Purple and cherry red tones dominate in this bedroom designed by Dean Kempnich. On the headboard is a Sumbawa stone elephant mounted on wooden base; the oil and acrylic painting is by local artist Made Kembar.
None of this, of course, is entirely new. Today’s designers, new-age spa operators, glass blowers and healer-potters simply represent another wave of sun-seekers in search of that elusive island magic. The intrepid travellers of the ’30s found the attraction of the island then much as it is today. European artists, such as painters Walter Spies and Rudolph Bonnet, were lured by the exotic to tuck up with the Tjokorde of Ubud. They set up studio and gave birth to a creatively prolific artistic melange of both assimilation and exchange. Others followed, primarily in the fields of painting, sculpture, dance and music.
The huge bedroom in a Japanese artist’s home showcases an ancient Javanese bed, a richly coloured, BALI STYLE HOME DESIGNS patterned Indian carpet, a primitive wooden bench, and an ancestral statue from Borneo.
Later, in the ’60s and 70s, another wave of often-disillusioned Westerners, this time on the hippy trail, found refuge in the island’s mysticism, its peaceful Hindu population and its sarong-clad, sunny lifestyle. Many started small cottage industries-those that survived are the forebears of today’s design conglomerates.