Naomi Campbell, a supermodel and new mother with an extraordinary 35-year career, has broken barriers, stormed catwalks, and graced innumerable magazine covers. Despite her demanding schedule, she is motivated by her work, and it still gives her pleasure.
Even icons, though, require rest. Campbell goes to her villa in Malindi, a peaceful coastal community in Kenya, when it’s time to fully unplug. She has used her stunning home, which boasts a view of the Indian Ocean, as her main retreat from the hectic pace of her adopted New York City and her native London for more than 20 years. The perfect example of indoor-outdoor living.
The expansive space, which is decorated with mellow earth tones and natural light, is a tribute to informal opulence. According to her, “It’s a very calming place.” Really, you should avoid phone conversations. You’re not looking for a television, are you? You only desire to relax by reading. The sound of insects and the complete absence of sound are calming.
For a short morning swim, go to the saltwater pool that stretches outside from the middle of her living room. Family-style dinners are ideal at the model’s entertaining tables beneath the twin voile-curtained pergolas.
The makuti thatched roof and cathedral ceilings made of sun-dried coconut palm leaves particularly inspire Campbell. She asserts that makuti roofs, which are hand-stitched using an intricate layering technique, have been a common building material in East Africa for thousands of years.
We’ve had this one for at least 12 years, and it’s still in good shape, she boasts.The author said, “Things can degrade very quickly here due to the air, wind, and sea salt, yet it has held up so well and is practically a work of art in and of itself.”
Huge and dazzling latika lanterns from Morocco and Egypt are suspended from the ceiling. Campbell appreciates shopping for furniture throughout Africa, but she has had the most success in Marrakech and Cairo.
Campbell doesn’t have to go far to find top-notch woodwork. “A lot of the wood furniture that we have in the house is made in Malindi,” she claims. In actuality, the house’s backyard had a workshop.