Balinese design is one of the most popular forms of Asian inspired architectures in the world. The increasing tourism in the Indonesian region, has seen visitors demand a unique and ‘authentic’ stay in tropical balinese inspired houses, cottages, villas and hotels. Many people fall in love with the visual aspect of Balinese design, while others are attracted to the harmonious and spiritual connection to nature. Balinese inspired pieces, and designs are now popping up all around the world – so what can you do to add a bit of paradise to your place?
Balinese architecture is vernacular in style, meaning it utilises local available supplies, and is respectful of local traditions. This style of architecture is derived from Bali’s ancient Hindu traditions and Javanese influences. Balinese design heavily revolves around maintaining and maximising the relationship with nature, which is why you will see lots of thatch, bamboo, stones and bricks.
There are 7 main principles that Balinese architecture is built around, and using these principles, you can create balinese inspired homes too.
- Tri Hata Karana- creating balance and harmony between people, nature and the gods.
- Tri Mandala- this outlines the rules of zoning and spacial regions, taking into consideration sacred areas.
- Sanga Mandala- the spatial concept of directions dividing an area into nine key sections according to eight main cardinal directions.
- Tri Angga- the concept of hierarchy amongst realms from microcosms to middle realms and macrocosms.
- Tri Loka- similar to Tri Angga, this is concerned with the hierarchy between three realms (the lower realm of animals and demons, middle realm of humans, and upper realms of gods and deities)
- Asta Kosala Kosali- this is the 8 guidelines of designs including the shape of symbols in shrines, the size of certain rooms, and appropriate decorations. If you have ever visited two or more Balinese homes you may have noticed they are all quite similar in shapes and sizes- that’s because of these guidelines.
- Arga Segara- the sacred axis between the mountain and the sea! The mountains are considered the home of the gods, where the sea homes monsters and demons
So using these philosophies, what can you do to create a balinese feel for your home?
- Buy some locally sourced materials and plants! Buying local and supporting local is a big part of balinese architecture. If you’re building a bench, or planting some flowers, use local businesses and produce to do so
- Install a water feature! These can be excellent for creating a tranquil environment, but also for creating that harmony with nature- use your water feature to help your garden grow and water the local wildlife
- Ventilation is key! open planned, big windows, lots of airflow is essential
- Add a balinese hut to your backyard to create your own little tropical oasis.
- Use natural elements: stones, bricks, plants, timber, thatch etc.
Balinese architecture does not need to be expensive or difficult, it’s about creating a harmonious space. Add some little changes to your home, and feel like you’re on holidays all the time!