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Stunning, Spacious, Colorfully Artistic Bali House
1 of 49
3 nights minimum
Holiday Rental House
This tropical Bali dream house, located in Padanggalak, 3 kilometers north of Sanur, is what my husband Mel and I like to call our 'third child' (we also have 2 boys). Building on our cross-cultural marriage, we chose to blend the open-air feel and tropical materials of Mel's native Java with the exposed wood, open floor plan, and cathedral ceilings of the old barns of my native rural Massachusetts.
Before building, we'd spent years living in rented houses in Bali, so we were clear what we wanted to avoid; the sort of villa you see all over the island that is built to look romantic (open-air, no doors, thatched roofed) but is in fact very impractical. Coming from New England where the winters are rough, I'd always thought of the tropics as gentle, but those houses taught me otherwise. W...This tropical Bali dream house, located in Padanggalak, 3 kilometers north of Sanur, is what my husband Mel and I like to call our 'third child' (we also have 2 boys). Building on our cross-cultural marriage, we chose to blend the open-air feel and tropical materials of Mel's native Java with the exposed wood, open floor plan, and cathedral ceilings of the old barns of my native rural Massachusetts.
Before building, we'd spent years living in rented houses in Bali, so we were clear what we wanted to avoid; the sort of villa you see all over the island that is built to look romantic (open-air, no doors, thatched roofed) but is in fact very impractical. Coming from New England where the winters are rough, I'd always thought of the tropics as gentle, but those houses taught me otherwise. With the heat and humidity comes bugs, dust, mosquitoes, ants, mold, gecko's, smoke from burning fields, and a very fast pace of decay. In the open houses, there was no way to keep nature out. Mosquitoes came in as they pleased, the thatch smelled and shed on the floor, and the geckos living in the thatch would contribute their own fall-out. During the rainy season everything would get wet. And we'd spend a good part of each day just cleaning up!
Armed with our concept and a list of things to avoid, we chose Balinese architect Ketut Arthana. Internationally recognized, Ketut has a reputation for optimizing and managing space. He instantly understood our vision. He set the ceilings high like a barn's, but added variety to the roof-line by using the typically Balinese cross-hatched exposed rafters and slightly lowering the kitchen roof. He recommended tile over thatch for its strength, quality and ease of maintenance, and we found that by lining the under-side of the tile with basket-colored woven rattan, we achieved a similar soft, natural effect, but without the problems. Ketut placed giant sliding glass doors and windows around the entire perimeter, providing the house with light and open-air during the day, and protection from bugs, wind, water and dust at night and during storms. Above these doors, Ketut added a ring of slim rectangular windows for ventilation and style.
Once the drawings were done, we took charge. Mel oversaw the building process, and I designed the interior. Rather than trying to make the house fit a category (rustic, modern, contemporary…), I just did what I found beautiful. The result is a mix of influences, including primitive and modern, old and new, raw and finished. My love of Mexican color informed my paint choices, and I chose old, strong, and simple wood furniture like that of the Shakers, and of old Java.
I was relieved when, in the end, it all come together.
Color is a major theme. The main living space has a cream terrazzo floor contrasting with two bold walls of papaya-orange and another of sailor blue. The ventilation windows hold coins of colored glass framed in teak, giving warmth and flare to the entire space.The kitchen and bedroom floors are richly colored in traditional Dutch-style cement tiles. And more reds, blues, yellows and greens flow through deep-set, vertical stained-glass windows along the stairs.
The bright colors are grounded by natural and neutral raw materials, creating what architect Yew Kwan famously described as 'high-style primitive.' Raw teak trees frame the kitchen and serve as pillars on the terrace; Y-shaped stripped coffee balusters and teak banisters form the railings along the stairs and balcony; large slate plates and marble stones form a mosaic on the master bathroom wall; and worn gray river stones provide drainage where house meets land. A whimsical stone mosaic of tropical animals skirts the verandah.
Outside, the property is ringed with a mustard-yellow fence overflowing with flowers. Verdant gardens border the walls. A rice-terraced-shaped pool fills one corner, while lush mango, palm and Frangipani trees create umbrellas against the sun.
And you can see the ocean from the house! The third floor room wasn't in the drawings, but one day, Mel realized that he could see the sea from up on the rafters. So we raised the roof and added an extra room, which serves as a retreat up high, for meditation, yoga or writing, or for young kids to play.
In recent years, Mel and I moved back to the US for our kids' education. We've been renting the house out since then, but we return to the house every 'winter' to enjoy and care for her .
One renter put it this way: 'This house has a warmth, grace and artistry to it, but it is also a very livable house, peaceful and soothing, and also fabulous for entertaining, and very convenient to Sanur, Denpasar and Ubud. Many happy memories were made in that house and we want to return again if we can.'
Keywords: Convenient, close to beach, close to Sanur & Denpasar & Ubud, gardener included,, high speed wi-fi, convenient 24-hr taxi service, artistic, soulful, spacious, practical, oasis, fully equipped More
Wonderful Holiday home in Sanur. Can accomodate large families easily and having its own pool is fantastic. Sis and Eka (the staff) were lovely and very helpful in arranging transport for us.
Really everyrting was perfect. The house is so beautiful wit all the small details. Everyday we found som new little surprises. The garden and pool are very nice and well maintained as well. Kadek was very nice and helpful, a real balinese friend. We also...More
Date of stay: July 2016
Management response:Responded 2 August 2016
Thank you Andreas, for this lovely review. And we are so pleased that you had such a rich and full time at our house and in Bali.
In terms of going to restaurants or to the beach, most of our guests simply order a taxi...More
I stayed here January of 2016 and thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. The house is uniquely beautiful, with big, open rooms, artsy touches, and a lovely surrounding property. The pool is perfect for relaxation and the grounds are private and impeccably maintained. It's close to...More
Pure excellence. This well appointed holiday home has been our most favourite to date, as frequent travellers to Bali we have stayed in many different villas, this one, has been amazing. The maid Kadek is an amazing cook and we took full advantage to be...More
Date of stay: November 2015
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A FlipKey verified reviewer
Reviewed 6 July 2015
A FlipKey verified reviewer Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewed 6 July 2015
Date of stay: May 2015
A FlipKey verified reviewer
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Reviewed 22 July 2014
A FlipKey verified reviewer Grand Rapids, Michigan
This is a well designed, beautifully landscaped and furnished villa with a lovely pool conveniently located just about 5 minutes outside the hustle and bustle of Sanur. Service staff is excellent. We enjoyed a lovely 5 day stay with our family of 4, (though the...More
Date of stay: April 2014
1 Thank Robert742
Management response:Responded 9 April 2014
Robert, thank you so much for this lovely review. I have welcomed and noted all of your input. It is a pleasure working with tenants like you! Best, Anni
We asked if we could arrive early as my wife has a medical condition requiring cool conditions, we were warmly invited to avail ourselves of the house on arrival in Bali. Thanks Anni. The house itself is fantastic and it is obvious that this was...More
This property is located in a village that is set away from the bustle of south Bali, while still being convenient to many attractions. We can easily help you to hire a car and driver, or if you wish to save money, there is excellent and reliable 24-hr taxi service directly from the house. Taxis come within 10 minutes of calling them, and can take you easily to Sanur or Kuta or Ubud.
The spectacular white-sand beach in Sanur is about a 10 minute drive. This beach goes for several miles. There are lots of parts to the beach, some local, some more touristy, and plenty of places to eat and shop and hang out. People go kitesurfing, kayaking, sailing, glass-bottom-boating, and there are other water sports as well. And gazebo's at the end of stone piers that go out in the water where you ca...