1. Home
  2. Luxury Homes

South African Villa with Cave Like Interiors and Observatory

Now, this luxury villa designed by designed by award-winning South African architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens of INK Design Lab is our idea of Tiki chic! Located in South Africa’s northernmost province of Limpopo, this dreamy design features the impossible combination of whimsical, yet earthy; primitive and modern; sumptuous yet simple, all at once. There’s a certain rawness to it, from its thatched roof, stacked stone chimneys, raw wood details and rustic cave-inspired interiors, to its natural views. And though it appears primitive, the house is actually state of the art, and even boasts a fully automated research-grade observatory to take in the night sky. What a show!

south african villa with cave like interiors and observatory 1 thumb 630x393 28847 South African Villa with Cave Like Interiors and Observatory

south african villa with cave like interiors and observatory 2 thumb 630x393 28849 South African Villa with Cave Like Interiors and Observatory

The exotic retreat can accommodate up to 26 guests, and offers 12,000 acres of wilderness to explore. Whether you choose to experience it up close and personal, of from the window of your luxury suite is up to you. Here’s a tour of this unusual home design – something you definitely have to see to believe.


From a distance, this fanciful residence looks like some natural playground, with a collection of buildings, towering chimneys and a dome-topped tower, interspersed with terraces and an amazing outdoor pool overlooking the landscape of trees, and nothing else as far as the eye can see…


The architecture itself is intriguing, with its natural palette of materials that includes straw roofs, stacked stone chimneys, and the general irregular, asymmetrical composition of the buildings. The pool spills outward from the structure, like a clear blue lake.


And the views are absolutely magical!


Under the deep overhangs of the pavilion style roofs, interiors are open to the view. The roof is supported by knotty, twisted tree trunks, left in their natural state.


The dark, warm ambiance reminds us of a cave, illuminated only by the natural light spilling in from outside, and the flickering flame of the fireplace feature deep within. Even furnishings are done in a natural palette, featuring leathers, woods and metals derived from the land.


Even the curving walls have a cave-like quality.


The architecture and finished of the home are complemented by a perfectly warm, rich and unrefined collection of furnishings, complete with “bones” on display. How absolutely primitive!


The open interior layout allows for unobstructed views of all the home’s wonderful, whimsical elements, as well as the panoramic scenery. Living room, dining area, patio, and upper level loft, all within one open space surrounding the hearth. But simplicity is a guise, this luxury home is all about R&R&R – rest, relaxation and recreation – complete with a full team to tend to your every whim, including butlers and private chef.


The kitchen features wood at its best – from the rustic style table at the center, to the rich cabinets and carved wood door details.


Through the intricately carved double doors, the bedroom is a dreamy suite indeed, complete without a romantic canopy bed. Complementing the gauzy white curtain surrounding the bed, curtains encircling the room provide privacy when needed and wanted.


This earthy bathroom gives any modern “luxury” design a run for its money. At the center of this circular room, a freestanding soaker tub is inspired by nature’s most perfect form – the egg. Overhead, rustic pendants lights are staggered, and staggering for their sweet simple style, hanging from the open underside of the roof. Beyond the floor-to-ceiling glass doors, a wood terrace overlooks the landscape.


Another bath – we love the raw design of the wood vanity, sandwiched between the ridged ceiling and dark wood floor.


Another bedroom and bath…


And how’s this towering library for a little inspiration?


INK Design Lab
via HomeDSGN



  • Wendy Fort

    Stunning. Absolutely breathtaking.