Nestled in one of the most incredible ecosystems in the world lies Arijiju – a private luxury residence reminiscent of an ancient Ethiopian monastery, designed by LIFE INTERIORS+ARCHITECTURE+CREATIVE DIRECTION.
Located in the Laikipia County in Kenya; situated to the northeast of the Great Rift Valley, the high plains of Laikipia is recognised as one of Kenya’s best safari regions. With its elevation and incredible views Arijiju makes the most of this spectacular landscape while doing its utmost to preserve it. Guest can also rest assured that the estate lies within a rhino protection area.
Working in conjunction with renowned UK architectural firm Michaelis Boyd and Plewman Architects, the LIFE team has created something truly spectacular: a lavish, yet understated private villa that embraces the wide open spaces and the rawness of Africa while utilizing the best luxury materials, fabrics and furniture the world has to offer.
Mirroring the landscape the interiors are oversized with large glass walls that reach to the ceiling, letting in a lot of light and creating the sense that each room is a part of the veld around it. The neutral colour palette supports this effect, allowing the views to act as the main decoration.
“Arijiju really is a celebration of ‘handmade’; we went and sourced the best hand woven rugs in Morocco and the most exquisite chandeliers in India. I custom designed the bedroom cupboards and had them especially made in India for this project. There are hand crafted items in every room”, explains Maira Koutsoudakis, CEO of LIFE INTERIORS+ARCHITECTURE+CREATIVE DIRECTION.
Maira describes Arijiju as the ultimate luxury villa, but one with an authentic, humble soul, and it is spot on; the linens are the finest Italy has to offer and much of the furniture hails from Christian Liaigre, Pierre Cronje and Bronze Age with the end result being one of understated elegance and refinement.
Arijiju is an oasis where guests can truly relax, allowing themselves to be nurtured by its serenity in an exquisitely beautiful setting.
Catering to guests’ every need the estate also has a beautifully designed, minimalist spa and cinema lounge and plenty of comfortable, luxurious outdoor lounging areas.
The Laikipia climate is one of hot, sunny days that are perfect for lying next to the exquisite pool (lined entirely with Bisazza tiles) while the evenings are chilly enough to enjoy beside a roaring fire. “Arijiju offers the best of both worlds – balmy summer days and cool evenings in which to snuggle next to a mesmerizing fire”, says Maira.
Taking the weather into account the LIFE team has provided ample outdoor seating and dining areas as well as working with the Arijiju staff to create a menu that makes the most of the local produce available. With her keen eye for detail and her passion for native products Maira asked renowned South African designers Malcolm Kluk and Christiaan Gabriël Du Toit from KLûK CGDT to design the staff’s uniforms – ensuring that the Arijiju team look as stunning as the villa they work in.
“This has been an incredible project to be involved in and the end result has surpassed our highest expectations”, enthuses Maira, “guests visiting Arijiju will enjoy the best Africa has to offer in one of the most luxurious estates in operation today”.