On the subject of windows, we had endless deliberations on whether to have windows or doors around the facade of the house. The house was entirely open on three sides. Would we build walls or retain the openness? Would we have a front door or would we simply access the kitchen and downstairs bedroom from outside? Being located at beach/street level, privacy is something we had to bear in mind.
We were quite enamoured with the idea of floor to ceiling aluminium sliding doors. Of course these come in various levels of quality and cost. For this we would need specialist fitters to measure and fit the aluminium doors. These would have to come all the way from Bali.
After days of discussion, we decided to look into the local window/glass suppliers. We found out that the glass thickness available here is the thinnest you could possibly get. After being assured that aluminium doors/windows in white colour were available, we asked to see a sample of the work. We were shown a DVD shop with aluminium doors...the quality is akin to that of the very first aluminium I ever remember back home in the 80s. The type that rattles with large gaps between the doors and can be easily bashed in. It is these instances that remind you that you are in a developing country.
|wooden door frame is installed in bedroom|
So we ended up opting for wooden windows made on site. Teak is widely available in Sumbawa. It was our wood of choice as it is a hard wood that termites struggle to penetrate.
|lots of windows!|
|masking tape in place|
Moreover, as the frame of the house is not perfectly straight, the windows are all different in size. The next decision was whether to stick with the wood finish or paint the windows white. We opted for white paint on all the downstairs fixtures and kept the wooden look on the first floor. This meant that the paint was splattered in tiny dots all over the window panes. Thinner came in handy once again! In order to prevent further spots, I told the guys to use masking tape on the windows while they painted...little did I know that the tape would end up sticking to the glass.
|bedroom doors are fitted in place|
|bedroom doors ready to be painted|
|voila! the final look|
Anther consideration was whether to have curtains or blinds on the windows/ doors. The local curtain tailor has limited materials and probably limited experience of western style curtains. Having set my mind on a nautical look, I was keen on navy blue-and-white striped curtains. So I ventured into Jalan Sulawesi in the commercial heart of crazy Denpasar (Bali). This is where the textile merchants are located. Shop after shop of lovely fabrics but not the navy blue and white I had in mind. Out of nowhere a Balinese woman came to my rescue and escorted me to a few shops but to no avail. Eventually we went to a specialist curtain shop and had a look at a few sample booklets. Just as we were about to leave the shop, the owner managed to find a tiny booklet of stripy fabrics. And there it was...the navy blue and white cotton. Today it hangs proudly in the bedroom.
|nautical look achieved|
And the front door is a beautiful heavy teak door which was inspired by a photo on Pinterest. The result is amazing!
Tip: No matter how challenging it may be to find the right solution, do not let anything phase you.