Originally from Ireland, Siobhan and Joe spent a lot of time living in Asia before deciding to build in Bali. They have just decided to buy a villa in Canggu which they will renovate and turn into their new home.
Where are you from and what do you do?
I’m from Ireland and I’m a social media content creator. My husband Joe is a photographer.
We met about 15 years ago when I was still in school and I needed a date to our year end ball. I had no interest in him at all but I really needed the date! So, I played along for a while, and he made a lot of effort and he wooed me! And here we are!
What do you love about Bali?
It’s a very special place because there’s such a strong cultural element to living in Bali. It’s very spiritual. Even though I’m not very spiritual myself, I still appreciate living in a place where people believe in karma, and being good to each other. And of course I love the climate and the everyday smiles. People are so friendly.
We’ve lived in quite a few places in Asia and we’ve never received this kind of welcome. That’s a big thing for us.
Living here is very inspiring. You meet lots of different people. Nobody is doing regular jobs. They are doing different and interesting things.
And also, the real reason is our dogs. We didn’t want to leave them. We didn’t want to bring them to another country where they wouldn’t have the same life. Here they can do many things with us.
Why did you decide to build in Bali?
As long as we have been here, the 3 years, we’ve always had the mindset of “maybe we’re going to be here for 6 more months”. And after a while you need to make a commitment or not! We didn’t want to keep looking for places that allow dogs, or that are in a particular area, or have an indoor living space.
When we saw this place, we didn’t actually have a plan to renovate, but everything just clicked at that moment. We thought that this is such an amazing opportunity. We’ll finally have our own space that we love. We can make a little home here.
How did you find your Bali villa?
We were looking for a place to live in at that time and I saw it on Facebook so I messaged the owner straight away. We’d actually seen the place previously, but it wasn’t right at the time. I didn’t really like it. It was kind of live-able, but not great. When I asked him the price this time, it was so reasonable and such a good opportunity that we thought we could put a lot of money into doing it up and it would still be worth it.
How do you plan to renovate?
It’s more like an advanced cosmetic change because the actual structure will be the same. We love the existing structure so there’s no need to change it. We’re going to try to keep some of the nice features that are there already. We want to keep the character of the home.
What’s your design process? How do you get inspired?
I have to admit that there’s a lot of inspiration around Bali. We do go to villas that are used for photo shoots and we think that it’s so imaginative, and at the same time it’s not necessarily expensive. There are so many talented artisans here who create amazing stuff, like lamp shapes or use gorgeous teakwood, and everything is within reach. If this was in Ireland, it would be so much more expensive and you’d be on a wait list for months.
How did you find your builder?
I was very lucky because some friends of mine are doing a big renovation and they offered their contractor to me. When I looked at his previous work, I was blown away. I knew that my friends didn’t have a huge budget and we are in the same position. So we met him and he is great!
Do you have a designer working with you?
Yes, Her name is Annie. She has such a great concept of what this place should be. She really wants to keep it with a Mediterranean/Spanish feel, and keep the integrity of what we already have. It’s not there yet. The original builders took it to a certain level, and she really wants to bring it to the end. She really has a fantastic vision for our place.
When will you start building and how long do you think it will take?
We are starting on Saturday, which is 4 days from now! They’re going to start by breaking lots of things so we will have to make lots of decisions about what we want. The contractor said it’ll take about 2 months. I think it might be more like 3, because of decorating, but it’ll be a quick job. In the meantime, we’ll rent another place monthly until we can move in.
What are your feelings about your upcoming project?
We are very excited! I feel like we have been here long enough, and we feel that this is our home. We’ve never had a real base as everything has been temporary. It really exciting for us as it’s our first ever property!
Follow Siobhan and Joe’s build journey to create Casa Blooms
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