Naomi Campbell leaves the crowded city to enjoy peace in a villa in Kenya

Supermodel and new mother Naomi Campbell has broken through barriers, stormed catwalks, and graced countless magazine covers over the course of her amazing 35-year career. She keeps a full schedule, but she is motivated by her work, and she enjoys it.


Even icons, though, require rest. Campbell goes to her villa in Malindi, a peaceful coastal community in Kenya, when it’s time to fully unplug. She has used her stunning home, which boasts a view of the Indian Ocean, as her main retreat from the hectic pace of her adopted New York City and her native London for more than 20 years. The perfect example of indoor-outdoor living.

The spacious room pays homage to informal opulence and is decorated with warm earth tones and natural light. She said, “It’s a very calming place.” Really, you ought to refrain from having phone conversations. Are you sure you’re not looking for a TV? You merely want to read for relaxation. Both the silence and the sound of crickets are soothing.

For a short morning swim, go to the saltwater pool that stretches outside from the middle of her living room. Family-style dinners are ideal at the model’s entertaining tables beneath the twin voile-curtained pergolas.

The makuti thatched roof and the enormous cathedral ceilings made of sun-dried coconut palm leaves particularly moved Campbell. She asserts that makuti roofs, which are hand-stitched employing a complex layering technique, have been a common building material in East Africa for thousands of years.

We’ve had this one for at least 12 years, and it’s still in good shape, she boasts.The author said, “Things can degrade very quickly here due to the air, wind, and sea salt, yet it has held up so well and is practically a work of art in and of itself.”

The large, brilliant latika lamps from Morocco and Egypt hang from the rafters. Campbell enjoys shopping for furniture all across Africa, but she has had the most success in Marrakech and Cairo.

Campbell doesn’t have to go far to find top-notch woodwork. “A lot of the wood furniture that we have in the house is made in Malindi,” she claims. In actuality, the house’s backyard had a workshop.