Build Diary – Renovating our local Bali house

Bali Interiors Build Diary Renovating our Bali local home

Life Update from Sheila – Renovating our local Bali house


It’s been a busy few weeks for us. We’ve been renovating 2 Bali houses at the same time! 

We had a hard deadline to move into our new home in 3 weeks. No ifs, buts, or maybes, we had to be out of our current home and into our new home then. 

There’s only one problem, it was not ready at all. It took a long time to find this local house, which we will turn into our home. Read all about our adventures finding it HERE

But we found our little house and it has great potential. The problem is that it’s currently very basic (many rooms with no electrical outlets, local style squat toilet etc). It has great bones and I am sure I can turn it into a lovely little home, but I can’t work miracles, and I think it’s going to take a miracle to get it ready!

We brought our builder in and told him what we needed to do. He said “Sure, I can do it, but it’ll take 6-8 weeks”. Sadly that wouldn’t be possible, so we had to do as much as possible in 3 short weeks (including major religious holidays when the workers have a well-deserved break).

I’ve been visiting the site every morning and late afternoon to check who is there and what they are doing…. and most importantly, making sure everything is on track. We simply don’t have time to waste!

Bali Interiors Build Diary Renovating our Bali local home bathroom before
Bali Interiors Build Diary Renovating our Bali local home bedroom before

More power please!


One unexpected problem was we needed to increase the power. Unlike where I grew up (Argentina) or used to live (Sydney), here in Bali each house can choose the maximum amount of power it uses. If you want a pool or multiple AC units, you will need more power. However, the more power you have available, the higher the rate per unit of electricity. So most local people choose to have a low amount of power. 

Our house only had 2200 power, which was not enough for much, so we needed to increase it. We rang the power company and they said that it can be upgraded but we would need to change the cable from the street to our house….and it would take 3 months. Eeeek! 

That wouldn’t be great at all. Me, hubby and the kids all sleeping in the same room trying to take advantage of one solitary AC unit. Far from ideal1

Thankfully, our land owner had a plan. He had used a consultant to get his power installed when he built the house 4 years ago. He’d been told the same thing then so he used a consultant to magically jump the queue and get his cable installed. One of the joys/frustrations of Bal life is the need to use consultants to get the wheels of bureaucracy to turn faster. 

But, in our world of 2-steps-forward-1-step-back, another problem appeared. To install the new cable, we needed to get permission from our neighbour as it would go over his house. 

Of course, the neighbour could easily say “no”. We held our breath as our land owner asked the neighbour. Fortunately, he said yes! 

24 hours later the power company workers were onsite and changing the cable. Installing it from the main road to our house and over the top of the neighbour’s house. 

Bali Interiors Build Diary Renovating our Bali local home electricity
Bali Interiors Build Diary Renovating our Bali local home electricity

Tay Tay to the rescue


So, I’ve been renovating 2 places at the same time, with a very unrealistic completion date and no Plan B. There’s a lot of running around to pick up random things, solve small problems before they become big problems, check on progress, and basically keep an eye of everything that going on. Plus of course, my normal day job! 

It’s fair to say, it’s been a bit stressful. Lots of money being spent. And then the Taylor Swift circus came to town (well, a nearby town..Singapore). My daughter, Luna, is a major Swiftie – complete and utter fascination and devotion.  We’d tried to get tickets when they first went on sale. My whole team was logged in on 6 devices trying to get them but we had no luck.

Last year, we homeschooled Luna and my husband designed the entire curriculum around her hero:

Maths – based on ticket prices, paying in instalments, compound interest etc 

English – analysing lyrics 

Creative writing – writing letters of advice in the persona of current Taylor to younger Taylor

Music – writing our own Taylor swift inspired lyrics

Geography – following the Eras tour

Projects – writing an itinerary and creating a budget to see her play in Singapore (where to stay, how to organise transfers, where to eat, Taylor related things to do)

Spanish – Taylor played in my old home town of Buenos Aires and Luna wanted to go there and see Taylor play with her equally-obsessed Swiftie cousins. Gotta speak the lingo! 

(In short, anything and everything can be adapted to engage a Swiftie!)

Bali Interiors Build Diary Renovating our Bali local home Luna

Reselling prices were already crazy, plus flights and accommodation. We couldn’t afford to do it now. Too many other things going on and planned for 2024. Luna knew things were tight and didn’t even ask about it. She knew it wasn’t possible now.

But a few days before the concert, as I was up late at night, responding to emails and doing random essential admin-istrivia, I had a revelation….. “What’s the point of work, if you can’t enjoy it?”. I made an instant decision….we were flying to Singapore to see Tay Tay play. Let’s make some dreams come true!

And so we did! Plane tickets booked, reseller tickets bought, we were on our way. No doubt it was an expensive trip, especially as we were going for just 2 days/1 night. But it made a little girl’s dream come true. And watching that filled my own heart completely. It’ll take a while to pay off, but those core memories make my heart swell. 

It was a great show! I’ve seen a lot of amazing artists and bands play. I gotta admit it…. I’m converted! She put on a great show for 3+ hours. I’m a new member of Team Swiftie. 



Bali Interiors Build Diary Renovating our Bali local home Luna x TS
Bali Interiors Build Diary Renovating our Bali local home Luna x TS
Bali Interiors Build Diary Renovating our Bali local home Luna x TS

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