DIPLO HOME featured on Living ETC Indonesia

Before our Jakarta DiploHome was taken apart, with precious pieces of it sold on Jakarta’s version of Craig’s List or in a Garage Sale at Taman Puri Oasis, I let the lovely Atri of Living ETC Indonesia take pictures of it. It is the perfect way to remember our Jakarta DiploHome at it’s most neat state. Scanned Photos of the Magazine and tips on where I shop after the jump!



Our Jakarta DiploHome was our very first home as a married couple. In the Philippines, we got married prior to being posted and while waiting for our AO (Assignment Order) from the DFA we lived with my in-laws. It just didn’t make sense to commit to a contract period renting when we could be sent to any country in the world with a month’s (or 2) notice. I’ve lived with other people my whole life, I’ve lived with everyone from my aunts to my grandmother. I never really got around to investing in my own room because the feeling of being temporary was always there. So even if Jakarta was a temporary post, I wanted to feel like it was mine. I spent a lot of time and energy making our Jakarta Apartment the home that I always wanted, with very limited resources.

With the little that I’ve translated, I think Atri really got the real story behind our home. Yes it is true, we survived without furniture for 1 year. TD and I agreed, that it’s better to sacrifice without furniture than get an apartment fully furnished with ugly furniture. Again taste is very personal. If I liked old- or antique-style furniture, with grand window treatments like this then might have just gotten a fully furnished place. But I don’t.

I wanted a home that reflected my love for the beach and Filipiniana materials. I wanted  neutral colours with subtle metallic and capiz highlights. As a housewife and blogger, I spend a lot of time at home, and the lack of bright colors relaxes me. I love the luxe resort look, so I thought the title was perfect.

Please click on the images to enlarge & read text


BTS (Behind the Scenes)

CLICK HERE to see the the behind the scenes photos.


This home was painstakingly put together. We only got a bed and appliances from our landlord. The coffee table was all we had and we had to eat on it, while sitting on the floor for 6 months until our friend Imman took pity on us and lent us a really old table and some monoblock chairs. After saving up for our car for an entire year, we finally bought our first dining set. We would save for a few months and buy a few more pieces of furniture each time. I know I shouldn’t say these things, because it doesn’t sound very fabulous, but this is what Diplo life is for a Filipino Diplomat. We have small allowances. In fact our current Ambassador was telling my MIL that she was saddened that many junior diplomats opt not to spend LQA (Living Quarters Allowance) on rent and don’t usually entertain. They save the money for buying a home in the Philippines and for home postings wherein you lose all those allowances that sustained you in the first place.  As someone who didn’t entertain her whole life, I wanted to experience the opposite and this is something that TD is used to doing, being a son of a diplomat himself. It was therefore important for me that our home presentable, neat and reflected our tastes. It is really difficult to do this while trying to save as well. We also have the same challenge here in Berlin.


Bespoke Antique Teak Furniture

One I really took advantage of is Jakarta and invested in is good quality teak wood furniture. I had most of my stuff custom made by Danni. His prices are reasonable compared to others and the quality and customer service is superior. I found some cheaper places like Koncept, but the design is not my taste and the customer service was bad. They would tell me something will be ready and I would have to come back 5 times before I get it. One time the ladder I had made was so bad (no anti-termite spray and the finish was awful) that after bringing it back 3 or 4 times, I ended up painting it myself.

Furniture by DANNI ROESTAM

Mobile: +62 818 863326 | danni.roestam@gmail.com
Check out other furniture Danni made for me here!

Recycled Teak Furniture

I purchased my current dining set (pictured above) from KOI Kemang

Space and Storage Organizers

For organizers I love CayenneACE (esp. Pasaraya, Gandaria & Grand Indonesia) and IKEA. Before they IKEA arrived in Indonesia we would do IKEA trips to KL and SG because basic decor and home-organizing items are expensive in Jakarta or and there is very little variety (though I noticed that it was improving bit by bit in the 4 years we were there). At that time it was cheaper and, dare I say, more practical for us to travel to Singapore and Malaysia to shop in IKEA via budget airline Air Asia. Tip: Watch out for their IDR 10.000 fares!

local craft and decor

Capiz or Mother-of-Pearl items are a favourite, but they are very expensive in Jakarta compared to Manila. So I would get them in Bali at the Bali Shell Museum. They can pack it in boxes ready for check in. However the quality is not as good, so I sold the lamps I bought before moving. I only brought the capiz and mother of pearl items that I purchased from the Philippines. The ones I bought in Indonesia didn’t really survive the shipping journey so well. =(

For handmade stoneware, I watch out for sales in Jenggala Kemang and Jenggala Bali. The selection is complete in the Jenggala show room in Bali. Tip: Jenggala has outlets stores in Sunset Road and in Sanur in Bali.

Shops in Kemang that one can find some unique items are Roemah RoepaChicMart, Koncept (Koncept is okay for ready made decor and for framed batik stamps).

Meet the Makers A regular event that is held in different locations and great oppurtunity to meet Indonesian artisans and crafters that you wouldn’t discover otherwise

A big yearly event for great deals is the INACRAFT Fair. It’s very macet to get to, but the fair is so humongous that you cannot finish it all in one day. Be wary… because some of the items they sell there are overruns so the quality isn’t always the best. I’ve gotten items that had bugs in them. Eeep.

Modern Decor

Visit Vinotti Living & KARE regularly to check on their promos and sales. Usually stock of items is limited in Jakarta and there are frequent sales. If you like something, you better buy it because you don’t know if you will find it again


When everything else failed, I would buy materials and painting supplies from ACE hardware and Paperclips Gandaria and DIY!

My Interior Decorating Style

Our home changed and evolved a lot in four years in Jakarta. Originally we preferred dark teak until we realized it was a waste of the beautiful wood grain of teak and how much lower maintenance it was to go with natural, wax-finished teak wood. Also I purged and sold things that I didn’t use anymore. I only kept whatever we were currently using or items that I found beautiful. If not, they went up for sale.

I learned many things about home decorating and designing teakwood furniture in Jakarta. I also learned how to be really resourceful and to DIY. I am thankful for the experience and this Living ETC Indonesia magazine feature is the best souvenir of our very first diplo-post, Jakarta.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the Living ETC magazine spread. I also hope that expats in Jakarta  found my tips on where to buy items helpful!

Thank you again to Atri for asking to feature our DiploHome.


Related reads:

Christmas decorations in our Jakarta DiploHome and where I bought them

Lovely comments

  1. says

    It was so fun taking pictures of your immaculate apartment :) wish we had more time to talk though!

    Can’t wait to see how your Berlin home turns out :)

    • says

      Hi Mitz, thanks so much for the sweet words. I am so happy you think so! This was our first home together with TD so I am really proud of how it turned out despite my limited budget haha.

        • says

          Hi Mitz, I absolutely love buying capiz in the Philippines because of the superior quality and the amazing price. The tall capiz lamp I couldn’t bring with me to Berlin because I was afraid that it wouldn’t withstand the stress of the shipment voyage. However if you buy capiz lamps in SM Kultura usually the coating is thick and the lamps are very sturdy. Kultura Makati is my go-to store for all things mother of pearl, capiz and Filipiniana. Enjoy!

          For other accessories, I usually go to:
          – the IKEA distributor near Bautista St. in Makati (cheap lamps and other accessories)
          – Landmark Makati (great throw pillows and decor)
          – SM Home Makati (affordable and nice sofas, carpets, etc.)
          – SM Home Depot basement Megamall (my favourite clever and chic UMBRA home accessories)
          Sleepcare (I watch out for their sales for luxe beddings, bathroom accessories, decor, etc. Super cheap ng high thread count bedding sets when it’s on sale. Oh and they also have really great deals for Christmas decor and gift items for kids)
          – Crossings in Shangri-la Mall is also a hidden gem for home items. I got this capiz drop lamp for something like 6,000 and found it in another store for 11,000. Isn’t that crazy?
          – True Value Rockwell is where I get clever household accessories and organisers
          – I also always check out the different MakeRoom branches (I love the Serendra branch) for home organisers
          – Dimensione in Serendra is also a source of many of my home/entertaining accessories and decor

          Hmmmmmm… is there any other thing in particular you are looking for?


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