Treasures of the island – design in Bali

For a design lover such as myself, Bali is a destination to leave you breathless. I can genuinely state that I haven’t really seen truly ugly buildings or places. As I spoke in my previous post, Balinese people have a spiritual connection with the island so they use the gifts of nature to create harmonious beauty everywhere.

Now you would think of impressive temples such as Tanah Lot or Uluwatu or crazy looking pools, but I will show those in a future topic. No. This post is all about the everyday treasures one would find only by taking some walks around Ubud for example. The shops, the small temples, the restaurants and cafes and most importantly… people’s own homes.

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Let’s take a look at these gates, for example. Impressive is a small word to describe the craft and beauty. They are not just separating the houses and gardens from the outside world, but their role is one of protection (with the spirit statues guarding them) and to create a portal between a family sacred space and the mundane.

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One of my favourite places is Bali Bohemia – a place in Ubud supporting local artists, cultural connection and great food. Being there is a journey in art and symbols speak to you from the wall paintings, wood carvings or statues under the stairs. This truly bohemian place allows you to be as you please, take the mic for a song, sit on the floor and maybe make a little drawing yourself.

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Bali Bohemia is right next to one exit of the Monkey Forest so it’s not unusual to see the little arrogant creatures coming close to your tables. That’s why it’s best to keep your stuff close and out of their sneaky reach.
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In this space of freedom, art is highly valued as a liberation and expression form. That’s why Ubud is filled with artist shops and it’s a general feeling that art is just another extension of nature and consciousness.

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And below a few pictures from the amazing villa where I stayed, no words needed actually. To fall asleep and wake up in the sound of falling water from the pool, the crickets and birds song is an experience that brings one closer to our true nature.

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**All photos ©Ana Stroe of From Place to Space unless otherwise noted. Please contact me at ana.stroe@yahoo.com if you’d like to inquire about publishing my photos**