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LIVING 41


When it came to the fi nishes, fl ow and


requirements of the new space, Tatiana’s brief was challenging and her decisions often contrary to the advice of her architects. “I love natural materials and the way they change over time, so instead of plastic or aluminium, I insisted on natural wood for the door and window frames.” And as she wanted a concrete fi nish for the exterior walls, to ground the house with its natural surroundings, she tracked down a special “blue” rock not commonly used in Mauritius. “It’s actually found inside much larger rocks in the sugar cane fi elds, which were literally cut on site by the workmen.” Sadly, the necessary techniques for concrete


fi nishes weren’t well known in Mauritius at the time and Tatiana had to compromise on her desire for more concrete fi nishes indoors. Not one to give up easily, she persevered with her idea of white concrete fl oors throughout, even when they had to be redone three months later. “It was quite a battle – so much so that I eventually gave in and laid tiles in the kitchen,” she says.


NATURAL COLOURS AND STYLES Another requirement of Tatiana’s was that all trees


remained untouched during the construction period. “There are very few plants that can grow here, so their survival in such an aggressive environment – they literally grew on a bed of rock – made them precious to me.” The decoration of the house, marrying local craftsmanship with imported designs, is just as


6 7


considered. Tatiana worked with local interior decorator Amelie Montocchio, who designed all the fi xed pieces of furniture in the house. “She immediately understood my love of natural colours and understated style,” she recalls. “When we fi rst met, we’d both prepared a book of elements and ideas that we liked – and they were virtually identical!” Throughout the house, Tatiana’s remained true


to her desire for understated simplicity by blending childhood memories (old family photographs) and her love of the natural world (stones, wood and shells picked up on her travels) with a sharp style (Philippe Starck chairs and Driade lights) that complements, rather than detracts from the beauty lying beyond L’ilot’s doorstep. “As the house is available for rentals, I wanted


to create a down-to-earth, yet luxurious space for others to enjoy. I also wanted it to be a place I can return to and feel the magic of my childhood, together with a deep sense of contentment that comes from living in harmony with the elements,” she says. Visit: www.lilot.biz/en


5. With natural sand banks and rock pools that stretch far out along the reef, fi shermen, snorkellers and swimmers are commonly seen exploring this


tropical paradise. 6. Tatiana Schaub. 7. Tatiana’s kept to a natural palette in all four bedrooms, ensuring that they also all have sea-facing verandahs. This double en-suite bedroom at the front of the house looks out onto the front verandah and the coral reef beyond.


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