Interior design inspirations from the modern Balinese aesthetic

Bali is a place of many contrasts.  Great luxury, beauty and decadence that coexists alongside poverty, rubbish and decay.    Our recent trip to Bali has been very inspirational and we will be integrating elements of the modern Balinese interior design style into our own home. Below are some simple concepts that could be applied beautifully to all design aesthetics.


Bringing the outside in

The seamless integration between outdoor and indoor spaces is quintessential in the modern Balinese style. Gardens flow into the indoors and plants are a common feature of any room.   Having deliciously warm weather year round of course enables open air spaces and internal gardens within the homes, hotels and villas of Bali to work unlike our own chilly Victorian climate.  We have however created our Surf Coast version of the outdoors inside concept with an L- shaped layout that ensures that every room has several windows looking onto garden.  We have also included an excess of windows and two feature light wells with full length windows.

What we are going to bring home from the Bali trip is to take our obsession with potted indoor plants to the next level by creating mini potted bonsai gardens that we have seen so often throughout our journey. We will also be carefully designing the garden around the aspect seen from each of windows of the house to make the garden feel as it is within the interior space. 

bali indoors outdoors.JPG


Indoor water features

Whether it be a pond, potted water plants or a trickling musical delight, water is a common feature in modern Balinese interior design. Having two small children, an indoor water feature would be a safety and tidiness disaster however this is something we really want to integrate into the design of our home.  It is instantly relaxing to hear the gentle trickling of water so we are planning a water feature combined with some lush water plants in the light well adjoining our home office.   This feature will be designed to be admired from the study windows with the rest of the space to be landscaped along the same aesthetic.

internal Balinese style water feature


Balance of materials - timber, stone and organics

Our style, what I would describe as modern organic, is very similar to the modern Balinese aesthetic just with more of a lean towards the luxe industrial.  Clean and simple lines are created using natural materials such as stone and concrete with softening by timber and greenery from indoor plants and garden views.  What is often done so well in Balinese interior design is the amount of detail that is put into the timber work with traditional joining techniques used and stunning timber beams exposed. This detail highlights the timber to creates a lovely balance with the other painted, tiled, concreted or carpeted surfaces with the room. 

We will be looking to create a greater balance within our own home by putting more potted plants within the bathrooms as well as using timber trays and bowls for both function and beauty on our harder surfaces such as our Caesar stone island bench. I will also be softening the polished concrete floor within the lounge room area with a beautiful rug.  The exposed joinery is not something that we want to have in our interior however this is something that would work fantastically in our exterior with the pergola and outdoor seating area that we are yet to create. 

The importance of lighting!

Something that I have admired throughout Bali has been the stunning pendent lights, I only wish I had taken more pictures of them!  It has amazed me how with the right lighting, a space can be transformed from simple to romantic and luxurious.  In many of the Villas, restaurants and hotels that I loved, the lighting had been very well planned with beautifully designed and proportioned feature pendent lights then hidden up lights and down lights that highlighted certain aspects of the space.  Often LED strip lights where inbuilt into the headboards of the beds,  mirrors and window dressing bulk heads to create a soft light and welcoming ambiance. 

Unfortunately, this approach to the lighting plan is too late to integrate into our home however we did find the perfect pendent lights for over our dining table!  Our next project is to either find something similar or to design and fabricate it ourselves which is of course much more fun!  


Next weeks blog post is heading outside with design inspirations from the lush, luxurious and beautiful outdoor rooms and gardens of Bali!