Over the past twenty years, Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge has been lauded as a luxury safari lodge ahead of its time. The award-winning sanctuary recently unveiled interior changes to its existing suites. The vision from the Dakota Designs team was to seamlessly blend the architectural masterpiece into the surrounding environment by the use of skilfully selected materials and textures.
Texture, contrast, meticulous attention to detail, the element of surprise, unusual objet d’art and intelligent interior decorating bring the new suites to life in a luxurious cocoon mimicking nature’s design. Luxurious and practical while upholding the essence of Earth Lodge and its unobtrusive architecture, the new-look suites are welcoming, spacious and immaculate.
Approaching the suite, overarching yellow and brown pantones of the surrounding landscape are interrupted by a splash of green foliage in an asymmetrically shaped pot at the front door. Natural light streams into the suite from sliding doors in a new enlarged opening that provides views of the bush and beyond. The original skylights were retained so that trees, leaves and stars would continue to be discernible through the glazing, while dimmers on general lighting spots are now adjustable to match the required mood.
Underfoot is a new quartz carpet for practical as well as aesthetic enhancement, creating a continuous space and flow between the suite and the patio.
At the entrance a cluster of cloud-like handblown glass pebbles dangle as a chandelier from the ceiling. Beneath them stands a custom-made vase with kudu horn arrangement on a ‘starlight’ tabletop of reflective black glass. This focal table is flanked on one side by a slate-clad drinks cabinet and on the other, by a custom writing table with stitched leather stationery and a hand-carved Iroko timber ornamental hornbill head. Framed original artworks of indigenous fauna and flora adorn the walls.
Layers of comfort and texture are included in the lounge area where the structured sofa lines have been softened by plump scatter cushions.
A round leather-and-fabric occasional chair balances the position of the couch, tying the fabrics together and allowing the circular architecture of the room to be echoed in a different way. The seating area is grounded by a Nguni hide with metallic flecks on the quartz floor, adding another layer of texture and finish.
An original South African artwork of an abstract landscape is fixed to the wall with stitched leather straps and black bolts.
Found on the opposite wall is a timber server, glass pedestal lamp and beetle paintings that continue to play on the theme of layers and neutral colours.
Framed by voile mosquito netting held in place with leather wrapped steel brackets, the focal point above the bed’s segmented leather headboard is a burst of metallic birds taking flight.
A floating wardrobe near the bathroom is made up of drawers with removable velvet pads, bottle-green leather drawer fronts and leather tan handles. Timber tops and shelves are complimented by black steel and distressed copper clothes rails. A round statement mirror suspended with a leather strap and timber stool with woven seat detail bring a quirky yet current African feel to the space.
Relax and Rejuvenate
The bathroom makes extensive use of marble: a marble block in which the bath has been sunk, and the backing wall to the vanity area – a marble slab with warm white and brown tones tying the colours of the space together and contrasting with the rough earth-like texture of the walls, which blend straw, stone and pigment into the cement plaster throughout the lodge.
The bathroom, like the lounge area, leads onto the patio through the introduction of new larger doors.
The new patio features an intriguing ensemble of furniture. Stacking doors flank the area and create a space to be enjoyed throughout the day and into the evening. It’s the perfect vantage point to view animal activities or just to take in the natural splendour.