Florida Ocean Life Goes Balinese

This is a home in Jacksonville Florida that I worked on. I had the pleasure of also living in this house, when we lived in Florida for 3 years over the winter seasons.

It wasn’t always a pleasure, it had some bumps in the road for sure. But we made some pretty great lemonade out of the lemons.

This was still a work in progress, in this photo, but we were getting close to completion…..

 

AFTER

 

Atlantic Beach

This is what it once looked like :

BEFORE

 

 

To tell you the truth, the picture above makes it look better than it looked in ‘REAL’ life.  The house was a diamond in the rough, purely based on it’s location. It is located moments from one of the most gorgeous beaches I have ever seen.

 

Atlantic Beach, Florida.

 

It all happened in a crazy way. When Michael ( my husband ) was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago, he was diagnosed with a cancer that occurs only one in a million. The odds were even crazier, because it only occurs .1 in a million at his age – he was 46 at the time.

 

The primary cancer centre for his care was Harvard – Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Michael worked for a US firm and had US health care coverage.

 

We needed to live in the States for a minimum of 6 months of the year for his medical coverage and care.  Hard to believe that a Canadian needed US health coverage ..I know, I know.

 

Rare things happen with rare diseases.

 

I happened to call my friend and told him that we were thinking of moving to the States.

My friend said “Hey, why don’t you live in my house in Florida ?”

He made his home open to us.  I said ” what house ?!”

And there it all began.

 

We, as a family, with 4 kids in tow, literally moved within weeks.

 

The house was a second home to him and he warned me not to do anything because he wanted to renovate it someday.

 

Statue Purchased in BALI

Statue Purchased in BALI

Well…..NOTE TO EVERYONE …..never leave me unattended in your house.

 

You are asking the impossible of me. It is like an ancient torture test to leave me alone in a house. I can’t help myself.

 

Over the first winter in Florida, I moved all the furniture, paintings, and the decorative pieces. I hung curtains, brought in duvets, created new mosaics, and made the house a HOME.

All the while, I never mentioned a word to the home owner.

Brett and I on the original staircase :

 

Brett and I

I made a few changes since that original staircase…..

This is the hand carved balinese staircase now…..

Balinese carved railings. Read more in :  lynneknowlton.com

 

J’adore doing the little details of projects . All of the hardware in the house came from one of the buying trips in Bali.

Every door is hand carved and custom fit.

 

The interesting part about all of this work is that we saved a lot of money on this project. It wasn’t about having a lot of money and throwing it out the window. On the contrary actually. We bought direct from Bali.

 

I personally met every single artist in Bali who custom carved these pieces.

 

Balinese carved railings. Read more in :  lynneknowlton.com

 

Nothing is factory made. Nothing is mass produced. No child labour. No bad mojo at all…All good stuff.

 

This is extremely important to the home owner and it was to me as well. It feels good to buy pieces that MAKE A DIFFERENCE to another person. As a buyer in Bali, when you buy anything…you are supporting the local workmanship and trade.

 

Beautiful balinese lighting, wood carvings in a home completely designed from the ground up from Balinese goods.

 

Yes,we saved money by buying directly, AND we also made a difference to the person/family that created it.

Those are definitely ~ feel good ~ ah ha moments.

 

Balinese hardware, carvings and door. See an entire house built from Balinese goods.

 

Working on this house was a game changing time for me. I loved the opportunity and I was so excited to jump right in and get my feet wet with designing a house from the ground up completely with goods from Bali.

 

Balinese hardware, carvings and entranceway. See an entire house built from Balinese goods.

 

An entire home designed from Balinese goods, furniture, carvings, flooring and doors.

 

For those of you renovating…it is not always about happy dances and easy street. Quite the contrary sometimes. Somehow, eventually, it all comes together .

I love making a house a HOME.

I feel so inspired by so many things around me. It really comes down to the people you work with and for. It is what you make of it. It is about relationships and friendships and sticking together through the ups and downs.

 

 

The contractors who I worked with on this project…made me laugh so hard.

 

Pictured here is the dining room.  The dining room furniture pieces were all created from reclaimed fishing boats.

 

An entire home designed from Balinese goods, furniture, carvings, flooring and doors.

I was fortunate enough to travel and buy in Bali – more happy dances – to source all the goods to build out and furnish the  house.

This photo shows the finished master bath with everything from Bali. Hand made concrete tiles, lighting, sinks, towel racks.

OK, those mirrors are not from Bali .

Those are temporary and ugly…just sayin…

An entire home designed from Balinese goods, furniture, carvings, flooring and doors.

 

The plans to go to Bali started a new path for me.  We wanted to do the house as a Bali inspired house. I scoured through Bali photo books with beautiful glossy shots of stunning Balinese homes. This is what I thought Bali was about.

Gorgeous homes and surely luxurious Balinese massages.

Duh, I was hit with the stupid stick.

It is not what it is all about at all.

What I didn’t know was that I had a huge learning curve ahead of me.  This was only the beginning of the road leading to my buying trips/experiences in Bali.

 

An entire home designed from Balinese goods, furniture, carvings, flooring and doors.

 

Bali is chock full of THE MOST INCREDIBLE , WARM, LOVING  SOULS.

The Balinese are not only SUPER talented in wood carving and creative artisian skills, they are so down to earth, and extremely kind to others .

The Balinese people are poor.

They have very very very little- financially.

They have a whole lot to give from their hearts.  I have travelled a lot around this beautiful world of ours, but I have never been so impacted by  the warmth and kindness that I feel in Bali.

 

An entire home designed from Balinese goods, furniture, carvings, flooring and doors.

 

All the doors(25+), wood trim, flooring, bath vanities, furniture, sinks, lighting, porch railings, and accessories….all came from Bali. We had to buy 26 ‘Javanese’ homes ( they are very small homes) to create the flooring alone.

That worked out great.

The people of Java were happy to sell their old worn out wood and have it replaced by a new home with new wood.

We were happy because we were able to buy some truly authentic gorgeous antique hand crafted wood and turn it into flooring AND that ~ is exactly what we did.

 

An entire home designed from Balinese goods, furniture, carvings, flooring and doors.

Now that is a home, made with LOVE…sprinkled with some sweat and tears… but we made it….

Thank you to each and every one of you who helped me make this project come to life.

 Onward and upward to my next journey.

Come read about the journey of traveling to Bali and designing an entire house from Balinese goods.

Lynne

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15 Responses

  1. Pingback: It's about me. It's about YOU. | Design The Life You Want To Live

  2. Kathleen says:

    Lynne,

    Thank you for sharing. Can you help me determine if it is feasible to build a small bali style home on a budget of $125,000 or so, on a private lot in St lucie county florida.

    we have a dream and it haunts me daily in a good way. We are considering a lot on the river there and I have been drawing a bali home sketch ever since returning from a trip to kauai in 2009.

    Recently my husband shared a sketch he had been drawing since a child. It was also a humble bali style design.

    We are both in our late 50’s and wonder if we can make our dreams a reality.

    Thank you!

    warmest regards,
    Kathleen

    • Hi Kathleen

      I loved your note and thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn too.

      I have a very good friend who travels to Bali twice a year, and owns a store called Bali Cargo in Neptune Beach Florida.

      I think it would be perfect for you to meet her. She is my bestie and her name is Kim Rogers. She is an honest, kind, smart business woman and I think she could really move the dial on your project.

      Cheers!!!
      Lynne xx

      PS. If she can’t do it, email me again. I may just have to go to Bali for you 🙂 LOL

  3. Jill says:

    I absolutely love the house and the story of it’s creation but the info provided erroneously describes the provenance of all these pieces as Balinese. Yes, they may have been found and purchased in Bali, but most of the furniture and antique carved panels, artifacts etc are from Java. Java has had a long tradition of woodworking, especially furniture (and homes) and the craftsmen there deserve their due. Bali has a rich tradition of artisan handicrafts but generally not furniture. All the old carved panels, screens etc are originally from Java -as they were salvaged from old teak homes and furniture (just as happened with the floor). Balinese homes have a different design and are not constructed of solid wood. Bali is usually the famous stop for shopping for goods from all over Indonesia, but not where everything is produced. I would hope that with all the attention, energy and detail that’s been put into this home, the origin and history of many of it’s elements be properly understood and shared as coming from Java..

    • Thank you Jill, that is super helpful. I did a great deal of shopping in Java too. I just love the work and beautiful disposition of people in Indonesia. Whenever I made my purchases, I made a point to try to meet the local artisan who created it. It is so worthwhile.

      Thanks again for all your beautiful info. Indonesia is definitely one of my favourite places on earth.

      Lynne 🙂

  4. Simone Moore says:

    Just love it…..I am originally from Australia and now live in JAX and in Australia you can find bali stores everywhere but over here I can’t find a single one. I would love to do my backyard in a balinese theme with statues not budda’s but the other asian women statues. If you know of anywhere here in JAX or close by where i can get them please email me. But, I just love what you did to your home.
    Simone

    • Hello Simone, I absolutely know a great place in JAX ! One of my best friends in the world, Kim Rogers owns a store called Bali Cargo in Neptune Beach JAX !!! Her store is chock full of Balinese items ! You will LOVE LOVE LOVE it !! If you go (and you must) say Hello to Kim for me. She is an absolutely awesome soul.

      So true about Australia. I have met a lot of Australians in Bali since it is so close. In Canada and the US, the stores are much harder to find since Bali is soooooo far away. You will be DELIGHTED when you see Kim’s store. She also has container sales when she receives large container loads of goods in from Bali.

      Please do hug her for me. I miss her dearly.
      Many hugs,
      Lynne xx

  5. France says:

    That house is truly beautiful. I am in awe.

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Ohhh France,
      This post is so old, I almost ran outta the room when I read it again. Haha. I just realized how my blog life (writing style) in the past year has changed right before my eyes.
      The bad news is that my writing made me cringe. The good news is that you reminded me to revisit this post and remember what a beautiful job I did on that house. Thanks for making me proud of myself all over again for that accomplishment.
      Big hugs for that one.
      Lynne xx

      • France says:

        Lynne, you sure did a great job on this house and you should be proud of yourself because it’s absolutely stunning! My man and I are slowly re-designing our house and I’m looking for original ideas. Your website sure is a great place to start!

        Big hugs,

        France

  6. Ali Szkutnik says:

    I don’t even recognize this house A LITTLE!!! It’s the most beautiful home I’ve seen in my life. Miss you and your family lots and lots.

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