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Wali Nikiti: The Bare Essentials

Renowned BVI chef Davide Pugliese has thrived on a successful culinary career that has amounted to an array of flavourful artistry. Off the serving plate, he has also embarked on creative ventures. At his Scrub Island retreat, Wali Nikiti, work continues, where various influences combine to bring organic elements from the outside in.

In Aborigine, the home’s name literally translates to a bare hut. From the exterior, the luxury hut bears distance resemblance to its tribal origination, but upon closer inspection, its intricacies are far less primitive. Modern yet simplistic design allows the home to benefit from a clean and neat interior. From within, the oval masterpiece opens in dramatic form to a heavenly view of Scrub Island’s sophisticated northern hillsides, and the sea’s magnificent abyss. It’s no wonder Davide worked closely with BVI architect Viviana Jenik, and Arawak’s Roy Keegan to ensure that the home did not attempt to compete with these miraculous views.

Each curve and contour caries an aesthetic purpose, and each fixture and piece of furniture adds a new dimension to the villa’s character. The kitchen acts as the centrepoint of the villa, elevated slightly from the living and dining area where sweeping views hold guests captive. Above the spacious kitchen area, hanging kitchen lights stand out with large chicken baskets as lightshades—a unique conversation piece for Davide to discuss while perhaps whipping up some Italian-infused delicacies. While admiring the blissful views and enjoying the open-air tropical breezes and aromas from the master chef, guests might also inquire about the unique canoe that acts as a divide from the sitting area and the open exterior. Both the canoe and chicken baskets are a product of communication between the Arawak buyer and the homeowner. Each unique in their own way, they come to Wali Nikiti from thousands of miles away in Bali. Roy travels to Bali frequently on buying trips, where he visits manufacturers and scours the bazaars and tiny shops from where these hidden treasures find a perfect home in the BVI.

Roy explained that this unique relationship he carries with each client extends past watery boarders and travels thousands of miles with him to these far off destinations. For Davide, who aspired to have a widely varied yet mostly Balinese- and African-influenced interior design, pieces from Roy’s most recent trip to Bali proved priceless—with stories that will live on. “It’s an ongoing project,” Davide explained of his now three-year transformation of his prided villa. “And I’m constantly emailing Roy back and forth with ideas—he’s out there with these ideas and following through with new ones.”

Within the bare yet sophisticated organic-themed hut, Roy has also dug up complimentary treasures like coconut-carved light fixtures to line the master bedroom, and teak chairs to compliment the long dinner table where Davide displays his culinary masterpieces. As this project unfolds, Roy said he “loves the hunt”—a passion that takes him across the globe to discover items matched with sentimental value for each of his clients.

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