Sunday Times

Natural bedrooms

Combining materials and textures from natural stone to wood, linen, bamboo and more, these bedrooms have one trait in common: an atmosphere of complete and total tranquilli­ty

- TEXT: ROBYN ALEXANDER, PRODUCTION: SVEN ALBERDING, TILLE DEL NEGRO, PHOTOGRAPH­S :GREG COX/ BUREAUX

DREAM CATCHER

Exquisite textiles are showcased throughout this home, located in hilly central Mallorca with almond trees, vineyards and a picturesqu­e village nearby, but its owner’s love of the very best linen is nowhere better demonstrat­ed than in this ethereal bedroom. Continuous­ly collecting can be a very useful way to build beautifull­y layered spaces, it seems. “I always buy textiles” says the homeowner. “I don’t always know what I will do with them or where I’ll put them. I just buy what I love.”

TIP: To recreate this look, try either Egyptian cotton or pure linen from the high-end Italian store Society (societylim­onta.com), and only in either pure white or subtle tones of sandy beige.

TROPIC WONDER

This enviable bedroom is situated in a holiday house near Vilanculos, Mozambique, called Casa Comprida — Portuguese for Long House. It’s right on the beach, with a traditiona­l fronded jekka roof, and the homeowner asked the architects to create a way to suspend the very necessary night-time mosquito net from above rather than having a four-poster bed, so they designed a delicate yet robust frame that cantilever­s off the back of the headboard to support it.

TIP: Airy natural linen and netting in white add muchneeded elements of coolness in a tropical setting. Add chunky, rough-hewn furnishing­s and decor accents in natural tones to bring the colours of the landscape indoors.

COUNTRY LIFE

The architect owner of this holiday home in a small village in SA consciousl­y chose authentic details — no skirting boards or tiles were added in its renovation, for example — to retain and enhance its rural simplicity. As soon as the damaged interior plaster was stripped back, the original mud bricks used to build the walls were revealed, so these were simply bag-plastered and painted white to enhance their textured charm.

TIP: Painting the original timber floors and ceilings (as well as the walls) white has transforme­d this bedroom into a light and airy cocoon, perfect for breakfast in bed and summer afternoon naps. It’s furnished, rather than fitted, aesthetic further enhances the rural feel of the space.

HEART OF STONE

The main bedroom in this Mediterran­ean holiday home is all about showcasing the textures of the stone wall uncovered during a recent update. An extra element of originalit­y comes from the two stone hitching posts — originally used for tethering animals and discovered in the courtyard of the property during the renovation — that are set into the wall to hang and display clothing items and accessorie­s.

TIP: Keep the focus on a feature wall by ensuring that everything else in the space is resolutely minimalist: avoid the temptation to add colour or anything beyond the essentials when it comes to decor. Here, a pair of standing lamps from Ikea (ikea.com) provide illuminati­on and two slender floating shelves function as bedside pedestals.

FINE ROMANCE

Pure white walls, white ceilings and poured white Pandomo (pandomo.com.au) micro-cement flooring form an airy backdrop to the unpainted wood and natural textures that enliven this master bedroom. The fireplace provides the assurance of flickering warmth during the winter months, adding yet another dimension to the romantic yet easygoing feel of the space.

TIP: Use decor elements to add playful and dramatic touches as required. Here, the vintage peacock chair and four-poster add personalit­y to the room, while the sheepskins and ceramic pots on the mantelpiec­e provide extra tactility.

WOOD WORKS

In this main bedroom at a home in Cape Town, sliding doors open to a balcony with spectacula­r views, while inside, luxuriousl­y large swathes of wooden panelling conceal plenty of storage space and, beyond that, an en suite bathroom. The tactile wood panelling contrasts beautifull­y with the raw concrete of the staircase that leads up into the space, and is cleverly offset by a minimalist cream linen bedspread.

TIP: Naturals can look and feel very contempora­ry, depending on how they are used: the ultra-wide floorboard­s chosen for this space give it an up-to-the-minute feel, despite the fact that wood is the most traditiona­l of building materials.

INSIDE OUT

This master suite has spectacula­r views of the garden, over the vineyards and to the mountains beyond. Floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors enable those views, while privacy is created with sliding cedar screens. From the garden, the bedroom appears to float, an impression enhanced by the planting where floor meets ground.

TIP: Elements of extreme simplicity — there is no added ceiling, with the off-shutter concrete roof left raw — combine with luxuriousl­y ample curtaining to create a space that feels comfortabl­y sheltered yet also wide open to the natural world outside.

FARM STYLE

A Swedish filmmaker and photograph­er's Mallorca home is the manifestat­ion of his dream of creating a house that was “very welcoming and with a warm, cosy feeling”. The architectu­ral brief was to preserve the dwelling’s original farmhouse features, which has made for rustic yet comfortabl­e spaces. In this bedroom, vintage linen combines with rustic wooden stools to create a traditiona­l yet casual feel.

TIP: Layered textures make a simple space inviting, adding warmth without clutter. The natural river-pebble floor in this bedroom combines evocativel­y with the wooden ceiling beams and windows, classic wooden stools and tactile linen throw on the bed, adding further authentici­ty.

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