Scrub Island, VG
Perched in a very private spot on Big Scrub Island in the British Virgin Islands, Wali Nikiti is a truly inspired and inspirational Villa designed and owned by Davide and Cele Pugliese, long time residents of the BVI and authors of the success stories of Capriccio di Mare and the elegant Brandywine Bay Restaurant in Tortola. At Wali Nikiti indoor and outdoor living are one and the same. "It's the house I wanted to build for a long time," says Italian-born Davide of his Caribbean getaway. "There is nothing that separates us from the outdoors." Davide Pugliese and his Australian wife, Cele, inspired by their sailing adventures around the world, relied on innovative materials, state-of-the-art building technologies, and artistic flourish to create their one-of-a-kind, open-air house. "We enjoy being surrounded by the elements," Davide says. "We like being in the sun, the wind, and the sea when we're sailing, and now also in our home." Cocooned in foliage from Broom Palms and Turpentine trees, Wali Nikiti is a tranquil haven set in two acres of land spilling down to the Atlantic Ocean. The two-bedroom main house was completed in 2010, survived Hurricane Irma . Permission has been granted for five, very private Greenheart wood cottages to be built around the main house. All five cottages are designed to have outdoor showers using the natural boulders and vegetation to afford privacy. Leaf-canopied steps form the approach to the main entrance porch where two hardwood, Yourola tree trunks feature as columns. A 5' x 8' door made of panels of Purple Heart and Kabukali pivots open on a fulcrum to reveal the upper living level of Wali Nikiti. Constructed of concrete and hardwood throughout, an impressive 50-foot circumference hardwood beam and synthetic-thatch roof caps the two-bedroom main house. The roof withstood everything Hurricane's Irma and Maria could throw at it and came out in tact! Inf act damage to the home really was minimal and what little there was has largely been repaired. The house, with pigment colored concrete floors, is designed in different levels to form an organic and appealing view from within: Each level delineates the areas of the house. The heart of Wali Nikiti is the custom designed kitchen specifically built to demonstrate, instruct, and invite guest participation in the art of cooking. The culinary hub features a center island with a professional stove, a wood burning oven and a country fireplace for creating wood grilled dishes. A shallow 5' Carrara marble sink runs along the back wall. The freshly prepared dishes can be served in the covered dining area or in the al fresco eating area, just across from the 20' x 10' pool and wooden deck area. Descending a few steps down from the kitchen area you come in to the living area, which faces out to the north. The aspect is as far as you can see to the Atlantic Ocean, where during the wintertime you may spot breaching whales. The large built-in concrete Couch, covered in comfortable pillows and flanked by Moroccan tea tables creates an area of relaxation and tranquility. Stepping down from the living area, you enter the cozy media room with low slung, built-in seating. Here guests have access to a large, wall-mounted flat screen HDTV and an extensive library of DVDs, CDs, books and games. To the right of the living area is the dining area, enclosed by a low wall so as not to block the view towards the sea. Adjoining is the swimming pool, 3 feet higher than the dining room floor, where a cascade of water flows through a channel into a trough in the dining room, creating a soothing sound of running water. A large dining table that can accommodate 12 people dominates the dining area. The entire house is designed in natural earth tones with hardwood featuring as the dominant building material. Ethnic objets d'art feature as the decorative element. On the lower sleeping level, intricately carved wooden shutters allow a constant natural breeze to circulate in the two, fan-cooled double guest rooms. Each bedroom has a private outside shower and garden area. The rooms can be accessed from the upper level from two stairways. Unusual detailing throughout Wali Nikiti combines to create a unique living space: From a counter top embedded with segments of fiber-optic lit colored glass to the suspended tree limbs sporting vine-held lights to the 14' solid slab of ironwood dining table to the earth-tone pigmented concrete floors on staggered levels, to the gentle waterfall that cascades into the dining area, Wali Nikiti is anything but predictable and ordinary.