Welcome to Indonesia
Photo Credit Susanna Ollmann, Ollmann Creative
Do you believe in love at first sight? That might have been how I felt when I met Michael Nalder. He’s suave, debonaire, devastatingly handsome and not only has the most gorgeous antique shop under the sun… he cooks too. Discovering that he had been an Antiques Diva® blog reader for years was almost as much of a delight as it was when Michael invited me for dinner chez him with my colleague Marilyn, who leads our Bali tours, and my friend Derrick Ricketts, VP of Dallas Market Center.
Visiting the home of an antiques dealer is always a treat… most dealers hold their favorite pieces back for themselves. But visiting Michael’s home was visiting his personal oasis. Enclosed behind an unassuming building the house surrounds an inner courtyard open to the elements and the pool inside. An artful mix of pieces from around South East Asia and the world, Michael’s home is reminiscent of his store, Lemari.
Lemari means cupboard in Bahasa (the Indonesian language) – and opening the doors to Michael’s shop is like opening a cabinet of curiosity, only chic-er, more stylish, and perfect for purchasing some of the most swoon-worthy designs on the planet.
Lemari offers the traveler an opportunity to take a piece of Bali home, selling an eclectic array of antique furniture, carvings, artifacts and objets d’art hand selected from the islands of the Indonesian archipelago as well as a variety of Dutch colonial pieces and other inventory collected from the world at large.
Michael Nalder explains, “Traditional Balinese architecture blends influences from other cultures to create something unique and interesting.” From European pieces chosen for their grandeur to cheap and cheerful folk art, the principle for Nalder’s collection remains constant; everything at Lemari must exude that certain uniqueness and beauty that Bali is known for.
Originally from New Zealand, Nalder explains, “Living in Bali is so different from waking up in Wellington, I can hardly imagine living anywhere else than Bali.” Hmmm…. though rumor has it, this bad boy has been cheating on Bali with Portugal as of late… Which simply makes me wonder. Will Portugal be getting a new shop called Lemari 2? And better yet, what’s the likelihood I can convince Michael to be our Antiques Diva Guide in Portugal if a move really is on the horizon?
Until next time,
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva
A Visit to Bambu Indah in Bali with John Hardy
Photo credits Alessandro Luppi
With its gorgeous beaches, luxury resorts, rice paddies and ancient temples Indonesia has far more to offer than just a destination as a vacation hot spot. Bali is one of the world’s best resources for global sourcing. Their antiques scene and the abundance of offerings is reminiscent of the Paris Flea Market – but Indonesia offers more than just antiques. Whether you’re seeking a source for manufacturing your furniture line, wood and stone carvers, weavers, painters or gold and silversmiths Bali alone has the world’s greatest repository of high-level artisans in the world and at The Antiques Diva® & Co we give you access to the best of them.
Furniture – whether new or old – ranges from rustic and folk art to refined or cutting edge and contemporary in design. Textiles reign with batiks and ikats in heartbreakingly beautiful patterns. Fashion, jewelry and art de la table give island chic a new audience making the tribal mainstream.
On a recent visit to Bali I had lunch at John Hardy’s Bandu Indah and took a private tour of the property with its owner.
Bali has its fair share of expats – one of the most well-known is John Hardy. Canadian-born jewelry designer John Hardy moved to Bali 40 years ago and launched his Asian-inspired designs using traditional handmade jewelry techniques. Having recently sold his eponymously named jewelry line, Hardy now devotes his life to educating others about sustainable living with his Green School. A great place to begin one’s education – while experiencing luxury Balinese style – is at Bambu Indah, Hardy’s radically distinctive eco-lifestyle boutique hotel in Ubud where guests commune with nature in their open format huts.
Hardy – a huge proponent of using architectural salvage in his designs – transplanted a series of 19th C teak Javanese bridal homes to Bali and then restored and decorated them offering his guests a once in a lifetime experience.
“Our charming Javanese teak wood houses are historic traditional homes built by native Indonesians over 100 years ago. Each served as bridal houses to a Javanese nobleman whose duty it was to provide a home for his new bride. These antique homes were hand picked by John Hardy before being carefully dismantled, relocated to Bambu Indah, lovingly restored and made available to you.”
The interior design ranges from rustic to chic, featuring décor from Hardy’s personal travels such as Moroccan rugs, Burmese lacquerware and Ethiopian woodwork.
If you’re visiting Bali, I strongly recommend you include Bambu Indah on your itinerary. My lunch with John Hardy was definitely a highlight of my last trip to Bali!
Indonesia Antiques Tours
After assessing your antique, design or fashion sourcing needs, The Antiques Diva & Co will custom plan your private Indonesia antiques tours and buying trip. We can combine your Indonesia antiques tour with other Asian country itineraries to create antiques buying and design inspiration tours to meet our all your sourcing needs. Our local expert Indonesia Diva Guide negotiates on your behalf as we have relationships with vendors, getting you the best deals possible. We also liaise you with a preferred shipper to get your purchases home.
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva