Beautiful water features in this small space

  • Downsizing from a three-storey house to an apartment was a big change for Dr Tyrone Goh and his wife, mainly because they had to do away with their five ponds.
  • Their two grown-up daughters had moved out and their terrace house was too big for the couple.
  • But when they moved into their three-room condominium unit near Old Airport Road about 18 months ago, they wanted a piece of their old house to come along.
  • So Dr Goh hired Water Concepts & Consultancy, a specialist contractor for water features, to build him an $8,000 timber-decked patio in the 125 sq ft balcony of their apartment.
  • The spruced-up space incorporates a metre-long koi pond and a water-spouting Balinese figurine from his old house. He also added LED lights, a filtration system and sparkly granite tiles to jazz up the area.
  • Dr Goh, who is executive director of National Healthcare Group Diagnostics, 63, says: "I wanted to reproduce the soothing sound of running water and have something nice to look at. I'm always out here when I come home, whether it's to read or have a drink."
  • Landscape companies and interior designers here say there are many home owners like Dr Goh, who spare no expense to work elements of nature into increasingly smaller homes.
  • Water Concepts & Consultancy in Hong Kong Street, a specialist landscape company that has been building water features for homes for the past decade, has seen demand from non-landed property home owners jump.
  • The number of water-feature projects it has undertaken for apartment owners has jumped from about 20 in 2011 to more than 80 last year. This year, it has already completed more than 100 water features in flats.
  • Water features these days are a far cry from their dated-looking plug-and-use predecessors, which are mass produced and small enough to fit on a study table.
  • Instead, fancier options can now be customised to length and come with small pools, LED mood lighting, natural stones and mini cascading waterfalls.
  • To enhance the beach resort feel, many also opt for timber decking that surrounds the water features. These water features, which range in lengths from 0.5 to 2m, depending on the space available, are usually installed in balconies or living rooms.
  • "It's not just a balcony anymore. Rather than just have a space with empty planter boxes and floor tiles, flat owners don't mind spending money to beautify the place with a small pond, even if it doesn't come with fish," she says.
  • While many still buy water-feature sets for fengshui reasons, they no longer want the typical "rolling ball or water trickling over a mountain" type of fountain. Instead, they prefer sleeker set- ups.