Home Sweet Home #sol18

Since moving abroad in 2010, I’ve lived in 7 different homes- four apartments in Shanghai, an apartment in Albania, a studio apartment in Bangkok, and now a house in Jakarta. Each one has special memories for me, but I didn’t love all of them. My first apartment in Shanghai had its issues and wasn’t my favorite, and my studio apartment in Bangkok was so tiny. However, all of the others had things I loved about them. Despite this, they all pale in comparison to my new place in Jakarta. For the first time since moving abroad, I finally feel like I’ve built a home here.

Every other place I’ve lived in has come fully furnished, which is nice in that I didn’t have to buy furniture, but it meant I had to fit my style with the style of the apartment, which wasn’t always easy. I mean, you can put lipstick on a pig, but at the end of the day, it’s still a pig, am I right? When I moved into my house in Jakarta, I was provided with minimal furniture, which was daunting (and costly) at first, but the opportunity to make it my own has meant that it truly reflects me and my style.

I moved to Jakarta in mid-July, and while I slowly made a few purchases as I found pieces I loved, navigating the shopping choices in a new country was tricky and, at times, frustrating. I was so blessed when my Aunt Alva and Uncle David came to visit in September, with the main purpose to help me with decorating my home. My aunt has a really great eye for it, and they were a huge help! Don’t worry, it wasn’t all work; we had lots of fun along the way, too. The space they helped me create is inviting, bright, colorful, and warm- just the vibe I was going for!

Come on in, I’ll take you on a virtual tour.

First off, I love the grounds of my complex. When you enter, the noise, traffic, and general dirtiness of Jakarta melt away. In fact, the lush environment is more reminiscent of Bali than Jakarta, and it brings a calming and peaceful feeling. I simply love sitting by the pond to do some work, and I love swimming in the pool (when it’s not too cold…brrr!).


Here’s the outside of my house. To the left of all the greenery is a staircase up to the entrance. There’s also an entrance on the ground floor.

My favorite room in my house has to be the living room/dining room/kitchen. No contest. I absolutely love the floor to ceiling windows that bring the outside in. Surrounded by greenery makes me happy, and the 100 year old tree out my window is the best! As a traveler, I love to collect pieces of art from around the world. I love that my home is a reflection of my travels and my personality- bright and colorful!

Having a proper kitchen also makes it much easier to cook and entertain, which brings me joy. All of the teak wood furniture and the hardwood floors brings a warmth and is very Indonesian. I had fun finding just the right pieces to work in the space. Anyone who knows me knows I love real plants, which is why I have loads in here. They just bring so much life to the space!


My house is on two levels. The top level houses the living room, master bedroom and ensuite bathroom, one guest room, and one guest bathroom. The lower level has two additional guest rooms, another guest bathroom, maid’s quarters (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen), and a few outdoor spaces. I have only really decorated the top floor, as that’s the floor I live on. I’ll get to the bottom floor in time, but for now, it’s pretty basic.

I am so happy with the way the guest room turned out! My vision of a Moroccan-themed room came together very nicely. Having made a trip to Morocco in 2015, I used the art and wedding blanket I bought there, had a few of my photos I took put on canvases, and used lots of blues and whites to create a tranquil space for my guests. So far, everyone who’s stayed has loved it!

The built-in bookcases in the hallway houses many photos and trinkets I’ve collected on my travels. I also have lots of room to add more!

Now onto my room. First off, my room is unnecessarily huge. At first, I was unsure how to fill the space. Aunt Alva had some really great ideas, and it doesn’t feel as cavernous now. My favorite thing has to be the windows (again) that let in lots of natural light and the beautiful greenery outside. I love listening to and watching the rain out those windows. I also really love the bathroom with it’s beautiful bathtub, large shower, and ample storage space for all my stuff. My room has a Myanmar theme, as I’ve used art and photos from my two trips there. My favorite photo I’ve ever taken hangs above my bed. It’s of a fisherman on Inle Lake at sunset. I absolutely love Myanmar, so having my room remind me of it makes me happy!

Thanks for coming on the tour with me! I love to host guests, so if you ever find yourself in Jakarta let me know. Hotel Jennifer is always open! πŸ™‚

29 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home #sol18

  1. livinglife816287820

    Wow your home is amazing, I’ve only ever seen places like your home in photos or magazines. You are very privileged. I live in north east India, close to the border with Myanmar. My kids don’t have running water or an inside toilet…. so where we live (built by my husband) is very modest, but does have inside toilet, shower and running water….!

  2. Going Global: An International Adventure Series...

    Thanks for the tour! You have me a tour before you left bangkok- right after you rented it!! Wow! Nice job. It’s great reading your stuff again. I’m able to be right with you.

  3. Ms Victor Reads

    Your place is fabulous! We are almost neighbors- I live in Kuala Lumpur and move to Phnom Penh this summer. I always envy people who decorate well- my places tend to look like nobody lives there because I do not really decorate. I have visions of decorating a bit in my next apartment and you have inspired me! I know what you mean about the positives and negatives of furnished housing.

  4. Nelda

    Your home is amazing, Jennifer. It’s looks so peaceful and relaxing too. What a great job you’ve done.

  5. elsie

    Now that’s a gorgeous space! I’m guessing you will be staying awhile because this is too beautiful to leave. I love to watch House Hunters International and have never seen one in Jakarta that is as great as yours. If I ever make it there, you will be notified. πŸ™‚

  6. edifiedlistener

    As someone who welcomes new teachers to a new city and school in Central Europe, I’m thrilled that you’ve found a wonderful place to call home in Jakarta. Several of my colleagues taught at one time in SE Asia and described their varied adventures with housing over the years. Your house is stunning and thank you for the extended tour. You may encourage a few more folks to try out the international teaching life.

  7. Kathy

    You have done a wonderful job making this place your home. You are in every nook and cranny.

    I love when you numbered you years past SOLs with 3 of 31. That way in my busy life, I immediately knew I had missed one.

    Love the “blue” guest room. Reminds me, just a little bit, of you blue and daisy theme. Just a calming and relaxing!

  8. Alice Nine

    Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. … and very peaceful. I enjoyed the tour! Now when I read your slices, I will think of the beauty that surrounds you as you write.

  9. Pingback: 37 Things That Make Me Happy | my heart is happiest when i travel. read. write. connect.

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