Along the coast of Lagos, between Badagry Creek and the Atlantic Ocean, sits a serene and private waterfront community known as Ilashe Beach. The island, which extends between Nigeria and Benin Republic, offers access to one of the most pristine and luxurious beaches in all of Lagos, and its exclusivity—you can only get there via boat—makes it one of the state’s best hidden gems. 

Since 2012, architect Tosin Oshinowo—the mastermind behind the Maryland Mall and lifestyle furniture line Ilé-Ilà—and her Lagos-based firm CmDesign Atelier (CmD+A) have been transforming the island with their series of beach houses crafted for private clients. In this very niche market, Oshinowo has managed to forge ongoing relationships with her clients that have resulted in a successful referral network that keeps her in demand at the beach.