Being away from home can be an escape, an exploration of new finds, be it making new acquaintances, a bargain place to shop, the trial and error of finding a good place to have a close to home cooked meal, the anonymity, the introspection that comes with the journey. For me, the excitement soon wears off after a couple of hours – 24 hours to be precise. This is when I realise that I miss my mundane routine and my city isn’t all that bad. Be it may – I always look forward to travelling, as it adds to my experiences and brings me closer to a new-found philosophy of creating memories rather than buying/hoarding things.
Despite having been in Victoria Falls many times, (ok fine – 5 times: do not judge) this place is without a doubt a beloved destination of mine, as well as many alike. The majestic Falls for me is a mammoth reminder of the glorious existence of my Creator: God, and his handiwork. Not to mention the untamed bush and the animals that have since adopted to the hustle and bustle created by humans. Perfect environment for the much-needed retreat.
Whilst the town has a lodge, backpackers’ hostel, hotel, motel and a camp on almost every turn – I have found myself at grandiose and simple abodes over the period of my “few” visits. The first, under a school trip with the lodgings being a primary school boarding house when I was 8, and the most recent, being an Executive Suite courtesy of an amazing team at Love For Africa.
In all this (with the exception of the grade 3 trip), I always aim to gather ideas for future and existing projects. Enter Ilala Lodge; a family run business nestled in the City Centre but in eyeshot of some bush expanse, and a view of the grand smoke emanating from the Mosi-Oa-Tunya. Ilala Lodge boasts of 56 rooms, and ongoing extension plans. Upon entering the suite, one is welcomed into a simple yet exquisite living area – which leads me to my first tip.
Tip#1 – Keep it neutral
Whilst one might argue that they prefer colour and neutral is not their style, it is always advisable for residential homes to keep the biggest investment neutral – whether owned or rented, i.e. your curtaining and couch/sofas. You can always look to go wild and bring in colour with your décor pieces, rugs, art and throws. This ensures that when bored with the existing look, it will not cost you an arm and a leg to switch things up.
Tip#2 – Find a wow piece
The coffee table in the room is the main attraction and winner! Upon close inspection, I realised that it is a root of a tree with a not so permanently attached glass top. This is where you can use the resources within your beloved surroundings to imitate this amazing attraction. I accidentally bumped into a similar “tree root” during a tour in the nearby neighbourhood and managed to get the locals to treat (*research and ensure close inspection) and shape it accordingly..(wish me luck). I would imagine that the type of tree played a big role, coupled by specialised curating went into the one in this suite, hence your budget and appreciation of the finer things will determine your wow piece. Splurge or save. Your choice really.
Tip#3 – Knock knock!
Double sliding doors… a distinctive and elegant option for a renovation or a new construction. Whilst this specific one leads to the bedroom, this is an option for increasing your space, especially when the doors lead to an outside area. Imagine being able to blend the interior of your home with the outdoors! You have the option of this being in glass, allowing you the liberty of soaking in your surroundings whilst remaining in the comfort of your room as opposed to the solid option featured at Ilala. I would utilise this option as an entry into an en suite area. Look at various options featured on my Houzz moodboard .
Tip#4 – Of Headboards n’ all
The bedroom contains an overpowering King-size 4-poster bed frame and a bed dressed in white linen. Whilst the grandness of the bed frame is a key feature, I could not help but notice the pop of colour seeping through in the form of a customized headboard feature. Whilst white linen is certainly a must, break this up with a patterned and colour wise design through your headboard. You can always switch this fabric up along with some of the pillow covers when needing a new look.
I could go on, but stop I must. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Ilala Lodge, primarily because of the amazing interiors and thoughtful design elements that went into their Executive Suite. Efforts to get the name of the designer/s were not so fruitful as I encountered different theories from staff members. Credit goes to the “anonymous” team for a job well done. You too can create this environment within your home – it takes careful planning, research, apps, trial and error, but you will get there. If you are declaring that you do not possess the creativity to embark on such creative escapades, hire an interior stylist. 🙂
Lets chat further in my next blog post featuring the Victoria Falls River Lodge.
*this is not a sponsored post