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An Eco-Villa on Ibiza Proves That Sustainability and Style Are A Winning Combination

Interior designer Tara Bernerd and architect Jordi Carreño teamed up on this dream project on the Spanish island’s west coast

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By House & Garden South Africa | February 3, 2022 | Interiors

This state-of-the-art villa offers breathtaking views and reflects a collective commitment to sustainability via indigenous landscaping. International property entrepreneur Anton Bilton entrusted designer Tara Bernerd with his vision to design a contemporary villa that epitomises relaxed luxury and the ultimate Ibizan getaway. Tara says she was delighted to work on one of the first villas on the estate. ‘Anton outlined he would work with a team of world-class architects and that each of the villas would be unique and architecturally outstanding.’ That ethos resonated with Tara, and because she loves Ibiza, ‘it was something of a dream project, so I readily accepted’. She shares her studio generally adheres to a specific set of design principles. ‘We do, however, draw upon the local culture, history, climate and atmosphere of a place to create a design DNA that completely embraces the character and identity of its setting.’ This home is no exception.

Photography: Ana Lui

The remote island offers an escape from the fast-paced modern lifestyle typical of the Spanish mainland, an element on which the architects and designers capitalised. ‘By choosing beautifully crafted furniture pieces and objets d’art, we captured the essence of slow-living while creating a striking, elegant home.’

The designers responded to architect Jordi Carreño’s vision for the building, ‘which on one side emulates local stone buildings typical of the island, while the garden side is a dramatic, contemporary statement, which looks as if it is hovering slightly above the ground. We sought to meld these two very distinct characteristics throughout the interior design,’ says Tara.

Photography: Ana Lui

Expanding on the approach to sustainable living, she says, ‘sustainability and the environment, along with wellness, are key aspects we consider when designing a property. Where possible, and when budgets allow, we implement the latest solutions.’ She shares the entire Sabina project has attained an excellent BREEAM qualification for sustainability. ‘This signifies the highest level of commitment to sustainability in ten categories, including water preservation, use of local materials, energy efficiency, health and welfare, waste and resource management, efficient transportation, sustainable land use, pollution reduction and use of innovation in technology. Building on this, we locally sourced materials, furniture and fabrics throughout the project, which proved particularly far-sighted when finishing the project during global lockdowns.’

Photography: Ana Lui

With its own identity, the 850-square-metre villa is within surrounding gardens. Key elements that bring the space to life are carefully considered layouts, layered finishes, furniture and objets d’art. ‘The home is a contemporary take on understated luxury, designed to sit in perfect harmony within its garden setting. The facade presented upon arrival is a deceptively simple, almost traditional series of boxes, clad in beautiful, warm local stone, which contain the bedrooms. In dramatic contrast, a striking, elegant, white framed box featuring floor-to-ceiling windows is on the garden side. It appears to float slightly above the ground.’ By playing with various textures throughout the house, contrasting rough with smooth and adding locally sourced artisanal pieces, Tara says they combined these two seemingly disparate elements as a harmonious whole.

Photography: Ana Lui

Ibiza has long been home to artists and artisans alike, reflected in their choice of furniture, fabrics and art. ‘For the kitchen, we selected an industrial, black metal frame for the smoked glass Crittall-style doors and handrails surrounding the lightwell, which contrasts beautifully with the skillfully crafted dining chairs and table. In the bathrooms, encaustic tiles add an artisanal element to the space and the overall feeling of relaxed luxury.’ Synonymous with timeless design and innovation rooted in durability and allure, Tara and her team succeeded in designing a home to be cherished for years to come.

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