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This tropical Bali dream house, located in Padanggalak, 3 miles 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 very clear what we did not want. 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 so rough, I'd always thought of the tropics as gentle, but those houses taught me that a tropical climate has its own hazards: bugs, dust, mosquitoes, ants, mold, gecko's, smoke from burning fields, and a very fast pace of decay. In the open houses, we couldn't keep nature out because there was no way to close in the space. Mosquitoes were abundant, the thatch would shed and smell, and the geckos living in the thatch would contribute their own fall-out. We'd essentially spent a good part of each day just sweeping up!
Armed with a 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 what we wanted. He set the ceilings high, like a barn's, but added variety to the roof-line by slightly lowering the kitchen roof and using the typically Balinese cross-hatched exposed rafters. He wasn't afraid to recommend 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 were able to achieve the same soft, natural effect from inside as you get with thatch, but without the problems. Ketut placed giant sliding glass doors and windows around the perimeters of the entire house, offering light and an open-air feel during the day, but with the option of shutting out the 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 complete, Ketut handed the drawings over and we took charge. Mel oversaw the building process, and I made interior design decisions. Rather than focusing on making the house fit into a category (rustic, modern, contemporary…), I just did what I found beautiful. The result is a mix of many influences, including primitive and modern, old and new, raw and finished. I brought my love of Mexican color into my paint choices, and my appreciation for Shaker simplicity into my choice of old, strong, and simple wood furniture. I was very relieved when, in the end, it did in fact all come together.
Color is a major theme. The main living space has a soft cream terrazzo floor contrasting with two bold papaya-orange walls and another sailor blue wall. The ventilation windows hold circular coins of colored glass framed in teak, giving a warmth and funky flare to the entire space.The kitchen and bedroom floors are richly colored in traditional Dutch-style cement tiles. More color flows through the deep-set, vertical red, blue, green and yellow stained-glass windows along the stairs.
In contrast to the bright colors, raw materials ground the house in the natural and neutral, creating what architect Yew Kwan famously described as 'high-style primitive.' Raw teak trees frame the kitchen space 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 ringed with marble stones to 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 pink, purple and yellow bougainvillea. 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. Ocean breezes blow in from the east, cooling the land and house, even in the hottest season.
And you can see the ocean from the house! That third floor room wasn't in the drawings, but one day, Mel was up on the rafters and he realized that from up there we could see the sea. We learned that it wouldn't cost much to raise up the roof and add an extra room, so we just did it. That room is a retreat, way up high, for meditation, yoga or writing - a place to be alone, or for young kids to play.
In 2006, Mel and I made the decision to move back to the US after living in our house for only a few years. We were at a cross-roads professionally, and we wanted our kids to be educated in the US. We have been renting the house out since then, but we return every year with our boys for a month to repair and spruce up the house and, of course, to enjoy it ourselves.
One renter described the house this way: "This house has a warmth and grace and artistry to it, but it is also a very livable house, peaceful and soothing, 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, maid and gardener included, breakfast and one meal cooked daily, wi-fi internet connection, convenient 24-hr taxi service, artistic, soul-filling, spacious, breezy, cool, practical, oasis, fully equipped house, warm, open, kid-friendly, comfortable
This house is fabulous for kids. They love the openness of the main room & there are plenty of places for them to discover and explore. The pool is visible from the veranda so adults can sit and enjoy the cool shade while keeping an eye on the kids. A temporary safety fence can be installed around the pool upon request. The pool has steps and a perfect shallow area for kids to play. A shower room is accessible from the outside so kids can wash and dry off from the pool before entering the main house. The wall surrounding the property offers privacy, and safety as well as emotional intimacy....moreless
The bookshelf is filled with novels, non-fiction & children's books, mostly in English, but also Dutch, Swedish, German & French. We work on the honor system, so if you take a book, leave one behind....moreless
6 Balinese prayer boxes can be found in the main room, filled with practical items such as toys (cards, drawing pencils, a few games), first aid (band-aids, antibiotic cream, etc.), sewing kit, etc....moreless
We have a washing machine and Wati will do your laundry for you. Laundry is line-dried. Wati is not permitted to iron. However, we have an iron so if you wish, just ask Wati and she will set you up....moreless
10 complete sets of classy Marks & Spencer dinnerware (lg. dinner plate, salad plate, lg. soup bowl, smaller bowl, mugs.) Plenty of water glasses, wine glasses, beer mugs. Plastic bowls for kids....moreless
Large fridge, gas stove & oven, knives, cookware, kitchen tools, toaster oven, microwave, blender, rice cooker, juicer, 10 complete dinnerware sets, coffee & tea ware, cloth napkins, tablecloths....moreless
The lawn is ringed with a lush garden & shaded by mango, frangipani, jack-fruit & palm trees. Thick bouganville climbs up walls surrounding the property. Slate stones create paths from house to pool....moreless
|Dates||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
Jan 15 - Jun 30, 2015
3 night min stay
Jul 1 - Aug 31, 2015
6 night min stay
Sep 1 - Nov 30, 2015
3 night min stay
Dec 1 - Jan 15, 2016
6 night min stay
Additional information about rental rates
Our process: After we have responded to your inquiry and we have agreed on dates, we will email you a contract which you must sign and email back (scan, or photo and send jpg). Once we receive your signed contract, we will email you a paypal money request, which you can will pay by credit card in two installments. The first is 50% of rental fee plus your $200 security deposit. The second will be due 10 days before the start of your contract (we will send you a second paypal request). Your security deposit will be returned the day after your contract ends, assuming there is no damage beyond normal wear and tear.
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Of all the dances seen on Bali today, the Kecak dance is perhaps the most dramatic. Taken from the Hindu epic Ramayana, the dance tells the story of Prince Rama and his rescue of Princess Sita, who has been kidnapped by the evil King of Lanka. Unlike other dances, there is no gamelan orchestra accompanying it. Instead, a troupe of over 150 bare-chested men serve as the chorus, making a wondrous cacophany of synchronized "chak-achak-achak" clicking sounds while swaying their bodies and waving their hands....MoreCollapse
Nestled away from the buzz of traffic and activity, this serene house is welcoming for families, couples or individuals seeking to surround themselves with beauty, comfort, privacy, artistic design and exceptional service. The house is conveniently located only minutes drive from Sanur (a well-established family friendly resort area with shopping and restaurants), only a half-hour drive from Ubud (the cultural center of Bali), and far enough but not too far from the heart of Denpasar (Bali's capital city with its travel agencies, banks, department stores and government offices). Sanur offers a large number of international standard restaurants, entertainment, great shopping and white sand beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. Also, the house is very close to Padang Galak beach, a black sand beach offering surfers excellent waves. The airport is 35 min drive, depending on traffic.
Year Purchased: 2004
About the owner: Mel grew up in east Java. I grew up in western Massachusetts. We met when I was teaching ESL as a volunteer at an Academy of Foreign Languages in Jember, east Java, and Mel was my student. I was 24 and Mel was 21. We have lived together in Boston, Bali and now the Berkshires in western MA. We have two boys, Zephyr and Kaylo. We make our living selling silver jewelry that Anni designs, all made in Bali.
Why the Owner Chose Sanur:
As I mentioned in the description, we built this house for ourselves. We never intended to rent it while we were building it. We chose the area because it is so convenient, while still quiet, and because the 'banjar' system in this village is not so strong, which makes it friendlier (less obligations, rules and restrictions) to non-Balinese, and as Mel is Javanese and I am American, this suits us.
The Unique Benefits at this House:
Wati, our lovely friend & maid, lives nearby & works full-time at the house. Wati will do your laundry (no ironing), make your beds every day, wash towels & linens once/week, & keep the house clean. She is available to prepare breakfast every morning: coffee, tea, fruit, toast, pancakes, yogurt, fried bananas &/or French toast. Wati is also an excellent Javanese cook. She is available to cook EITHER lunch or dinner for you for a small additional cooking fee (paid directly to Wati) & all food costs at tenants' expense. Food shopping is tenants' responsibility. Our policy is that Wati is not permitted to cook more than 1 main meal/day so as not to take her away from her other responsibilities. IF for some reason you wish to hire Wati to cook after her working hours (5 pm Monday - Sat), this is fine so long as Wati agrees & you pay her independently for her additional time & service. Sis, our gardener & grounds keeper, is Wati's brother. He is a wonderful man and also very kind. He also lives nearby & works full time at the house. Sis cleans the pool & tends to the gardens, lawn, buildings & property.
Living room, & stairs leading to guest bedrooms at far end
View of yard and house from entrance.
View of dining table with kitchen behind.
Sitting area w/ teak sofa, rocking chair and two comfortable arm chairs.
View from loft of main living space - comfortable chairs, dining table, kitchen.
King-sized teak bed in master bedroom. Glass doors open to pool & garden.
King-sized bed in upstairs bedroom with high thread-count sheets and comforter.
'Kids' rm w/ traditional Dutch floor & pool & garden view.
Pool and Master Bedroom verandah
View of mango tree and rice-terrace-shaped infinity pool from upstairs balcony.
View of yard and pool from external office.
Wonderful Sis - gardener, pool maintenance and general handy-man
View of master bedroom from infinity pool.
Sofa, chairs & table on veranda with view of pool.
Long view of dining table, sitting area, & stairs leading to bedrooms at far end
Fruit baskets and Balinese prayer boxes with necessities.
Stained glass windows behind staircase with coffee-tree banister.
Large master bathroom w/ mosaic slate wall. Outdoor shower not shown.
Upstairs bathroom. Terrazzo floors, full bathtub and shower not shown.
View of public copper sink and bathroom from main living space.
Hammock and veranda from above.
House from front
Marvelous Wati - cleaner, cook, and comforting presence all around
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This listing was first published here in 2011.
Date last modified - Friday, May 29, 2015
Please call, tho is preferable as i often travel
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