Maggie’s Bedroom

Maggie's Bedroom

Margaret Isabella Balfour Stevenson, known as Aunt Maggie usually got her way with RLS, her only child. Her first visit to Vailima was so frustrating and unsatisfying, she left abruptly for New Zealand and Australia. She insisted that Louis proceed immediately to the second phase of construction and left funds to pay for the addition. Aunt Maggie’s challenge was rewarded with a large bedroom/sitting room suite on the upstairs east end of the home. The room is bright and airy and was never without freshRead More

Grand Staircase

foyer

The grand staircase from which family members made their entrances into the Great Hall includes the restored original balustrades, banisters and supports. Visitors today run their hands down the banister of the restored staircase touching the same redwood that Louis’ hand gripped over 100 years ago. The Staircase was the only direct access to the upstairs bedrooms, so it is conceivable that it was a high traffic area for the family and staff. The original bronze-coloured “Buddha” idols which are currently housed at the MontereyRead More

The Great Hall

The Great Hall

No private residence in Samoa then or today has anything to equal the size and splendour of the redwood-lined Great Hall. It measures approximately 60 feet in length and 40 feet in width. It was the focal point of the social functions of the home and equally served the daily activities of the family. The high ceilings, beautiful walls and wainscot give the room a chocolaty warm feeling of richness that only natural wood can convey. The Stevensons were very deliberate about the ambience ofRead More

The Exterior

The Exterior

The exterior of Vailima was constructed in three distinct phases. The centre section of the existing quasi-symmetrical building was the first to be built. After the Stevensons had acquired the property through the efforts of their friend Harry Moors, They consulted an architect in Sydney to design a home for them in Samoa. The estimate to build the home of their dreams was US$20,000, a very large sum of money in those days. RLS and his family decided to build something much smaller and withRead More

The Verandas and Grounds

The Verandas and Grounds

The Vailima home has over 3,000 sq. ft. of covered verandas in front and back. The walkways are 12 ft. wide and give the feeling of spaciousness. The synergy of the view from every corner and the expanse of the hardwood walkways recreate the feeling that RLS captured in his original design of Vailima. The upper transition veranda is home for the original jute/hemp hammock, donated to the RLS Foundation by the Silverado Museum. The hammock is prominently visible in the famous photo of theRead More