a dash of Colour Psychology  

Colours have a way of influencing our mind and body. For a study, always go for light, cool colours. These colours and soothing and stimulating to the brain. Hang up artwork that uses blues, greens and purples. As for the furniture, opt for light wood. This too helps to reduce stress.

A home office should ideally, help you feel relaxed and yet motivated to work. This space should also improve your efficiency rather than hamper it. We hope these tips help you do just that! Happy redecorating!

 


Featured Society: Purva Highland

Just off Nice Road, in Mallasandra, lies one of Bangalore’s well-known high rise apartments – Purva Highland. Perched on a hillock, this apartment complex boasts breathtaking views and a list of luxuries for both, body and mind. This society has 13 towers, each 20 stories high and a one-of-a-kind 3-tiered pool.

The apartment complex stretches over a huge plot of land and hosts more than a 1500 flats. This society provides a number of amenities and luxuries – a tennis court, a basketball court, a three-tier swimming pool, a medical store, a cafeteria, a supermarket, are just a few of the many, that are housed inside the gates of this society. Couples, children, bachelors, elderly, this community has a bit of everything. With so many people living in one place, using all these facilities, naturally, the managing committee has its work cut out.

Managing an apartment complex is just like managing a mini-city

So how does the committee manage everything? According to Mr. Ravi Shripathi, Secretary, the managing committee was founded in 2015. “There are three principal office bearers president, secretary, treasurer. Apart from this, there are nine blocks in the complex. Each block has its own Vice President. Besides this, we have many sub-committees like the Green Committee, Library Committee, Sports Committee, Evacuation Committee, and more, who work closely with our office bearers.”

All these committees comprise of volunteers who have decided to work in their free time towards making their communities run smoothly. But it is easier said than done. A big apartment complex is like a mini-city. And like any mini-city, there are problems that keep cropping up, decisions that have to be made, plans that have to be executed. This requires time from each committee member which, sometimes,  is more than they can spare.

Using ApnaComplex as a force multiplier

This is where newer technologies come to the rescue of managing committees. Being a fully integrated apartment management platform, ApnaComplex uses technology to reduce the workload of both residents and managing committee members.

Take billing, collections and accounting as an example. According to the Estate Manager, Mr. Shaman Joshi, “Previously, we had to rely on accountants who came in. I had no control over it at all. I was completely dependent on the accountant. Now, using the ApnaComplex App, I can generate our invoices myself. There is no more dependency.

When asked how this has made things easier he replied,Everything is faster and more convenient now. Earlier we had a big ledger we had to go through to list out all our defaulters for the month. Now it is no longer manual. The app automatically generates a defaulter list that we just need to send.

Or security, another big challenge for the size of a community like Purva Highland.As just a resident, I thought of ApnaComplex as just an accounting software,says Mr. Shripathi,Now as a Secretary, I saw all the other options available. We have been using ApnaComplex Gatekeeper for almost a month now. The response has been positive. We are planning on introducing biometrics soon.

ApnaComplex Gatekeeper @ Purva Highland, Bangalore

When asked what the ultimate goal of this was, he replied, “We have tons of manual registers that have been maintained over the years. Eventually, I want to get rid of it all and move to a strictly electronic records.”

From a library to a health spa, Purva Highland has a little bit for everyone. This society and its committee strive to make its residents happy, comfortable and safe. ApnaComplex commends the committee on their work and hopes our service continues to aid them.

Gym in Purva HighlandGym

Indoor Games @ Purva HighlandIndoor Games

Tennis Courts @ Purva HighlandTennis Court

Children @ Play @ Purva Highland Children at Play

Library @ Purva HighlandLibrary

Squash Court  @ Purva HighlandSquash Court

 


ApnaComplex: The 3 Ways To Manage Your Staff

Have you checked out our Staff Management Features yet?

Do you remember the 90s classic, “Chachi 420?” This movie about a nanny in disguise tickled everybody’s funny bone. But in real life, wouldn’t this situation be a tad alarming?

Almost every Indian household employs a household staff. Their presence is a part of our daily routine. The day they fail to show up, is the day, the entire household often screeches to a standstill. Now wouldn’t it be easier if we could track the attendance of our staff on a day-to-day basis?

ApnaComplex offers a unique and detailed feature to enable you to do just that! With our Staff Management Feature, you can track and maintain a log of the staff employed in your apartment complex.

The Staff in a Gated Community

Most societies have three categories of staff members employed within its gates.

  1. Domestic Staff: These are the staff members employed by the families, like, maids, cooks, drivers, and so on.
  1. Maintenance Staff: These are the staff members employed by the community like security staff, landscapers, plumbers, etc.
  1. Temporary Staff: This is the staff that is hired for a temporary period like carpenters or painters.

With so many people employed in one location, the movement in and out of the main gate poses a significant security concern. How do you know who has come in, and who has already left? This is where we can assist you.

Three Ways to Verify Attendance

In the current market, there are many apps that allow you to track staff attendance. While any of them can provide the basics, The ApnaComplex Staff Management Feature offers you a little bit more! With our fully integrated systems, residents receive an instant notification on their ApnaComplex app the minute a member of their household staff enters or exits the society gate. We offer you three ways to do this-

  1. By a picture

When the member of the staff is entering your society, the security guard can use this feature to click a picture. This enables the resident to know that their employee has entered the society complex and will report for duty soon. If the staff is hired in multiple households, the notification will be sent to each of one. This allows you to maintain an attendance log. This is especially beneficial if your employee is on a payroll.

  1. By RFID

This is a step-up from merely clicking a picture. Every member of the staff is issued an RFID card. A reader is installed at the main gate. When the member of the staff enters the gate, they are directed to scan their IDs. What is more, limited-period access can be given to staff hired for a temporary job. The resident can specify the duration for which the employee is permitted within the campus. When the validity expires, that staff member is debarred from entering the gate.

  1. By Biometrics

This is a foolproof security system. If you opt for biometrics, we provide you with a fingerprint reader or facial recognition software that is fully integrated with your ApnaComplex app. This enables the app to send you an instant notification when the staff member scans their finger at the gate.

Attendance vs Authentication

While pictures and RFID allow you to track attendance, they have their own drawbacks. Picture verification can help you create a log and track attendance. Incase of a security breach this log can help in an investigation. However, this is not a foolproof security system. The same applies to RFIDs. If the IDs exchange hands, security can take a serious hit. To make your apartment complex truly secure ApnaComplex recommends Biometrics. This system makes it impossible for a person to impersonate someone else. This means no more Chachi 420 moments in your society! Employers know exactly who is in, and who is out.

Bonus:

The ApnaComplex app allows you to create a database of staff members employed throughout your society. This database can be fed by both residents, as well as the security guard. This feature also provides a rating system for your staff. So if there are any other residents searching for new employees, they can skim through the existing database of staff employed within the same society. They can then hire a person based on their rating.

The life of an Indian household typically revolves around the household staff. The schedule of the entire family is built around their comings and goings. So allow us to make it a little easier!

Check out our Staff Management features here: https://www.apnacomplex.com/gatekeeper 

 


A Landlord’s Guide: 4 Things To Consider While Renting Out Your Apartment

As buying land or property is typically an expensive affair, renting an apartment becomes the preferred option for large sections of people, be it the newlyweds or those moving out to live closer to a workplace. In an atmosphere where affordable housing is in high demand, renting out your apartment is beneficial to you. So if you are looking to do so, here are the four important things you should consider

I. Offer a market-competitive rent

Deciding on the rent you will charge is important. Renting out your apartment is a competitive affair. You will need to be aware of the average rents being charged in your area. Once you’re aware of the number, you can set your rate depending on more or less what you can offer to the prospective tenants.

Consider quoting a reasonable rate. If you quote low, you may end up with many tenants, but at an opportunity cost. On the other hand, if you quote too high, you risk not getting approached at all.

II. Draft a water-tight, but fair, rental agreement

There are just a handful of things you need to know about laws, including contracts and insurance. The laws are more or less balanced. They’re neither tilting towards the owner nor the tenant. Verification is made mandatory for signing the rental agreement.

Take professional help if required in drafting the rental agreement. It will make you as well as your tenants confident, as it will protect the interest of either party. Ensure that the agreement contains such information as the description of the entire property, facilities provided, the date on which the rent should be paid every month by the tenant, a clause related to termination, security deposit, maintenance charges, and TDS.

Add anything else you think is important, and state explicitly. Any difficulty in understanding the agreement should be avoided.

III. Ensure you have all documents ready

One of the three important documents, namely lease deed, rental agreement, and license agreement will come in to use while renting out your apartment. If you’re renting out your apartment for a period of fewer than eleven months, you will require the rental agreement. For a period of more than eleven months, a registration is necessary. You then need to issue a lease deed. The expenses will be shared between you and your tenant. The local police should have a copy of all the necessary tenant details.

IV. Get the house ready for the move-in

Renting out your apartment involves a certain amount of commitment on your part as well. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your tenants are provided with a healthy and safe living environment. Consider having the entire house cleaned up and checked for electrical safety. Ensure all leaks and breaks are fixed.

What is more is, you have to provide your tenants with a signed receipt for rent payments. Lastly, at the time of eviction, it is important to serve a notice period (by both you and your tenant.) This notice period should be specified in your rental agreement. Again, this helps safeguard both the parties in the agreement.

As a landlord, these are the aspects you need to address. Eventually, we are sure your apartment will be a popular choice among tenants.


An Eight Step Guide to Designing a Kid’s Room

A kid’s bedroom: there is no room more challenging, yet more fun to design. Before embarking on this project, you may want to consider all the pointers that follow.

1. Safety

The first thing you need to remember is to account for the safety of your child. Make sure that the wiring, paint, furniture and decor items are all of good quality and child-safe. No matter how good it looks, avoid items that are made of glass.  This includes shelves and furniture.

2. Space

Children spend a lot of time in their bedrooms. Remember to leave plenty of open space in the room. Opt to put all the bulky furniture against the wall. Leave the centre of the room empty so they have plenty of space to play, move around, and let’s face it, scatter their toys.

3. Tastes

When designing a room for children, it is important to include them in the decision making process. The easiest way to do this is to ask them to pick the colours for their walls. If the colour they pick is way too bright for your taste, use it as a feature wall and paint the rest of the room a more neutral colour. Yet another thing you can do is narrow down the different furniture you’re willing to buy and leave the final decision to your child.

4. Practicality

No matter how attractive the alternative, purchase practical items. Children are quick to grow in size. They are even quicker to grow out of phases. So while making big purchases, like furniture, keep things simple. You can indulge their tastes in things like bedding, rugs or wall decor.

5. Lighting

It is very important that your child’s room is adequately lit, both during the day and at night. When setting up the room, make sure there is nothing blocking the windows. As for the light fixtures, try opting for warmer lights. These help the body to relax so it is easier to put your child to bed.

6. Storage

Children may be small but they always seem to have more stuff than everybody else in the family. Give them sufficient storage space for all their things. Try to go for furniture that doubles as a smart storage option. It is always a good idea to invest in overhead storage for all the things that they don’t need every day.

7. Furnishing

A common idea while furnishing a kid’s room is selecting a theme. This helps in making the room look seamless. Themes range from cartoon characters, favourite animals to just a combination of colours. While designing a room based on a theme may be fun, the real problem comes with maintenance. So pick furnishings that are easy to clean and quick to dry. Remember, if it’s a kid’s room, spills, stains and scratches are part of the parcel!

8. Creativity

One of the best ways to personalise a child’s bedroom by displaying their artwork. Pick out the best of your child’s drawings and have them framed. You can also hang framed photographs or poetry.  Have them create wall hangings and craftwork for their shelf. Deck the room in their work and watch it come together!

Kids are the most challenging “customers” to please. Designing a kid’s room can be challenging. But the smiles, in the end, will definitely be worth all the effort!


4 Reasons to Buy Property this Monsoon Season!

Monsoon in India invariably means puddles, traffic jams and blocked roads. Naturally, this doesn’t sound like a good time to go apartment hunting. Well, believe it or not, this is one of the best seasons to lock in on your preferences. Here are four convincing reasons for you to brave the elements, and go looking for a house this monsoon.

Make The Best Of Monsoon Discounts

Monsoon is a dry season in terms of real estate sales. Besides the heavy rain, most people consider this time inauspicious to make big purchases. Luckily, this makes it the best time to get a good bargain. Even when the developers do not advertise it as a monsoon discount per se, most of them are more than willing to offer lower rates to serious buyers in order to clear existing inventory.  The amount of discount you can avail varies for different cities, depending on how badly the city is affected due to monsoon.

Avail Special Monsoon Home Loans

It’s not just the developers who are keen to boost their slow business during monsoon. Even banks and financial institutions are more likely to negotiate interest rates and offer attractive home loans during monsoon.

Choose The Most Ideal Locality

House hunting in monsoon will reveal a lot about the water logging problems in the locality. Driving around in a downpour will also give you an idea about traffic problems, and the time required to commute to and from that locality. This is especially helpful if you have new to a new city, and are yet to learn its quirks. Looking for a house during monsoon saves you a lot of trouble as you know what you’ll be dealing with during the next monsoon.

Inspect The Property During The Worst Season

In the case of partially or fully completed properties, inspecting the house during monsoon will give you a fair idea about its construction and reliability. You can easily spot signs of dampness or leakage, and avoid buying an ill-constructed house. Structural soundness of a building is an essential factor, as you may end up spending a huge amount on repairs if the house turns out to have water seeping problems.

Now that you know why it can be very profitable to buy a house during monsoon, you can very well put on your rain gear, and set out to find your dream home. Not only do you stand a chance at striking a real bargain, you also benefit from the lower home loan rates that are generally offered during monsoon.


The Indian Flag Code: everything you need to know this Independence Day

“A national spirit is necessary for national existence. A flag is a material aid to the development of such a spirit.” -Mahatma Gandhi.

With the 72nd Independence Day just around the corner, members of most apartment complexes will be gearing up to organise their own flag hoisting ceremony. The Indian Flag, or the tricolour, is a symbol of our country. As such, it should be treated with great respect. The Government of India has put down the code to ensure its proper construction and handling. Here is a reminder of the dos and don’ts of the National Flag etiquette.

The Flag

The Indian Flag Code specifies the dimensions of the flag and how it should be constructed. This is a measure taken to ensure that the flags used everywhere are uniform.

  • First, the Indian Flag should be a perfect rectangle, with a ratio of 3:2 between the length and the width. The flag’s size should be one among these  (in mm):
    150×100
    225×150
    450×300
    900×600
    350×900
    1800×1200
    2700×1800
    3600×2400
    Pick an appropriate size for display.
  • It should be made of handspun khadi, or of cotton, silk or wool. Avoid plastic flags because these are difficult to dispose of.
  • The flag should be split into three equal panels – saffron (not orange) panel at the top, a white panel in the middle and a green panel (described as India green) at the bottom. Be careful with the colours.
  • A navy blue Ashoka Chakra should adorn the centre of the white panel, with 24 spokes that are equally spaced.

The Display

The Indian flag hoisting rules also cover instances of the flag’s misuse and specify the proper procedure to hoist the flag.

  • During an Indian flag hoisting ceremony, the saffron panel should always be on top. The flag should never be hoisted upside down.
  • It should be displayed from sunrise till sunset, irrespective of weather conditions.
  • The flag should always be positioned to the far right.
  • There should be no other flag or emblem to its right or above it.
  • The Indian flag should hold no lettering or inscriptions of any kind.
  • During ceremonies, it is common practice to use flower petals within the unfurled flag. The Indian flag code prevents the use of any confetti or decorative materials other than flower petals.
  • In a procession, the Indian flag should either be carried to the right or in front of the central line.
  • It should never touch the ground or water.
  • There should be no other flags on the same masthead as the Indian flag.
  • The flag should never be flown at half-mast unless the government specifies.
  • The National Flag should not be used to cover any speaker’s desk, platform or monument.
  • Paper flags can be used during days of national importance. However, care should be taken that they do not touch the ground.
  • The national anthem should be sung once people salute the flag. (It is essential to follow the etiquette specified for the national anthem as well).
  • A damaged flag should never be displayed, and such flags can be disposed of in private, preferably by burning or in a method consistent with its dignity.

To read about the rules for the national anthem click
http://www.ncert.nic.in/announcements/oth_announcements/pdf_files/NatinalAnthem.pdf

When planning to hoist the Indian Flag in your apartment complex, it is the duty of every Indian citizen to ensure that these rules are followed. Start a discussion on your ApnaComplex forums to raise awareness among the residents. The managing committee can take things a step further by printing out such rules and handing out copies. It is important to make sure that no misuse occurs, either deliberately or by accident.

The tricolour represents the Indian community. So this Independence Day, as you come together in your apartment complex remember to bask in this spirit of community. From everyone at ApnaComplex, we wish you all a Happy Independence Day!

Jai Hind! 


Disclaimer: This information is offered as a public service. While we try to make it accurate as possible as on the date of publication, the laws change and more importantly the way we interpret laws could also change. We cannot promise that this information is always up-to-date and correct. We strongly recommend you to always consult appropriate professional advisers for your society to ensure compliance. 


Balcony Gardens

Balcony Gardens: Fun Tips for Decorating your Balcony

While apartments have their advantages, one big downside is the detachment from nature.  As opposed to a house with a big green yard, apartments tend to feel closed off and small. The only gateway to the outside world often comes in the form of balconies.  Sitting out on your balcony, sipping a warm cup of tea (or coffee), and just watching the world go by is an undeniably therapeutic hobby. But often balcony spaces are underutilized. A common sight is a couple of old chairs, some pots with small plants, and heaps of refuse that we store for no real reason.

In recent years the concept of “handkerchief gardens” has blossomed (pun intended). What originally started as small, square garden spaces is now a term used to describe gardens in small spaces. So why not bring this concept to your balcony?

Landscaping small spaces can be a daunting task. Not only does it need to be space efficient, it also needs to fit your personal creative tastes. Here are some tips that can help set the wheel in motion.

Plan it well
As with any DIY project, the first step is planning. Having a clear idea of the space available is a must. Measure the area and create a plan for where you want to eventually place each item.

 

Clean it up
The next thing you need to do is clean up the balcony. Remove the clutter that has been lying around. Keep a lookout for cobwebs and dust bunnies that may have appeared in the unused space. Put up nails and hooks wherever you may need them. Remember to check the wiring and sockets that can be used. If you want to go the extra mile why not try hand painting the wall for extra flair?

Know your climate 
The primary requirement of any garden is, naturally, plants. While everyone loves the idea of exotic sweet-smelling flowers, we should remember that these plants need a lot of work. Look up plants that may be easier to grow in your locality. Also, check the direction of your balcony. This will have a direct effect on the amount of sunlight your plants will receive. Instead of flowers, consider growing herbs (like mint) that not only smell good but can be used in your kitchen.

Pots and pans 
A pot garden with the little mud pots is a common sight in most balconies. But why stop there? Almost anything can be reused as garden pots; bottles, old buckets, kettles, old cans, everything is fair game. To add a little variety you can also purchase hanging pots or hooked planters.

Stack it up
Balconies are usually small. In such small spaces, vertical gardens are usually a good idea. Old bookshelves, step ladders, tables and stools, all provide good surfaces to put your pots on. Do not be afraid to add variations in height. It is all part of the aesthetic.

 

 

Drape it down
Another dramatic addition you can make to your balcony garden is vines and creepers. If you want to add an aura of magic and fairy tales to your space, this is the way to go. Just remember, vines take a little extra effort to maintain.  Team it up with your vertical garden and it can make a striking impression.

 

Read more about the types of vines you can grow: https://www.houzz.in/ideabooks/98947783/list/8-climbing-plants-great-for-indian-balconies-and-gardens

 

Always accessorize
Gardens do not have to be limited to growing plants. Adding decor pieces that compliment your setup is always a good idea. Place random knick-knacks like figurines and windchimes. A popular addition you can install is a water feature. Small fountains and aquariums can add a bit more zing. You can also create a small bird bath. If you are lucky, the chirping of birds will be a great new feature of your new garden.

 

Let there be light 
Outdoor lighting can go a long way in building the aesthetic. Drape fairy lights along your walls or hang paper lanterns from the ceiling. This is usually cost-effective and easy to remove. However, if you want something permanent, buy new light fixtures for the space. Try to opt for warm lighting. It creates a more cosy ambience.

 

Keep it simple
One of the most effective ways of creating a low-maintenance garden is through terrariums. A terrarium is a glass container with a plant growing inside. It is a usually self-sustaining ecosystem. The evaporated water condenses on the surface of the glass and waters the plant over and over again. Once in place, it requires almost no help to grow. All you need to do is open up the container every so often to fertilize or trim your plants.

 

Seats for all
Do not forget to add some outdoor furniture to the mix. Your balcony could be used for anything from reading to meditation. Seats and throw cushions can help create a comfortable nook. Outdoor swings are an ever-popular choice in India. Choose quick dry foam cushions to avoid rain damage. Make sure whatever furniture you place outside is weather resistant or coated with oil paint.

 

A balcony garden is a very good place to relax and unwind after a long day. The sense of tranquillity that comes from being surrounded by foliage is unparalleled. Big or small, it has a proven effect on your mood and psychological well-being. In a life always on the move, everybody deserves a chance to stop and smell the flowers.

So pick your favourite ideas from this list and create your own handkerchief-sized masterpiece. Happy gardening!