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Modern Bali House Design: Bring Island Vibes to Your Home

An example of modern Bali house design

The concept of modern Bali house design is rising in popularity among a wide range of demographics. It’s no wonder that the allure of this charming, tropically rustic motif is taking the interior design and architecture world by storm.

The contemporary design highlights the tranquility of Balinese culture while combining modern facets. By doing so, these houses offer a more captivating living experience. If you want to incorporate this unique aesthetic into your home, read on to explore the elements that make up the foundation of this style.

Elements of modern Bali house design

The open floor plan is a major characteristic of modern Bali house design

There are several key elements that when blended, define modern Bali houses. One major feature is an open floor plan. Many traditional Balinese houses already use this element to open their spaces. Larger multipurpose common rooms allow for improved socializing and shared light.

Rooms are usually divided into separate sections in Western homes, such as the living room, kitchen, dining room, and bedrooms. In modern Balinese houses, these rooms may connect in a less restricted flow. Only private areas like bedrooms and bathrooms are separated by solid doors.

Balinese architecture also uses a variety of natural materials.

  • Bamboo,

  • teak,

  • coconut wood,

  • brick,

  • and stones

are all prominent in these houses. Additionally, ponds or pools are often added to the homes. These materials don’t just offer a stunning color palette. They also increase the home’s harmony with its surrounding natural environment. Very often, Balinese artistry is incorporated into the home.

Ornate wood or limestone carvings often adorn the home’s walls or pillars, serving as a truly stunning decoration. Intricately carved heavy wooden doors are also commonplace, welcoming guests in with an almost royal energy. Finally, natural lighting is a must. Large windows and wall openings covered by linen curtains bring in an abundance of sunlight.

Balinese influence on contemporary architecture

Cultural and historical traditions have made up the basis of this contemporary design style. Balinese Hindu principles, as well as historical experiences, have paved the pathway to modern homes. You may find that many design choices are driven by a specific philosophy.

One example is the layout of Balinese homes. Many Western homes have a front and backyard flanking the building. Meanwhile, Balinese homes follow the layout of holy temples.

This includes three courtyards incorporated into the home, reflecting the three realms:

  1. An inner courtyard (jeroan) for shrines.

  2. A middle courtyard (jaba tengah).

  3. An outer courtyard with multiple structures.

Many modern Balinese homes bring the outside in, with gazebo-like structures completely separate from the main building. These pavilions, or bale in Indonesian, add more space for residents to lounge, socialize, and pray.

Likewise, symbolism is integrated into many of the more artistic flairs that this architectural style embraces. Massive carved stone or wood panels mounted onto walls are inspired by centuries of history. Spanning as far back as the 12th century, these intricate works depict scenes of lush Balinese life among nature.

Harmonizing indoor and outdoor spaces

Indoor-outdoor living is an important tenet of modern Bali architecture.

  • Vibrant plant life,

  • open spaces,

  • and water features

are common in these houses. Often, even private areas will be opened to the natural environment surrounding the home. For example, bathrooms might not have a roof, or partially thatched walls facing away from the house. This lets the residents enjoy the sky and greenery as they bathe and relax. Bedrooms are also often connected to a veranda or balcony.

Water is also a prominent feature, and not just through the use of pools. Fountains and ponds are commonplace, filled with lilypads and waterweeds as well as local fish species. Water represents fertility and prosperity in Balinese culture. It is essential in crafting a harmonious flow between the interior and exterior of the home. Of course, the calming white noise of moving water is also a major plus.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Practices

Using locally sourced materials and a modern Balinese design is also a great method of keeping your home sustainable. One great example is the use of thatched rooves, expertly woven together and bound tightly by skilled workers. This roofing rarely needs replacing, even through Bali’s tropical monsoon storms. Using brick, stone, and sturdy wood for the structure also prevents the need for touching up peeling paint or replacing wallpaper.

Many modern homes also use eco-friendly methods for cooling and energy, saving the owner in cost and time. The open-air floor plans and materials used are efficient in passively cooling the home, reducing the need for AC units during hot days. Some homes even apply solar panels to store electricity, or rainwater harvesting systems for daily use.

Balancing Luxury and Simplicity

This neo-Balinese architecture is essentially minimalist, allowing the beauty of the house’s design to shine through simplicity.

These homes mostly have

  • rustic palettes,

  • clean lines,

  • and thoughtful furniture choices.

Simultaneously, they accommodate all the comforts and conveniences of modern living. Bathrooms can come with rain showers and relaxing bathtubs. Kitchens include sprawling stone countertops and fantastic appliances. Furniture in the common rooms and bedrooms are of high quality, and aesthetically pleasing. These homes are luxuriously elegant, with owners able to enjoy a sophisticated living experience


Case Studies: Exemplary Modern Bali House Designs

The imagination doesn’t do the allure of modern Balinese homes justice. Let’s explore real-life examples showcasing the pinnacle of this architectural style.

a photo of a private villa pool in a Bali house

Here we can see a wonderful example of an open-air common room in a Balinese villa. Its minimal color palette allows the simplicity of this design to shine, with lush greenery on either side of the area. Movie nights, barbeques, and lazy afternoons are enjoyed to their fullest on comfortable furniture.

Below, is a beautiful bathroom that makes use of locally sourced stone, open-air showers, and natural shapes. These features bring a calming energy to this private space in the home.

The open air bathroom is a vital part of modern Bali house design

Outside the main home is a roofed gazebo filled with soft pillows, overlooking the blue pool in the backyard. The birds of paradise plants on the right-hand side provide shade and beauty to the area.

A look at a modern Balinese bedroom, with a tall ceiling, natural light, and earthy tones. The curtains on the bed serve a double purpose - adding both privacy and protection from bugs at night.

A modern Bali house bedroom

Tips for Incorporating Modern Bali House Design

You don’t need to be in Bali or build a home from scratch to achieve this gorgeous design style! Here are some practical tips that anyone can use to achieve a modern Balinese look. Use these suggestions to refurbish or renovate your home.

1. Switch up your color palette

Colors in the design are crucial to achieving this look. Going by the photos above, it’s clear that Balinese homes emphasize a more neutral and earthy-toned color mix. Eliminate bold colors that take up too much space in the home. You can save bright orange, red, blue, and more for smaller decor for a pop of color, like throw pillows or rugs. Keep the basic tones in your house closer to off-whites, earthy browns and greens, and gentle blues.

2. Integrate nature into your home

Keep your spaces as open as possible, moving furniture and decor out of the way to de-clutter the area. Add large windows, light curtains, and partial-glass doors to enhance the harmony of your home with the outside. Add artistic pieces of carved stone or wood with nature scenes to your rooms. You might even consider adding a water feature to the home, such as a pond or fountain.

3. Use natural materials

It might be difficult to source the same materials usually used in Bali, like limestone, teak, and bamboo. However, prioritize using locally sourced, natural materials that match this aesthetic. This includes dark stone, walnut and pine, brick, and concrete.

PRO TIP! Azula Designs can export any items from Indonesia to your front door. So if you want to source some of the same materials found in Bali, give us a call.

4. Add Balinese-inspired decor

Adding Balinese artwork and decor to your home can complete the look. Search for authentic Balinese paintings, statues, and carvings. Find decor that suits the neutral color tones and beachy, Bohemian vibes of Balinese homes.


The captivating essence of modern Balinese homes is their ability to transport residents to a place of tranquility. Their unique architectural design provides their owners with a culturally rich yet elegant living experience. Blending the boundaries between the interior and its surrounding nature, these homes have a long-lasting appeal. Their simple sophistication, natural colors, and stunning decor offer timeless beauty.

If you’re interested in finding or creating your own modern Balinese home, let Azula Designs make your dreams come true. Just click the button below and speak to a professional interior designer today.

Image by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden
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