Build Diary – Shanti and Ronald

Bali Interiors Build Diary Shanti and Ronald Cover

Today we meet Shanti and Ronald, who are building just out of Canggu, in an area called Buduk. Building homes in an area that is close-but-not-too-close to the hustle and bustle of Greater Canggu (Berawa, Canggu, and Pereenan) is an increasing trend that we also saw when we met Alex in neighbouring Cepaka.


It’s been an interesting start to their home as Shanti and Ronald experienced everyone’s nightmare when their builder began building their home in the wrong place!



Where are you from and what do you do?


Shanti (S) – We’re from Holland.

Ronald (R ) – From a small place about 20 minutes from Rotterdam.



How did you meet?


R – We met when I had just graduated high school and Shanti was in her final year. I was 19 and she was 17!



Before you came to Bali, what did you do?


S – I am content creator on IG. I also have my own shop where I import interior items from Bali to Holland.

R – I am in IT. I do a bit of freelancing. I take on projects for customers who may be all over the world. In The Netherlands, I had a small agency with 10 people working for us.


But then COVID happened and things started changing. We decided to be more remote. That was when there was a big shift among all my clients and they started to accept that being fully remote would work.



When did you originally come to Bali?


S – We first came when we were 18! And then we came back with our kids in 2018 and 2019 just for a holiday, about 3 weeks.

R – That’s when we decided to spend a much longer time here in Bali. There were so many rules and regulations to come into Indonesia then. We had to do quarantine etc, so we really wanted to spend more time here to make it worth it! We weren’t going to do it for a few weeks of holiday!

S – We spent 6 months here at that time.



Did you enjoy that 6 months experience?


S – We absolutely loved it!

R – Before kids, we used to spend a lot of time travelling in Asia and Shanti has family connections to Indonesia.



What are your family connections to Indonesia?


S – My mum is from Indonesia but she has lived in The Netherlands since she was very young. Also, my father is Dutch, but he speaks and teaches Bahasa Indonesia! He wants to move to Java when he retires.



What do you love about Bali?


S – The weather is great! Coming from Europe, it’s great to always be outside! The people are so friendly and welcoming, especially to our kids.

R – I love being outdoors so often. In The Netherlands, you can spend 3 months a year outside and the rest is inside. So it’s lovely to always be outside. I love the freedom that you have here as well. You can make your own choices.

Bali Interiors Build Diary Shanti and Ronald exterior
Bali Interiors Build Diary Shanti and Ronald exterior front

What led you to decide to move to Bali permanently?


R – During that 6 month trip, 2 things happened. Firstly, we were looking to buy a second home as an investment, but in The Netherlands. So that was on our mind as we were in Bali. And we started to look around and began to think that maybe we could do something here in Bali.


We saw 8 lots of land. We really went in blind as we were looking for land. You see a sign and text the number. Then there’s a broker etc.


Luckily, I met up with a few local guys while I was using a co-working space. And they gave us a few of the ground rules, such as asking for the certificate of ownership, and checking the names. There were a lot of places that we were initially very enthusiastic about. However, there was always something wrong so we could not proceed with that land. Honestly, I gave up!


S – Just before the end of the 6 months, I texted a well-known real estate agency in Canggu. So we went to see this piece of land in Buduk and we instantly loved it!


R – This was the one!



I love this area too! It’s just a few kilometres from where I live in Babakan. Why did you choose this area, Buduk?


R – We want to be a bit away from the action! Canggu is already so busy and crowded. Being a little outside of it means we can drive into it if we want, but we don’t have to live in it.


S – We prefer to live among the local people too, as well as a few international families. It’s cheaper here too! Land is cheaper and shops are cheaper!



After choosing the land, what was the next stage?


S – It was really easy because we went back to Holland and did everything while we were away. We signed a Power of Attorney so the agent could act on our behalf.


R – We had to wait a little of the land certificate because the landowner had passed away. It wasn’t hard but it just took a while!



How big is your land?


S – 5.4are. That was the full piece of land



That’s quite a large piece of land. What’s your plan for how you’ll build on it?


R – We’re just building a family home there! The land slopes down. We’re building on the top part and then we’ll have the pool and the garden further down the slope. We’re planning to keep as many of the original trees as possible. We want to build and respect the nature as much as possible.

Bali Interiors Build Diary Shanti and Ronald pool
Bali Interiors Build Diary Shanti and Ronald garden

How did you find your builder?


R – We found him before we returned to Holland.


S – At the same time as we were looking for land, we were also looking for builders.


R – I have some Dutch friends and they introduced us to this Dutch contractor, who lives in Lovina. He’s been in Bali for 20 years.


A good friend of ours had built a home with this contractor. He was very pleased with it.


Our first meeting with him went very well. Then we compared prices and we were happy. So we went ahead!



Did you use an architect?


R – First we started with the contractor’s in-house architect but we weren’t totally happy. They weren’t super responsive to our feedback. They didn’t include all our changes when they revised the plans based on our feedback.


S – Then we found another architect, who has been great. She’s also Dutch. We checked out her previous work and we were very impressed.



What is the style of your Bali villa?


R – This is your department!


S – A bit Boho, Bundi and Mediterranean.


R – We like natural themes. We want the house to be a place that you can relax after a long day! A cocoon of peace and quiet. It has to feel like a home.


S – Yes, a family home! A lot of typical Bali villas, especially the holiday rentals, are not the type that we want to live in. The typical 3 bedroom villas are for 3 couples! But we wanted connecting doors so that we can be closer to our kids.



What will the villa look like?


S – It’ll be 2 levels with the 3 bedrooms upstairs. Downstairs will be living, kitchen, laundry, storage, garage.  1 big kitchen and living room.



Has anything gone wrong with your build so far?


R – One big thing so far. The land is a little slopped downwards. We planned to build our house at the top and then have the pool and garden lower down. When we went for the first site visit after they broke ground, we had a big shock!


They took us through the different areas of the foundations and then they said, as they were pointing at the top part of the land, “what do you want to do with this part?”. It seems they had left 1are empty at the top of the land! They had moved the entire house 1are down the slope, so there is now an empty space next to the foundations of the house. There’s a gap between the access road and the house!


The reason they did it is because we are building a 2 story building, and they thought we wouldn’t want to be right on top of the access road, and the other houses.


S – So now we have this big extra space that we can use for something. Maybe a playground for the kids?


R – or a workshop!


R – Beside the building being in the wrong place, we also had an issue with the village because our big construction trucks had damaged the public road as they were bringing in supplies. We broke it so it was totally fair that we fixed it! It was a good way to meet the head of the village so we can easily get in touch in the future if we need to.



When did you get the land and when did you start building?


S – We signed the 25 year lease for the land in April 2022, and started building in October last year. We had returned to Bali in September 2022.



When do you expect to finish?


S – The contractor said 8 months, but it may be more we think.



Is everything going to schedule?


R – Yes, so far, it’s going well. We need to move a small temple that is on the land. We already had a small ceremony so it can be moved without any issues.



Photos by Bali Interiors


Follow Shanti and Ronald’s Bali adventures on IG HERE! 


If you are building in Bali (or have just finished) and would like to be featured in our Build Diary, please contact us at

Bali Interiors Build Diary Shanti and Ronald final

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