In this Bali holiday home, different cultures meet, soft and hard lines blur and urban sensibilities infuse tropical life. An effortless collage of texture, colour and furnishings describes the eclectic aesthetic
Urban-loft style meets Balinese design in this incredible holiday home
Set amongst the picturesque green rice fields of Bali, the captivating holiday home of designer Birgitte Raben and her film scenographer partner Peter Grand is inspiring. Armed with a common aesthetic and shared love of design, the Danish couple set about creating a house, which they could use as a part-time base when devising, designing and manufacturing Raben’s fashion and interiors collection Rabens Saloner. The home also functions as a studio atelier. Seasonal catalogues and campaigns are shot here with Grand leading the art direction.
The couple wanted their home to not only be tranquil and immersed in nature, but to feel like an urban loft, a place where they could be inspired and create. Due to the difficult triangular shape of the section, Raben and Grand went through several designs before deciding on the final layout – entry hall, en-suite bedroom and large open living, kitchen and dining downstairs with two further en-suite bedrooms upstairs and a detached office at the front.
While the triangular parcel of land is not big, they wanted their 210 square-metre home to have a real feeling of openness. The lofty, seven-metre, double-height ceiling in the large-scale, multi-purpose living room delivers this. “We also wanted to work around the natural light, which is very warm and beautiful in Bali. The idea of the light coming in through the length of the house was something we definitely wanted to implement.”
Although the couple had a clear vision, several design elements required rethinking throughout the build. Industrial-style iron doors and windows not common to Indonesia had to be revised several times to get the look and quality right. But in the end these are the features they are most pleased with. “The iron windows give us the feeling of being in a creative workspace. They are similar to my atelier in Copenhagen,” says Raben. “Even though we were challenged making these, it was worth it. We wanted the frames to resemble Parisian atelier windows and I think we succeeded.”
Flung open, the iron-framed doors leading to the dining terrace blur the lines between inside and out. Shutters, a recent addition designed by Grand, enclose the pool area, further extending the outdoor living space and giving the swimming domain a more intimate vibe. “The beauty of the shutters is that, when left open during the day, they reveal the picture-postcard views of the rice fields. By night, when they’re closed and candles are lit, they create a sense of privacy and a cosy ambience.”
The tranquility of the location was another huge influence on the design. “Part of the unique beauty of the house is the landscape. You really get the feeling of this when you sit on the terrace overlooking the working rice fields where the farmers quietly maintain their land. The colours of nature are absolutely amazing – the shades of green are so strong and vibrant and invigorating,” says Raben.
Colour also figures heavily indoors. Glittering gold leaf with splashes of cobalt blue, and large expanses of black with flecks of electric colour in the living room and bedrooms, all add drama. These large abstract wall murals provide an impressive backdrop to Raben’s designs and custom furnishings, including poufs, leather sofas, armchairs and textiles all made for her Copenhagen flagship store, which was also designed by Grand.
“The clean lines of the house allowed us to create our own universe using a variety of textures, textiles, furnishings and details,” says the couple. Some of these unique details include the mass groupings of pendant light bulbs in the entrance and upstairs hall. Inspiration for the light installation was taken from an old magazine clipping saved for future design reference. The lights make a welcoming impact, setting the tone for what is to come.
The streamlined design of the architecture offsets the tactile decor. Luxe velvet poufs and daybeds layered with rugs and a mixed collection of cushions are perfectly in sync with Raben’s signature style, clothing designs and interiors. The textiles are part of the collection of fabric gathered while travelling around Asia and Indonesia.
“Travelling in this part of the world, where we found an amazing archive of vintage and new fabrics on our travels, made it heaven when it came to decorating our house – so many colours, so many tones, so much inspiration. We both love working with colour, the earthy tones we are both drawn to and use most often in our work universe. For us, it was natural that we integrate these colours into the decor.”
Words by: Tami Christiansen. Photography by: Nathalie Krag/Living Inside.