Turning Visions into Reality

“Most people have got an eye for how to put together a room,” says Lesley Campbell, “but there is a huge difference between being an interior designer and being an interior decorator. Interior design requires a very different skill set, it involves looking at the electrical plans, the lighting plans and the floor plans, maximising space and natural light, and in many cases working with the architect.”

Lesley and David Campbell are the founder-owners of ‘Cempaka’ – which is a concept showroom, a remarkable retail outlet and interior design service that customize ideas, brings plans to life and turns visions into reality.

The store showcases a stunning collection of innovative furniture created from materials such as woven aluminium, solid tamarind, teak, rattan and leather, together with soft furnishings, fabrics, and accessories in shell, lacquer ware and wood. Modern artwork complements timeless tableware, while funky lamps flank authentic antiques, demonstrating the graceful union between new and old. Luxurious silk and ikat cushions, tasselled throws, hand-embroidered linens, hand-blown and hand-spun glassware, decorative boxes, and many other stylish trimmings are elegantly arranged in vignettes that reflect tropical lifestyle, from resting and relaxing, to indoor and alfresco eating and entertaining. Many of the products are the work of some of Bali’s most exciting, contemporary artisans. This includes Chen, a Javanese-born stainless steel sculptor, who is the creative energy behind ‘Chenergy’, as well as Ann and Ron Seivertson of ‘Horizon Glassworks’, a hand-blown coloured glass studio and glass art gallery near Sayan, Ubud.

“About six months after the store opened,” explains Lesley, “we started getting people asking us if we could do some design work, rather than just supplying furniture and accessories, so we hired a specialized team of highly qualified Indonesian interior designers.” The team’s role is to conceptualize and realise, managing every step of the design process for private homes, high end villas, hotels, resorts and residential developments.

Lesley elaborates, “We have just finished the suites at ‘Melia Bali’, and we are going to be doing a full room renovation for them this year. Other recently completed projects include ‘Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel’, as well as a room renovation for a 400-room hotel in Jakarta, and some fabulous huge luxury villas including ‘The Arsana Estate’ in Tabanan Regency and ‘Puri Bawana’ at Canggu. Right now we are working on the interiors of ‘Batubelig Villas’ and another villa complex on the Bukit, among others, and we have a number of private clients in Singapore. The furnishings we use are all our own products, the majority of which we now make because we have a manufacturing capability as well as furniture designers based in Java. We also have an office in Bali and an office in Jakarta”.

Cempaka has supplied some of the UK’s finest shops and restaurants, including Fortnum & Mason, Thomas Goode, Harrods, and Selfridges. Cempaka’s branded products include white linens, bath accessories, table linens, candles and incense. Personal items include silver jewellery. Purchases are custom boxed and can be beautifully gift-wrapped; bulky items can be packaged for carriage; furniture and complete room set-ups can be shipped worldwide.


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