What I Bought: Balinese Wares

I always love to purchase mementos when traveling.  Not your shot glass souvenirs, but true keepsakes that I can incorporate into my home and life.   Our trip to Bali was no exception—and in fact, I had specific items in mind.

Balinese WaresFirst and foremost, I was hoping to purchase a batik sarong.  Although batik artwork originated in Java, Indonesia, Bali has also adopted the form and I’ve always found it beautiful.  My vision for this sarong (and its an idea completely stolen from my mother) is to use it as a tablecloth in a distinctive celebratory tablescape.  Perhaps it will even inspire me to have more dinner parties!

Second, is the piece of ceramic pottery by Gaya Ceramics.  This Ubud, Bali based-studio is so popular that they’ve created pieces for some of the top hotels in the region and even pieces for Zara Home.  Additionally, they have their own line of pieces, which is what I was eager to get my hands on.  I love this small, lidded dish, not only for its color, but for the simplicity of the hand carved geometric pattern.

From the moment we arrived Lukus wanted some sort of woven basket piece, which is another popular Bali craft.  This was a piece we really loved both for its unique shape and the fact that it was lidded (can you tell I don’t want my junk on display?!).   It has already found its place in our home as where Lukus drops his change at the end of the day.

The item I saved for last was not something planned.  Actually, we discovered these during our visit to the restaurant in the rice paddies.  These are bamboo straws, meant to replace disposable ones.  I love the idea of these, because not only are they cool to look at as compared to your regular polypropylene variety, but, because they are sustainable, they are also a better environmental option.  (I actually think you can order them online all over the place!)

Tell me, what kind of items do you look to purchase when on vacation?  Or are photos all you need?  Also, do you approve of my Balinese wares?



  1. We pack extremely light when we go (meaning a backpack and 1 carry on) so I don’t often purchase big things when I’m on vacation. Usually pics are all we need but I do love buying a piece of clothing or something small for the kitchen.

  2. Beautiful selections. What I purchase depends upon my mood! I may just pick up a t shirt, we once strapped a chair to the roof of the car (!), and I’m forever attracted to thrift shops and used book stores. One year I found the cutest wood burning stove at a thrift shop, we almost bought it but couldn’t figure out how to get it home short of renting a trailer :-)

  3. very nice pics and post
    thanks for your lovely comment darling

  4. Such great additions to your homeware, Alexis! I think I would have purchased every single piece you have. I’m with you, I like to bring back from my trips items I can incorporate in our home, useful things I can enjoy on a day-to-day basis or on special occasions.

  5. Your Balinese wares look awesome and I love the idea to use a sarong as a tablecloth for special occasions! I’d love to see pics of that restaurant in the rice paddies!

  6. And from seeing previous styles of your home, these pieces will incorporate nicely into your home. Great picks. When you lay out that sarong on your table definitely share a picture =)

  7. This is the first time I’m hearing of bamboo straws! I have to find them. I also love batik prints and woven crafts. I’m very much for hiding away and minimizing clutter.

  8. Looks so beautiful!

  9. I love the colors of your sarong! This is why I love traveling.. the unique souvenirs!

  10. I definitely approve of your balinese wares. Great purchases. You should take something home from your trips. Another reader of mine did the same exact thing you did. She doesn’t use them for their purposes but purely decor. I need to take a trip to bring something back! HAHAHAHA

  11. Reginekarpel says:

    I love shirts or a piece that evokes a memory. A photo can do that too!

  12. I love the idea of using the sarong as a tablecloth. Love the pictures.

  13. You picked up some awesome finds. That sarong is gorgeous. I love the detail and patter. Something i would have wanted to collect on that trip as well. I’m with you, though, no shot glasses. I tend to look for unique jewelry. On our first trip to Charleston I picked up some hand woven hoop earrings made by the Gulu (ab old old culture here) women in the market.

  14. Such gorgeous keepsakes, your right, true momentos!
    xo Annie
    New England Romance

  15. Great buys Alexis! I use my sarong as a ottoman cover in the living room and love it!
    I love the straws and they’re reusable! I need to get back to Bali – it has been a few years and though I didn’t love it last time, I enjoyed Ubud and would pick up a few things again.

    Chic ‘n Cheap Living

  16. One of the things I love about travelling is finding little treasures to bring home. When we were in Bali we were impressed with the quality of the woven basketware too and we bought some coasters so similar to your gorgeous lidded box.

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