How to create a tropical resort vibe at home

Here’s an effective way to banish post-holiday blues – transform your home into something worthy of a vacation. Bali is a favourite travel destination for many, and channelling the island’s rich culture and diversity would make your personal sanctuary even more of a retreat.

Bali-based designer Elora Hardy, founder and creative director of Ibuku, was tasked to bring the personality of the island into Balinese restaurant Tri in Repulse Bay. Looking at how the space instantly transports and relaxes you, we asked her for a few tips and tricks on how to make your home perfect for a staycation.


“Natural materials always help make a space feel warm,” says Elora, “so the easiest way is to introduce elements such as teak, bamboo and stone.” She has a special relationship with bamboo, which is immediately evident when you enter Tri and are instantly met with the various takes on bamboo on display. Upon inspecting a bamboo table topped with glass (so people can see the inner part of the material), she says: “it’s very hard to design something better than what exists naturally. Nature is really the best designer.”


She stresses that the key to creating a laid-back, tropical vibe is respecting “living material” and also embracing its shape. One example is the sculptural form of the boulders she transformed into tables at Tri, as well as the cocoon-like dining nooks overlooking the bay. At home, obtaining raw material and maintaining its integrity will help create a more authentic natural ambience.


Another effective way is to replicate natural elements indoors such as a water feature. “The way the water catches the light and how it dapples through the space is just beautiful,” Elora says about the water feature at Tri. “It’s about creating moments of serenity.”


Lead image: Palm House by Rio Photos