Since I was a kid, I’ve been curious about others people’s lives. I would look through my car window or walk down the street and wonder what sort of life did each person have. Where do they live? What does their house look like? What do they do for a living? Do they have a family? Are they loved? Are they happy? I guess that inquisitiveness never left me and somehow it has led me to become who I am and what I do today.



One of the things I love most is photographing homes. And artists' homes would probably have to be my favourite. The home reveals the soul of its creator, the person that envisioned it and lives in it every day. My second favourite thing is meeting these homeowners, talking to them and over a few hours gaining an insight into their lives, their dreams, motivations and getting to know what inspires them and what makes them tick.

I was meant to come and photograph Irene Hoff and her art, but the moment she opened the gate I knew I had to come back and shoot not just her, but also her incredible house.



Irene was born in the Netherlands and has been living and travelling in Asia for the past few years. Hoff is an established mixed-media artist that has exhibited in Vietnam, Holland and Indonesia. All her paintings are hand painted, using a mix of acrylics, oil paints and paper prints. She mostly loves to work with stencils, spray paint, pencils & texture.

Her art is unique and very defined in style. If you see one of her paintings, it's easily recognisable due to the materials, colours and mixed media applied to it. Her art is not for the faint hearted, it is very graphic and filled with colour, and also usually holds a message behind them. Irene is so easy to talk to and open without judgment that it comes as no surprise when she tells me she is also a healer. She has such a comforting and friendly nature that you instantly feel very at home talking to her 

The house (which she designed) is breath-talking and has all the elements I wish my house had. The large open living-dining-kitchen is the perfect size to have plenty of space to move around and still be able to watch the kids. The living opens onto an outdoor living area that is total heaven and overlooks the huge pool. Next to the pool is Irene’s studio where all the magic happens. It is a beautiful, clean, and tidy study and arts area filled with light from the outdoors.


At the back of the house there is a garden that is big enough for kids to run around. The second floor features the 3 bedrooms, plus there is a creative space in the middle where kids can do their homework, but I have feeling that a lot of art is also created here.



And to my surprise this is not the end of it! Irene has a little plot of land next to her house where she tends to her organic garden and keeps some ducks. Total dream house!

Gaining an insight into Irene's life was such a pleasure. Interestingly, Irene’s art is very playful, both through the colour palette, the media she chooses, and her mix of themes including the Heroic exhibit referencing Playmobil or endangered animals.  Her art brings out my inner child and makes me ponder if the curiosity that I had as a child has somehow stayed with me until this day.













One of the thing I love about Bali is the variety in people you find. People from all around the world not only come and visit but also set up businesses here.

Alejandro Montaño is one of them. A Mexican Chef with 20 years of experience working in four different continents has set up shop un Ubud with La Pacha Mama. Here we talk to Alejandro about his life, love for food and his Bali creation.


Tell us about your life growing up in Mexico and how your love for food begun?

It was at a very early age when I realized that I enjoyed spending my time in the restaurant of my grandparents. I was always very curious to see, taste, smell ... Very curious to know and to understand. Food always meant "celebration" for me because it was the perfect excuse to get together with our loved ones, to share and to host others with the signature Mexican hospitality. 

Looking back in time, being raised up around my grandfather there was always an excuse for a gathering and the delicious food was always present along with good people. I also traveled a lot around México and then I realized the how diverse my country was not only from "touristic" point of view but also from a culinary perspective and that inspired me to continue searching.



You starting cooking at a really young age. Can you tell us about how you became at Chef at the age of 18?

I was brought up in a family where food played a very important part, my grandparents owned restaurants in my hometown y my mom was also involved in the food business with a catering company and traditional Mexican kitchens known as "fonditas". All this influenced my career choice but I also decided that it was not going to be a profession that I was going to live from but rather a profession that I was going to live with (if it makes any sense).

Aged 16 I had my first formal job as the helper of the chef in a restaurant that was in the shoreline of a town in the Mexican pacific. It as was a very simple place but it allowed me to grow in my fascination about the whole process of creating a dish, from knowing where it came from to finally presenting it to the dinners. I was also able to realize that each kitchen has its own character and essence, like different versions of the same song.

Tell us about your move to Dubai. What took you there and what did you do there?

Aged 19 and driven by the passion that this business generates on me I opened my first restaurant where I learned the lessons that took me to where I am now. A restaurant is not only about the food you serve, it involves also other things that play a very important part on the road to success such as the ambience, having an impeccable service, it is about making sure that you talk the talk and walk the walk, because without all these little details even the most perfect and delicious dish wouldn't make sense. After realizing that a restaurant involves many things I decided to continue with my professional path both with formal studies and in a self-taught way. 


Some years after that, I was in invited to a master class in the university of Yucatan and little did I know that this was going to be my one- way ticket to Dubai as I was offered an opportunity to work there as Executive Chef of one of the most important chain of Mexican restaurants at that time, I was also appointed as he General Manager giving me full control of both the operation and kitchen of 3 restaurants and external catering.  After 3 years I was offered he opportunity of a partnership to open my own Mexican restaurant but as funny as life is this project just headed to a dead end and in a way I now realize that the say of "every time you think you are being rejected you are just being redirected to something better" is actually true! I started offering consultancy services and I took part in the creation of menus for different restaurants in the middle eats such as Salsa and La Taqueria DXB in Dubai or Big Wig in Saudi Arabia. At about the same time Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, introduced the concept of In-Flight chefs for their fist class cabin and I was fortunate enough of taking part in that amazing project which at the moment is one of the most innovative in the airline industry. This was an excellent opportunity because it allowed me to travel the world and expand my horizons by getting to not only know but experience the cuisine from other parts of the world, I focused not only on fine dinning food but also on he street food and the culture that was behind each dish. I also had the opportunity to collaborate in some renowned restaurants like Marco Pierre White (Fairmont hotel, Abu Dhabi) as part of our specialized training as In-Flight Chefs. 


How many international restaurants do you have? What types of  food do they serve

Looking back in time I can say that I am very proud of were I am standing as I have succeed on doing what I love and what I am passionate about and I have learned a lot throughout these years. 

I am co-founder of a Mexican restaurant in Spain called "La hacienda" which just opened this year and it is looking very good as we offer authentic Mexican cuisine, the food that we eat daily and the recipes of "la abuelita" (grandma) but I have given them my personal touch. 

In Bali I have the most challenging and magical project as this is a very new concept as we have gone one step forward and brought those traditional Mexican flavors to life but with the twist of being a plant based restaurant. La Pacha Mama is definitely a unique project that has pushed me to be more creative and open my mind in order to be able to bring to life the essence of the Mexican cuisine but without using any meat or fish and with the difficulty of finding the right staples to substitute this ingredients and staying truth to the flavors.

There are other projects that I am "cooking" and that will keep me busy and I can foresee very exciting times coming. 


What are the main challenges when opening a restaurant in Bali? And what are the benefits?

Bali has many challenges and rewards, from a business perspective there is a lot of red tape and complicated rules and regulations. Nothing is ever crystal clear…

From a staffing perspective the Balinese have an incredible natural hospitality that means they make great waiters.


What brought you to Bali?

Bali was really not at all in my plans, but as everything in life it came unexpectedly and is the materialization of the dream of a group of visionary and crazy friends. The project was specifically created for Ubud but with the idea of making this project grow as far as we can; why Ubud? Because it is a place where people is open to try new things, new flavors, it is a place where even if you are not vegetarian and you thought that you could never give up on meat you decide to give it a try, I see Ubud as a place where everyone's senses are opened to new experiences. 


Pacha Mama is a very innovative concept not only in terms of the cuisine but also in terms of the general ambience, it is not your typical Mexican restaurant but whoever has had the chance to visit Mexico will immediately feel transported there by our flavors, the quality of our products, the friendliness and professionalism of our staff and the concept as a whole. 


I feel extremely lucky of being able to share the magical journey that it has been the creation and day to day of La Pacha Mama with partners that have turned into friends and with colleagues that have turned into my little family in the Island of Gods. 


How long ago did you open La Pacha Mama?

We have only been opened 10 months but we have had an amazing response from our dinners. Our best reward is when they recognize the hard work behind each an every one of our dishes and when we see them leaving the restaurant with "panza llena y corazón contento" (A full stomach makes a happy heart)



The concept of La Pacha Mama is a vegetarian Mexican Restaurant. What made you choose to go all vego?

I took it as a personal challenge. Plant based restaurants are a very new concept and specially if we talk about Mexican food. 


Cooking a steak is at the end of the day something very "mechanical"  from my pint of view. But when you are able to bring to life flavors (based on your childhood memories) of a very complex cuisine like Mexican and you do so without using meat, fish or seafood cooking becomes incredibly interesting and the satisfaction that you get when your dinners appreciate this is very rewarding. 


Any other projects on the pipeline?

As I mentioned before we have other exciting projects coming up and we would love to collaborate again with Bali Interiors. We are honored to be featured in this project where you certainly visit Bali's most beautiful places through images. Stay tuned!

I got the pleasure of watch you cook. You are very calm and collected. How do you stay so chilled on a work environment that is full of alpha males and high stress?

Working in a kitchen is very hard work, the stress is always present and for an outsider it might seem sometimes as an aggressive environment. I believe in perfection and that every little thing we do has to be done in a consistent and correct way. 


Restaurants have always been a very competitive market as there are so many options out there that you have to find what is the added value that you are offering, but for me it is not only about inspiring our guests, it is also about inspiring my co-workers, is being there for them, treating them as my family because family sticks together and take care of each other. I have learned that if you are able to inspire others then you have done a great job because when people feels valued and they love what they do they are always more productive than when they are humiliated or doing something just out of necessity. And unfortunately nowadays with many TV programs people is forgetting that we are here to inspire, to mentor and not to demean others.  


Cooking is an act of love, of creating, of sharing and we should never loose sight of this; as Octavio Paz said "Erotism is the most intense passion and gastronomy is the most extensive" 


What do you love about Bali?

The people, it would be very difficult to express with words the quality of the people that live in this island. They have certainly given me many lessons at a personal level and I am grateful for the opportunity of being here, doing what I love and sharing and creating memories with amazing individuals. This island is pure magic. 

Alejandro's favorite places in Bali

Favorite restaurant - it will sound funny but I would definitely go for Pacha Mama 

Favorite bar - room for dessert 

Favorite weekend gateway - weekend gateways are not very common when you are working in hospitality but, I love the north of Bali and I like to get lost on its endless roads leading to farms, rice paddies, getting mixed with the locals, knowing the "real Bali"

Favorite things to do -  Race dirt bikes 









Bali is filled with creativity and we are so lucky to have such a creative artist right here on the island.

BEASTMAN aka Brad Eastman lives in Bali with his young family.

We catch up with Brad to ask him a few questions about his creative journey from graphic designer to international renowned wholesome artist.

Bali Interiors- Brad Eastman 7
Bali Interior- Brad Eastman

 For how long have you been making art? 

I have been making art since I was a kid and just never stopped really. I have been exhibiting my work since 2005. 


At what point in your life did you think, I can actually make money out of this?

It was a really slow transition for me. My art was always just for fun, something I did for myself not for others. Over many years it just ended up becoming much more than that and I was able to make a living from making my art. 


Your murals and painting style is very unique. How did you develop your style?

My style developed into what it is now over about a 15 year period. I am always trying to evolve my work forward so it's always unique and unseen. That's one of the things I love most about making art, creating images no one has ever seen before. Visualizing some sort of future. 


Bali Interiors- Brad Eastman 4


There is a lot going on your paintings. How long does it take you to develop the final draft? Do you decide on the colours before hand or do you choose as you go?

My works these days are developed through an organic process involving measurement, repetition, geometry, balance and movement. I don't create drafts or sketches much anymore, I tend to just let the works generate themselves through my process. My colour palette has expanded over the years, I have a specific way I relate colours to one another and apply them to different repetitive elements. 


Are there any artist or anyone in particular that you look up to or are inspired by? And Why?

There are so many artists out there doing amazing work at the moment. I try not to be influenced or inspired by artists, I'm more interested in striving for unique imagery and expressing my own visual language. That being said, some of my favourite artists creating work at the moment are Mark Whalen, Low Bros, SatOne, Dalek, Aryz, Felipe Pantone, Richard Colman, Sam Friedman, Phibs, Frank Stella, Revok and Vans The Omega. My taste in art has changed a lot over the last 20 years.


Bali Interiors- Brad Eastman 1
Bali Interiors- Brad Eastman 2
Bali Interior- Brad Eastman 5


Street art is exploding at the moment and it seems that now artists are gaining recognition for their talent. Street art has become a lot more curated and plain better. Why do you think all of this is happening now? 

I think the public has just become more receptive to art in public space. People are sick of advertising in their face, and are often happy to see other images in public that don't have so much of a commercial agenda. I don't like the term street art, it doesn't really translate over to what myself and a lot of other contemporary artists are doing. I create artwork across a wide range of different mediums and projects, so being labeled as a street artist can be strange sometimes. 


I guess for many artists it can be hard to make the jump from street to having their own exhibitions. I know you recently had your own exhibit in America. How did that come about? Was it something you always dreamt of, or was it a good opportunity to make the jump from being a street artist to a wholesome artist. Do you think you would be having another exhibition soon?

For me it's actually the other way around, I have been exhibiting my work for much longer than I have been painting murals. I started making murals of my work later on. I try and have 2 exhibitions a year, it would usually take me 3-6 months to put together a body of artwork to exhibit. I am essentially creating one body of evolving artwork across multiple disciplines - paintings, digital illustration, murals, animation, sculpture, product design and print making. The exhibition in Detroit came about through my relationship with a print company called 1xRun, I have been working with them for a few years now and they invited me to exhibit in their gallery called Inner State. It was a great opportunity and experience. I have no plans as yet for my next exhibition, I want to do a show in my hometown Sydney, it's been years since I have shown there now. 

Bali Interiors- Brad Eastman 6


You recently were involved with the Tropica Festival in Bali. Can you tell me more about it?

I participate in about 2 or 3 of these mural festivals around the world every year, they usually follow the same format of bringing together artists from around the world to one location to all paint large scale murals at the same time. These events can have really positive impacts on local communities and cities. Tropica was organised and funded mostly by the guys at All Caps Store in Bali. My wife Kelly and I got involved early to help curate it and encouraged some of our artist friends in Australia to come over to Canggu to hang out with us and paint some murals. Was good fun! Hopefully Bali can expect another Tropica Festival next year!


What brought you to Bali? What’s the best thing and the worst thing about living on this Island?

We came to Canggu for the relaxed lifestyle and affordable living. The best things are the warm weather, surfing, food, being able to afford to live how we want to live (in comparison to Sydney where we are from). Worst things would be the mosquitoes, roads, traffic and the lack of parks for the kids. 









Marco is an Italian interior decorator with 20 years of experience. He has been coming to Bali for nearly two decades, and for the last 4 years he has been calling Canggu home. We sit down to have a coffee with Marco to learn what it is like to be an interior designer in Bali.

What brought you to a life in Bali?

I was working for a big company producing rattan outdoor furniture and they ask me to be their agent in Indonesia


What do you do in Bali? 

As an interior designer I follow up villa projects, shops and hotels, plus I manage 2 showrooms, one in Jimbaran area and one in Ubud


What do you love most about your job? What part of your job do you dislike?

What I like the most is the unconditional trust, my customers place in my hands and what I don't like is the arrogance that belong to few other super rich clients


What project are you most proud of? 

There are few actually...but mostly villas projects.

I did also Kudeta in Bali, couple of years ago and I've to say, it came out quite nice...but of course, with the limits of owners requests.


What are you currently working on?

At the moment I am working on a beautiful villa in Ubud, another one in Canggu, a full showroom renovation in Jimbaran and few options here and there still to be discussed



What is it really like living in Bali? Is it really a paradise? 

Well.... I think Bali is far away from paradise but of course is an easy place to be ...for a while


You are in amazing shape, what do you do to stay healthy and fit?

I surf every morning and do yoga a couple of times a week. I’ve also been a vegan for 15 years and of course no drinking, no smoking and no party! I don't really believe in the aging process and I think it's all related to how far we project ourselves into the universe!


Whats a day like in the life of Marco?

Wake up at 4.45am. I’m in the water ready for a surf between 5.30 and 6am. I then take my dog to the beach from 7.30 till 8.15, breakfast and straight to work till 5 /6 pm. Finally, home with my wife and early sleep.






Favourite spots according to Marco



What interior store is your go-to place?

There is one in Jl Mertanadi, Housewives on fire, which to me as a concept store looks amazing

Favourite coffee place: Coffee Oven in Berawa

Favourite restaurant: 'JI, the Japanese restaurant which is part of the Tugu Hotel in Canggu. But I have to say even the Indonesian restaurant that belongs to the hotel itself is pretty amazing

Favourite area: Batu Bolong. Full of young people lots of positive energy and still beautiful ...For now!











We visit Charlie Hearn and his architecture studio Inspiral in Kerobokan. Charlie is responsible for the amazing structure of restaurant Merah Putih and the incredible yoga studio The Practice, among others. We have a chat to Charlie on Architecture, creativity and living in Bali.



When did you decide to become an architect?

I think I chose to be an architect as a kid before I even knew what an architect was. I remember hours apon hours of my childhood creating spaces in one form or another, whether they were elaborate camps, treehouses, bedsheet dens, cardboard models or lego creations.


Do you still love it as much as at the beginning of your carrier or even more so now.

My feelings for the profession from the student days, through to high flying city firms to where I am now have swung in all kinds of directions. However, the burning feeling that has remained consistent is the love of creating, exploring ideas and seeing them through. I am so grateful to be in a situation expressing this passion while supporting my lifestyle. 


What inspire you to design and create?

I get a real kick out of discovering, learning or exploring different realms in the design process with the ultimate goal of creating a positive effect on the users overall well being.






Do you have another creative outlet?

I have many from the strands that come from being an architect whether its designing furniture, to creating artworks, developing graphics, animations etc etc. However I think the biggest creative outlet comes from just trying to live our lives! This constantly evolving and changing journey we are on requires us to refresh ideas, learn new techniques and be open to alternate ways of dealing with it. Creativity here is the difference between being human and humanoid.   


In general do the clients come to an idea of what they want or do you develop the whole concept?

Every client and every project is different. The most successful ones are those where the client is clear on some key main issues. What is it they want to build in terms of function and requirements. What they want to achieve. The feelings they wish to evoke and who they want to use the space, as well as being realistic on times and budget. Then we in turn take these all on board and come up with ideas and solutions. Along the way, contributions that add strength to the concept can come from anyone. Sometimes it may be from the client, other times it may come from someone who could be considered a complete lay person. I've had ideas given from a rough and ready worker on site, or from a wacky conversation with friends. I often get wonderful insights from children. 


How does it compare to be an architect in Bali to being an architect overseas? Anything you need to take into account here than you wouldn’t have to think about overseas or vice versa?

It really is a world away. There are so many more factors to consider from the culture, the climate, and situations that arise which outside Indonesia would seem completely inexplicable. Since being here Ive had huge lessons on acceptance, flexibility and diffusing situations. Ive also dramatically improved being able to think on my feet and to read the signals. The knowledge base is also much different so checking, instructions and methods need to be consistently monitored. You can never take ‘yes’ for an answer here.  



What brought you to Bali?

I feel like Bali brought me. The name, the place kept coming to me in conversations, or I’d flick open a random magazine and Bali would appear. This was happening at a time when I was about to go through a new phase of my life, and it fitted my need for a sense of adventure and longing for a more enriching lifestyle.


Does living in Bali play a big factor in your design process? 

I think there is definitely a buzz here like no other that one can tap into and ideas can just flow right into you. Anything can be made here and the possibilities feel like they can really happen if you put your energy into it.   


What do you love about Bali?

Theres so much, but mostly its the people, their heritage, their customs and especially their utterly infectious smiles. 


Any exciting projects on the pipeline?

Yes we have about nine projects running at the moment. These include a spa in town which will shine like an emerald on the outside and resonate on the inside, about to re open in the next 4 months. We have a luxury off grid eco resort in Flores ready to start building in the new year, plus a very creative residential complex and clubhouse in Makassar under construction. Never a dull moment.

THE PRACTICE Yoga studio by Inspiral

MERAH PUTIH by Inspiral




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