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LIVING 37


Her dream of commuting between the two


became a reality 17 years ago, when the opportunity arose to buy the house from her cousin. “My overriding desire was to create a beach house with a fi rm connection to its location and to the elements. I loved the simplicity of L’ilot when I was a child, so I wasn’t after a sophisticated look as much as a mix of natural and rough materials of good quality that would age well in a subtropical climate prone to cyclones!” Quite a feat, considering that the previous house had been reconstructed at least three or four times due to cyclone damage. But Tatiana and her local architect, Edouard


Koenig and Paris-based architect Gabriel Guenoun, tackled that head on. “We raised the foundations of the house to a high-tide level that surpassed previous cyclones by bringing in 35 tons of sand. Yes, we’re probably tempting fate,” she laughs, “but it was really more of a precautionary measure – the only real risk is the bridge, as it’s been washed away countless times.”


BUILT CYCLONE-STRONG All that remains of the old house now is a solid


four-wall base in which you’ll fi nd the living room. “We demolished everything else, but decided to keep this, as it was the heart of the original home,” explains Tatiana, “and because the 65-year-old walls made of thick rock were still in good condition.” All the more remarkable when you consider that subsequent add-ons, such as a verandah and a second storey made of wood, were all destroyed. “One year we even found a fridge on top of a tree!”


3 4


“MY OVERRIDING DESIRE WAS TO CREATE A BEACH HOUSE WITH A FIRM CONNECTION TO ITS LOCATION AND TO THE ELEMENTS.”


1. A view to remember – the deck at the front of the house extends just about the length of the islet and is a great place for social gatherings and lazy afternoon snoozes. 2. Pendant lights and outdoor furniture were brought in from


France, while everything else was designed by local interior decorator Amelie Montocchio and made locally. 3. Tatiana used wood for decking, walls and in furniture because of its ability to age well. 4. Tatiana installed bamboo blinds throughout to shield the interior from sunlight and on-shore winds at different times of day. “I didn’t want the house to feel shut out against the elements and the blinds are great, as they create privacy, shade and shelter,” she says.


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