Traveling opens many doors, and windows for that matter, into our wonderful world of interior design! Have you ever taken a close look around you when you travel to a different part of the world? If you had, you will have noticed that the culture, the people and the surrounding environment can influence design in many different ways. Whether it be in the fabrics, furniture, accessories, tile, etc. it all comes together to tell a story for that particular region or destination hot spot. This past October, my fiancé and I went on a stunning South African Safari—by far one of my favorite trips to date! I could write an entire book on the fascinating culture, the Big 5 and the Safari itself; but for now, I’ll do my best to stay on track sharing the design with you!
Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge / Game Reserve
From the moment we stepped off the taxi plane, we were truly awestruck and it only grew more beautiful from there. A mere fifteen minute ride from the airstrip and we found ourselves at Jamala Madikwe. Consumed with what can only be described as a wonderful ‘foreign sensation’ we were greeted by a dramatic entrance. A series of illuminated decor flanked the walkway and created a restful symmetry to the Royal Safari Lodge. The Lodge’s inspiring decor successfully combines Colonial style with an easy African elegance sure to please the most discriminating guests.
The main lodge is split into 3 areas (Dining Room, Lounge, and Study) and surrounded by an operable wall to the back veranda. The neutral dining room is brought to life with a rich red accent color interspersed in the chairs, rugs, and accessories. A diverse grouping of decorative pillows break-up the carefully assimilated neutral tones by creating depth, contrast, and interest. The multi-colored rug touches each of the pieces, unifying the furniture arrangement.
The study embodies a masculine and sophisticated design. The heavy furniture pieces are complimented by just the right feminine touch of delicate crystal accessories and feathers.
The variety of wood finishes is perfectly balanced with the stone on the stunning fireplace fascia. The panoramic view from the outdoor seating area was absolutely fantastic! The lodge was built behind a watering hole—so while sipping a refreshment at high tea, you’re able to admire the native animals while they quench their thirst as well! The seating arrangements were always situated for the most optimal views. A beautiful scattering of patterned pillows brought the otherwise plain sofas to life by adding color and contrast.
Let's just say the description "Room with a View," was taken to a whole new level. Each of the five villas on the reserve have an infinity pool and an outdoor shower overlooking the Bush. The angles of each villa provide the perfect amount of privacy and entertainment. While enjoying a shower or a dip in your pool, you will see wild game interact and approach the watering hole only a few meters from where you sit!
Inside The Villa
I don’t think I’ve ever been more thankful for, or appreciative of, concrete flooring in my life. Along with tiles and laminates, concrete floors are one of the best ways to keep your home cool! —and oh boy! Did that cool concrete feel wonderful after a long hot day on the reserve! Each space had beautiful, jewel-tone, hand woven rugs that complimented the neutral color tones of the flooring and the furniture pieces.
A 7-foot tall privacy partition wall separated an intimate dining space from the bedroom. The crisp white linens contrasted beautifully against the wood finish on the canopy bed.
Again, we see a beautiful red color appear as an accent in the tiebacks, lamp shades, and rugs. The bathroom used a combination of warm finishes and natural stone to reflect the incoming natural light.
We were amazed by all of the incredible animals around us. We even had a group of elephants join us for breakfast!
Every detail of design in this lodge, contributes to the desired atmosphere it deemed to create. It was undeniably accomplished! Job well done, Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge / Game Reserve.
What part of the world will influence your design?