Home Sweet Home, Indonesia, Life in Asia

My Indonesian Home Makeover Part 4: More Updates, More Hurdles

Let the updates continue! We are slowly making progress on this new home, and the results are evident! After a few minor changes, we began some of the larger changes we wanted to make. Starting with the master bathroom.

We were ready for a sink in our bathroom! In the rare case that Indonesian houses have a sink, they often just hang from the wall. But after discovering our wall is to weak to support anything, we knew we had to choose the right sink carefully. So we researched I scoured Pinterest. We shopped in countless building supply stores in town. We not only wanted a good quality sink, but also one for a good price. Finally, we decided on a nice square porcelain sink, chose the faucet and found a great little table to set it on. The next step was installing it all.

We hired a different tukang with some plumbing experience to get the job done [also because the previous one was too busy!]. Over the course of two days, he had a hole drilled through the table and the sink nicely installed in the bathroom. We still don’t have a mirror or a door, but again, one step at a time.

The other major update we wanted to make to the bathroom was installing a hot water heater and new shower head. My tall husband was excited about the new shower head, and I was excited for warmer water. But as with most things, installing the new shower head & hot water heater proved to be much more challenging than expected. The first problem was getting the electricity to the hot water heater. The bathroom really wasn’t wired for it, so it took some creative thinking between my husband, the tukang pipa [plumber] and  [electrician] to finally arrive a solution. The same wiring that is used for the light switch & light bulb would also power the hot water heater. So as long as I don’t want a hot shower in the dark, the problem was solved!


Other new bathroom touches included another IKEA order, resulting in a bath mat to match the shower curtain and a sink accessory set with toothbrush holder and soap dispenser. It’s starting to look like a real modern bathroom now!

We also hung some functional and fashionable shelves in the kitchen. Because our countertops are so low [like at my husband’s knees!], the cabinets below them are basically unusable. So we decided to hang some floating shelves above the countertops with towel hooks to help with organization. We are now able to hang most of our pots and pans and utensils from the hooks, and store cups, mugs & bowls along the shelf. Along with a few decorative items! Again, I found this specific look on Pinterest and was thrilled at how functional it made our kitchen become. I also added some traditional Balinese baskets to help organize kitchen items that couldn’t be hung, and it really started coming together!

Kitchen Shelves

Our next big change was the air conditioning units. The owners had left one in the master bedroom that was old, noisy and we just didn’t feel was cold enough for us. So we moved it into the guest room, which is a much smaller room used less frequently. We then purchased a new unit for our room and for baby’s room. Because we had no idea how to install these, we called for a tukang AC [air conditioning technician] to help us out. He met us at the appliance store and helped us choose the right units and get the best price. Because rarely is anything marked with prices. Even large items like air conditioning units or refrigerators! You ask the shop employees and hope & pray they aren’t doubling the price because you are a foreigner and don’t know any better. The AC units were delivered and installed in one day’s time, and it was a great investment in the comfort of our home.

Finally we hoped to hang our street number by our gate so our friends could find our house. One might think this would be simple. But our landlord originally said they didn’t know the address and told us just to pick any number! There isn’t often a pattern or flow to the house numbers on any given street so the solution was not obvious. It was only when we noticed an address number for the water meter that we discovered our actual house number. So we bought little gold numbers to screw into the outer wall. This was our home. We are making our mark. For better or worse, we are doing this. And there is just so much more fun to come.

House Numbers

To read earlier posts in this series about how we found our home and some of the quirky parts of this new place, click here.

6 thoughts on “My Indonesian Home Makeover Part 4: More Updates, More Hurdles”

  1. I am so loving this blog!!! I’ve been relaying all the adventures to Ryan. Thanks for taking the time to share! Y’all are doing an awesome job and gaining so many skills and “fun” stories and memories! We are praying for you all as you build this home and these awesome relationships!
    Love you!!!!


  2. Hi Joy…..it’s Holly Angel (your Dad’s friend from working at Harris McBurney together)! I just came across your blog by receiving your email you send out periodically. I tried joining but am having trouble
    I’m enjoying your blog and following along with you and your family. God is good and I love seeing the work he is doing in Indonesia.

    All the best,


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