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Use natural materials and neutral colours in your design - like this lavish villa

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WHAT: Ani Villa Dikwella, a hotel designed by international architecture and interior design office AW2.

WHERE: South coast of Sri Lanka.

WHY WE LOVE IT: The layout of the entire hotel, organised in clusters of separate pavilions linked together by ramps, creates an indoor-outdoor feel. Inside, it is cosy and intimate; outside, the hotel melds with the tropical landscape.

Although lavish - and situated on a 4.5 hectare property - the interiors itself used simple materials and natural colours. However, they do come with strong textures! This includes the rough cut stones for the outdoor gardens and flamed granite tiles in the communal spaces. Each pavilion has a large overhanging roof, made of iron wood shingles.

(Want these natural materials in your home? Check out how you can recreate the look here.)

Most of the furniture at Ani Villa was designed for the project, including the ‘Lanka chair’ found in the bedrooms as well as lounge areas. 

(Design idea: Add a brick wall to a refined setting!)

Ani Villa did not only use natural materials, the space was designed to encourage natural breezes as well. Beautiful and functional!

"The main structures, which house the living areas, are built as double height timber frame structures clad in louvered shutters. These shutters allow natural ventilation, avoiding the need for air conditioning and creating a rich play on light at night," says the AW2 team. 

Photography by Mikael Benard.