Cream of the Crop
A LONDON INTERIOR DESIGNER HAS FOUND TRUE HAPPINESS IN HER HOLIDAY HOME IN IBIZA, WHERE SHE’S CREATED A TRANQUIL ESCAPE FROM HER LIFE IN THE FAST LANE
This elegant holiday home in Ibiza pairs its glam 1970s inspiration with earthy details
Set in a tranquil oasis of scented pines, swaying palms and perfumed orange blossoms, Can Mimosa (named for its large mimosa trees) is a rare jewel on Ibiza—an island known more for its sybaritic lifestyle than for its tranquil refuge. “The energy of the place is truly magical,” says Caroline Legrand of her island abode. “When I meditate, I feel deeply grateful that I am custodian of this little piece of paradise. I feel a deep connection with nature and the earth here. I love the trees that are full of birds, the subtropical flowers and the produce from my organic vegetable garden.”
The Belgian-born, London-based interior designer originally owned a home in SaintTropez, but had been coming to Ibiza for many years with her two children to visit friends and enjoy the social life that the island offers. “The year before last, I rented for the first time, for four weeks, and realised that this was definitely my favourite place in Europe,” she explains. In spring 2014, with a budget in mind, she began house-hunting in the Porroig and San José areas, which are close to the town, and within easy reach of the airport and the island’s most beautiful beaches. “I was extremely lucky to see this house first, and was just blown away by the land and the beauty of the gardens,” she says. “The first thing I did was touch the ground—an instant connection. I saw another 10 houses or so in various locations, but this house had already stolen my heart.”
Legrand’s vision for her holiday home was clear from the outset. “I wanted to keep the interiors cool, in both senses of the word, while keeping an easy connection with the outdoors,” she says. “After all, it’s a summer house—so it had to be light and airy, but avoid that all-white, super-modern look that’s so popular on the island.” So she did it her way, using a palette of uniform creams and off-whites with ad hoc touches of caramel, tobacco and stone—natural tones and textures that blend together well. This palette suited the monochromatic marble surfaces (Blanco Ibiza, a local marble) that presented an ideal blank canvas for the glam 1970s vintage vibe she envisaged. Natural materials and organic fabrics were important additions, too; shaggy rugs, rattan and organic wool curtains, along with cork
wallpaper in the cabana, all added warmth and a certain retro quirkiness. “My interior design scheme really started when I arrived in Miami the week after I bought the house,” she explains. “I saw a few pieces that formed the core of the interior and built from there.” With her boundless energy, Legrand spent three days combing the design district and the vintage shops on N125th Street, visiting just about every store in Miami and Palm Beach until she found the furniture she wanted. She also sourced simple designer items in London from The Conran Shop, then headed to Maison&objet in Paris for china and glassware, and finally ended up at Pols Potten in Amsterdam for lamps and chairs. Other items, such as a vintage German vase collection and the chic sofa pillows, came from Absolute Flowers and Home, owned by a friend in London. The end result is a carefully curated mix of hip vintage and designer pieces from renowned names including Pierre Paulin, Milo Baughman, Harvey Probber, Claudio Salocchi, Tom Dixon and Roger Capron, which she has cleverly combined with evocative artworks from the likes of Peter Beard, David Benjamin Sherry, Ryan Mcginley, Christopher Wool, Adrian Stern and Claudio Conti.
With the interiors of the house sorted, Legrand turned her attention outdoors. Her first project was to convert the unwanted garage into a comfortable guest cabana, adding a gym at the rear. “I incorporated large glass windows for panoramic views of the garden so I could create a Palm Springs feel,” says Legrand with a smile. The inspiration for the outside bedroom for her sons, aged 10 and 12, came from a tear sheet she pulled out of US Vogue. “It had a cool beach chair from Mollusk Surf Shop. I googled the site and suddenly had my vision: surf shack chic,” she exclaims.
“Thanks to those surf dudes, I had my boys’ room designed within an hour. The excitement amongst them was surreal.” Legrand decided not to paint the inside of this room, but opted to keep the natural wood for a stronger vintage feel that would work with the retro pieces she had bought in Palm Beach. A classic sculptural surfboard found in Cornwall adds drama, while a large vintage Scrabble board (a Christmas present from Restoration Hardware) ended up becoming a wall piece as well. “The boys adore this room. It has become their perfect hang-out with friends. Maybe the supersized TV and Xbox has something to do with it, too,” she adds with a laugh. As entertaining is an important part of Ibiza life, Legrand then focused on designing a garden chill-out area, with a mega-sized wooden dining table and an outdoor kitchen and barbecue space, along with a sunken seating area under a dramatic pine tree and a Jurassic-style table made of Yosemite wood. “It was hard to think vintage for this area,” she says. “But it had to go with the style of the whole house, so simplicity was the key. Adding two vintage rattan chairs from Palm Beach pulled the story together.” Legrand’s practised eye has resulted in an elegant summer home that has been carefully considered, striking the perfect balance between glamour and earthiness. Her aesthetic is based on this passionate premise: “I want to live with things that give me joy every time I look at them”. Explaining that just about everything in the home is vintage, mostly from the 1970s, with a little ’60s here and there and a few ’80s pieces in the living room, she concludes, “I love the fact that everything is recycled from other people and other countries.” A spiritual and eco-sensitive person, Legrand has at last found where her heart belongs. “I’ve fallen in love with the land. Living here makes me really happy,” she says.
“I want to live with things that give me joy every time I look at them”
A palette of creams and off-whites was chosen over the all-white, supermodern look typical of island abodes
Interior designer Caroline Legrand
The summer home stylishly pairs vintage decorative pieces sourced from around the world with designer furniture and monochromatic marble surfaces
Large glass windows show panoramic views of the gardens, giving the home a bit of the Palm Springs feel
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT
The tropical wallpaper in the guest pavilion pairs well with other retro pieces; a vintage Scrabble board (which was a Christmas gift) became a wall piece; a classic surfboard found in Cornwall lends surf shack chic to the boys’ room
Natural materials and organic fabrics were important additions for the eco-sensitive owner
The master bedroom and bathroom ooze glamour and earthiness at once
A large dining table, an outdoor kitchen and barbecue space are perfect for entertaining