How to Achieve the Balinese Style Look in Your New Home

Date Wednesday, 7 February 2018 12:00 AM

 Time to Read: 3-minutes

Fallen in love with Balinese design and architecture? Looking to add the Balinese touch to your new home? Balinese home designs are becoming increasingly popular in Australia, particularly in the warmer regions. In this post, we examine the origins and basic principles of Balinese home design.
 
Origins of Balinese home design
 
Balinese home design has evolved over thousands of years. Its origins lie in Balinese Hinduism, which has strict and sacred rules when it comes to building. A traditional Balinese home has an open-plan design, and is built from organic materials such as wood, stone and bamboo. Although many aspects of Balinese home design (such as open walls) aren’t permitted in Australia, it’s still possible to achieve the Balinese look.
 
Keep it breezy
 
Natural airflow plays a major role in Balinese home design. There are many ways to promote natural airflow in your new home and get the Balinese look.
  • Plant grass and greenery near your home.
  • Install a water feature (fountain, pond or swimming pool) near your home to naturally cool the air.
  • Furnish your home (indoors and outdoors) with wicker furniture made from bamboo, willow, rattan or reed – materials that don’t retain the heat.
  • Install Balinese-styled air deflectors made from light wood in your home – to divert or redirect air (both hot and cold).
  • Incorporate an open-air space in your home design, such as a courtyard, balcony or atrium. Open-air spaces (also called transitional spaces) are an integral part of Balinese home design and encourage air flow.
  • Install windows which are at least 1-metre in height, then open them regularly. Ideally most of your windows should face north and south – to optimise cross-ventilation.
 
Live outside
 
Like the Balinese, Australians generally love the outdoors – particularly when it comes to entertaining. That relaxed, open-air Balinese “resort” look and feel can be achieved in a number of ways.
  • Build an alfresco area, such as a patio, pergola, courtyard or deck.
  • Decorate your alfresco area with lush tropical plants, small water features (eg. fountains) and Balinese guardian statues (made from greenstone or wood).
  • Install a charcoal grill in your alfresco area.
  • Build a cabana (especially if you have a pool) - genuine Balinese huts made from coconut wood are available to purchase in Australia (DIY installation is usually required).
 
Embrace natural materials and colour
 
A traditional Balinese home seeks to reconnect its occupants with nature. That’s why Balinese homes are built from natural building materials, such as wood and stone. Although natural timber and stone is expensive in Australia, the Balinese look is still possible on a budget.
 
  • Buy genuine Balinese-style furniture made from solid teak, willow, bamboo, rattan or reed. If the budget permits, antique Javanese Boat Teak is a beautiful material.
  • Choose a kitchen benchtop made from bluestone or granite.
  •  Accessorise your living areas with Balinese statues (wood or stone) and lush, leafy pot plants (ideally choose tropical plants that flower).
  • Australian hardwood timbers – such as Blackbutt, Merbau and Sydney Blue Gum – are great flooring solutions (both indoors and outdoors). These timber varieties are durable and blend well with lush green foliage – providing that Balinese resort look.
  • Balinese screens and room dividers are great for the Balinese look inside your home.
  • Any fitting or furnishing made from teak, bamboo, greenstone, sandstone, andesite or natural fibres enhances the Balinese look.
  • Bright matte colours look fantastic with timber finishes and natural stone. A traditional Balinese painting (sourced from Ubud, Sanur or Batuan) will add the finishing touch to any Balinese-styled home or room.
  • Plant palms, ferns, jasmine, bougainvillea, banana plants and ginger in your garden.
 
A final word
 
There’s something very spiritual, joyful and calming about Balinese-styled homes. Although you can’t build a genuine Balinese home in Australia (due to building laws), it’s possible to add the Balinese touch to an existing design. If you’re looking to build a custom home with a Balinese twist, please contact us for a friendly chat.

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