In this Build Diary we return to Marco and Erika’s home. Marco and Erika are content creators who also do photography, content creation, graphic design, social media. We first met them in mid-2021 when they were building their villa.
We recently returned to find their construction site has turned into a gorgeous Mediterranean-style villa. They use their home as a location for photo and video shoots
Do you shoot a lot in your home
Yes! Most of the shoots are product photography. Shoots for decoration, jewellery, clothing homewares etc.
When did you start and finish?
We started in the middle of March 2021 and finished in the first week of December. But we first were told we’d finish in September, so it took a little longer than expected. Then they told us it would be the middle of October, then November, and finally December!
How did you feel during your build?
We knew it could take longer so we were prepared. We visited the site every day and we could see that it was not going to be ready in September. Building in Bali, you have to know that sometimes things take longer than you expected. We didn’t want to rush them.
Some people have penalty clauses with their contractors but we think that can be a problem because it will make the contractor rush to finish on time. We prefer to wait and do it slowly. Getting it done properly is more important.
Also, during the process we realised that we wanted to make some changes because we liked some particular designs so that caused them to be a little slower. We wanted it to be our dream Bali home, so it is special for us We don’t want it to be the same as everyone else’s villa. For example, we love arches so we wanted to put lots of arches!
We were also the reason it was slower as we changed our minds regarding certain features, such as the bathroom floor. We decided that we wanted it to be lowered into 2 levels so the shower can also become a bath.
However, that took a while for us to plan and visualise. We changed our minds and redesigned it a number of times.
It’s hard to visualise it on the paper plans, sometimes you need to see it in real life!
Is there anything major that you changed?
We were adding always! But nothing too major. In the beginning, we only designed the building, we didn’t really think about the walls. As we started building, we realised we could style them, so we added lots of arches!
We had some rough designs that we had drawn, but as we built we were able to focus on the details.
What are your favourite features?
(Erika). I love this little corner outside our bedroom. I love the light and the shadows in this little corner. It’s also really popular with brands that shoot here. It works really well with this soft light and the shade of the palm trees. I also love the texture of the wall.
We did 6 or 7 different samples of polished concrete, each one was a little square. And we checked how it looks at different times of the day. Initially, we thought we would choose one colour but we weren’t sure, so we invited a friend over who hadn’t seen it, and she told us it should be warmer. Then, we made a new sample that was slightly warmer and it was perfect.
Fortunately, it was our own contractor who was overseeing everything. He used his own specialists who only do this type of terrazzo and polished concrete, so he made sure they gave us exactly what we wanted.
(Marco) Even though we haven’t used it so often, I really love the pool. It has this Santorini vibe that I love. The colour of the water is perfect. I really love it!
Did you go over budget?
In terms of the building, we were on budget. This is because our contractor knew our budget and he knew that was it! Of course, there were a couple of little extra things he did that were not included in the original quote, such as the parking area, but that wasn’t much.
But there were other things that I didn’t know how much they would be. Personally, I didn’t know that curtains would be so expensive! And we did it the cheapest way we could. We went to the supplier ourselves and bought all the raw materials. Then we took it to the maker who made the curtains and built the curtain rods. I had no idea that curtains cost so much!
We were able to keep the furnishing costs under control because we had a lot of features built in by our contractor. We used terrazzo and polished concrete. But there were still some surprising costs, such as the doors of the kitchen cabinets, which were all custom made and took a lot of labour to get them perfect. But generally, it was all on budget.
We had a pretty fixed budget so we really needed to be careful. Everyone wants their Bali dream home to be perfect, so it’s very easy to keep spending money if you are not careful!
What advice would you give someone who wants to build their Bali dream home?
Patience! You must have patience! Nothing is on time. For example, our sun beds were supposed to take a few weeks but ended up taking 3 months!
Being patient is also really important when you are looking for your land. Take your time and don’t rush it. See lots of land, so you can find the one that really works for you.
The more time you invest in the design and planning, the better your project will turn out. It will be much smoother!
You can rent their stunning home for photoshoots. Contact them via @casanomada
Stay tuned for more about their gorgeous villas as we feature their home in an upcoming episode of our series A Peek in Paradise
If you are building in Bali (or have just finished) and would like to be featured in our Build Diary, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org