Alejandra Cisneros

Alejandra Cisneros

There’s just one word to sum up Alejandra’s mix of skills: phenomenal!

When we decided to re-do our entire house, naturally we wanted her to do the design. We kept in contact with her--- even though she had moved to Bali. She is just so creative. And now, she has made a whole new shift in her life, interiors/architecture/ mixed with I want to say an ability to read a client…

So it really wasn’t a huge surprise, when Alejandra said in her inimitable, full-of-life style, “You’ve got to come to Bali! You wouldn’t believe this place and its incredible craftsmanship”.

I’m a Libra and characteristically jump into things, feet first! My husband, George, is a Capricorn, which seems to make him a bit stubborn! So, I booked the tickets and made all the arrangements while Alejandra sent photos and lists to us of everything that might be interesting, including online links to artisans’ sites. Most of all, we agreed to go with an open mind.

We have little children who enjoy traveling a lot. They were little troopers on the 18 hour stretch to Singapore. We booked ourselves on a tiny island off the coast for the first 5 days of our trip to chill out before actually going to Bali. We were there for one month, during which time Alejandra had arranged a car and driver for us; two, full-time babysitters, and a caretaker who would walk across a beautiful rice paddy each morning, balancing a giant basket filled with fruit for breakfast, on her head. My son absolutely loved her. He would see her coming across the field, run outside, pluck a flower and present it to her. We love Southeast Asia. It is especially hard not to dissolve into the atmosphere and experience of Bali.

Mornings were reserved for something fun for all of us. We took the kids elephant riding and river rafting. We visited the Bird Park, the Monkey Forest or just went to the beach. We played hard and we worked hard. In the afternoons, we would just “scour” artisans’ showrooms, particularly those that Alejandra had preselected for our particular project before our arrival.

We’d take photos, gather all our information, (stop for our ginger martinis!) and meet at Alejandra’s house to talk about what we had seen on a given day. Her staff entered this information into the computer. She wouldn’t let us buy anything for ten days so we would make sure to keep the entire project flowing…We just did research and compiled our findings.

I envisioned our house as “Frank Lloyd Wright meets Bali”; modern with an island flair. I was convinced once we saw the range of possibilities that I was going to do the entire house with no problems, whatsoever. When we actually began shopping, it was easy because we had seen what we wanted in our preliminary scouting trips.

We used Alejandra’s immense expertise, trusting her to lead us to the best of the craftsman for more intricate designs, like our dining room chairs. Alejandra would do a quick sketch, then a showroom artist the artisans would present their drawing and a price. The original design for our dining room chairs is now also selling in a showroom in Bali!

We had the same experience with our lighting fixtures. We would start with a simple drawing, making it “longer” or “more delicate”, as we went along. This was so much fun, because Alejandra has some knowledge of the language and was able to communicate our needs, perfectly.

This would never happen in the states! The whole environment, the way you shop, select materials and products, and the savings (of about sixty-percent!) are all so incredible.

Our favorite purchases have to be our 15,000-pound stone tub and a leaf-shaped shade chaise for the master bedroom. We purchased everything for our entire house---furniture, lamps, sisal-type rugs, art and decorative pieces and actual wood and stone flooring, doors, windows and cabinetry, interior and exterior furniture, lighting, paintings, and bathroom fixtures.
I guess a job like ours can be done from the states. It’s possible. But I am now a true believer that you just have to go to Bali and let Alejandra work her magic. I recommend her to everyone I know! She has a way of being able to get inside each person and see their vision and then translate into something that brings it all together.

~ Janet Hoover

 

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