The Best of Bali...Mecca for Design Inspiration!
I have travelled to Bali for many years...being a West Australian, Bali is like a second home. I absolutely love Bali becaue of it's spirituality, culture, tropical ambience and bohemium lifestyle! Many changes have occured since I first started travelling there over 20 years ago...The fusion of Asian and Dutch colonial influences on food, homewares and decor is evident everywhere you go. Cafes, restaurants, hotels, villas, homeware stores and clubs are popping up everywhere, reflecting a youthful, daring, exotic and eclectic style, taking in elements of local and foreign influences. Bali is the perfect place to gain inspiration! Having recently visited Bali for rest and recreation and to gain inspiration for my next soft furnishings collection, Bali Boho, I was on a mission this time to explore the various areas, backstreets and villages to find the top homewares, decor and inspirational interior destinations in Bali...here are my top 10!
10. MONKEY FOREST ROAD A trip to Bali is not complete without a day trip to Ubud. Ubud is the design mecca of Bali. The road trip is worth the 40 mins as you wind your way through the villages, home to handcrafts and jewellery making. Monkey Forest Rd is the central road in Ubud. Start at the bottom near the Monket Forest, then work you way up...there are market style stores mixed with
up - market local homewares and fashion stores. At the end of the road is the famous Art Markets seen in the movie Eat Pray Love. We always spend a few days in Ubud...it's becoming my most preferred locality for inspiration and tranquility.
9. THE HAVEN SUITES For me travelling to Bali, or any desitantion, the experience of staying in the accommodation is important to me. I try to seek out accommodation that is close to the experience of the country we are visiting. We selected the Haven Suites in Canngu because we wanted to try something different to the Villas, however we were still indulged with a unique Bali experience. The architecture is extremely modern, however the designers were able to fuse a Colonial influence seen in the detail. Just loved this accommodation and we found design surprises every day of our stay!
8.BALI BUNGALOW This cute homewares shop is house in an cottage style building located in the up and coming area of Canggu. It is owned by an Australian. The store has a cafe within and is a great place to gain inspiration, sit and relax or browse the various locally made homewares, lifestyle products and soft furnishings.
7. THE COLONIAL HOTEL is located in a little nook in Seminyak just back from the beach. We discovered it about 4 years ago on an early morning walk and I have to always take a sneak peak whenever I am there because it is so prestine and boutique like. It's style influnece is French/British Colonial with Plantations style mixed in. Take a look at Kim Soo next door when you are there!
6. MERCREDI is homewares store owned by a French woman located in Seminyak with several stores scattered in other regions such as Ubud. There is a slight French influence, with pretty fabrics, soft furnishings and locally made crockery.
5. SUSWARHOME is homewares store owned by an Australian, a friend of mine. This delightful surprise is located in the slighter quieter but very uber area of Canggu. This store stocks imported and local wares including beautiful bespoke candles and scatter cushions with antique fabrics.
4. BALI CAFE The Bali Cafe is a well known and popular cafe located in central Seminyak. It's design style is French Colonial with a twist. We always visit the cafe when in Bali because we love the ambience and I like looking at the various innovative decor items within. Worth a visit.
3. LA FAVELA BAR & RESTAURANT Walking the streets of Seminyak one morning, we came across this hidden gem. What pulled me in was the walk way garden and signage with lights and an old lamp post. Walking up the tropical garden path of a side street, we peered in through the windows and were blown away by what we saw. We returned later that night for a drink...and discovered a den full of Spanish and Mexican influences. It's very popular and you have to book before if you want a seat or nook to hide away.We later discovered it's sister venue in Canggu, La Laguna.
2. KIM SOO My fiance and I visited this nook about 4 years ago in Seminyak..and there was absolutely nothing there! 4 years on, this little corner now houses two amazing inspirational localities...The Colonial Hotel...(Number 7) and Kim Soo. This homewares shop takes your breath away. Owned by an Australian from Melbourne (I believe they have recently opened in Melbourne), Kim Soo has managed to mix locally made product with other influences (mainly African) based on a mainly monocromatic collection of goods....black and white. The cafe is like something out of an old school movie and a by-gone era...Casablanca. Modern and vintage furniture (in black and white) with umbrellas pull you in to relax and sip your lemon tea...as the world goes by. Check out the lap pool out the back too....
ROLL CALL......1. LA LAGUNA This amazing bar & restaurant is located on the beach front in Canggu. From an interiors designers point of view it is a feast for the eyes. It really is worth visiting just for the eclectic mix of Spanish/Mexican/Gypsy design influences. It also has a soft spot for me because it was where my fiance' proposed! Walking in through the front gates you are confronted with a Gypsy Garden...complete with oldstyle gypsy caravans that you can book for groups. The open air cabana has a central bar decorated with an eclectic mix of Mexican/Spanish crockery, tableware stuck in random places in the walls, ceilings and hallways. And to complete there is a romantic walkway/free hanging jetty with lights out to the beach. Amazing!
All photos @ Indian Summer HOME
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