Fabulous Shela residence, Lamu, Kenya

I was looking through Architectural digest and i came across this residence that caught my eye, it was renovated and designed by E. Claudio Modola. It sits high atop a slope looking out onto the water and has seen its share of renovations.

A pair of gardens offer cool, shady respite from the heat and village bustle; the smaller garden offers a small waterfall and central space surrounded by a palm jungle. Once in the garden, the outside world falls away. Near the unusually shaped, semi triangular swimming pool is the pergola, shaded by a ceiling of mangrove reeds and lush foliage.

Enhancing its privacy and views, the pool below was fitted into a portion of the lot that’s 30 feet above the activity of the adjacent beach.

Up a flight of stairs is the “social center,” consisting of two cocoonlike seating areas—elevated banquettes festooned with dozens of brightly colored pillows with a long wooden dining table, crafted locally. The aim was to “avoid radically interfering with the existing structure while using balconies to heighten the feel of the traditional corner village house.”

The corner master bedroom opens on two sides to capture breezes coming off the channel. The bed was made by local Swahili artisans, as were most of the house’s pieces.

The poolside pergola is more of a Mediterranean than an East African feature.

The guest room with its elegant veils above the bed is equally as beautiful.

If the house were to be summed up in a single architectural symbol, surely it would be one of the several barazas, the cozy, covered outdoor nooks that takes full advantage of ocean winds.

In a baraza, or conversation area, Indian fabrics add bold infusions of color. The door surround is from a 16th-century palace.

Another of the house’s barazas. The crescent moons,are commonly found on the front or back of the dhows, put there for good luck.

The rooftop baraza is a great retreat at daybreak.