Almost 4 years ago we made our first trip back to Bali in 10 years. The magic was so infectious that we decided to find a property in Bali that we could call out own. After several false starts and almost a whole year of looking on and off we found our house.
The villa was based around a genuine Javanese joglo and even though it was tired and needed lots of love and affection the feel and location were perfect. The land was 1000 sq metres and it was situated down a skinny, winding laneway (gang) that snaked off the main road through Penestanan.
We made design plans and decided on renovations, signed a 20 year lease with a 10 year option and started work. The first stage was digging a hole for a beautiful swimming pool that Georgie designed.
Then Covid reared its ugly head. Teeth and all. The years went by with Georgie supervising the renovations on a daily basis over WhatsApp. She had the patience of an angel, albeit a frustrated and somewhat angry angel at times. Finally in May 2022, 2 and a half years after we signed the lease the villa building and renovation was ready to be furnished and turned into a home full of beautiful art, artefacts and most importantly ‘the love” that we put into any of our houses. When we arrived the bare bones were there, the garden had recovered from being a building site and was lush and tropical, the pool was majestic sitting right next to the living room with its grand bi-fold doors that opened up the joglo to the cool water.
We approached the “genesis” of our new home in Bali with passion, armed with rolls of original paintings that we had rolled and transported on our flight. We scoured Bali for interesting bits and pieces, mirrors, furniture old antique doors. We found a framer to stretch and frame the original canvases and art prints that we had bought with us. We took fabrics and wall hangings that we had purchase a couple of years earlier in Rajasthan.
We approached the project with love, passion and enthusiasm . This was our home in Bali after all. We wanted it to reflect our sense of design and personalities. There were moments when we realized that we had overshot our budget, cringeworthy moments when we had to decide to suck it up and keep going.
By the time that we were ready to leave Bali to return to the Melbourne winter we had pretty much created our own oasis in Penestanan. We were ready to get our photos done for AirBnB.