An Artful Ibizan Estate with Personality
WRITTEN BY VICTORIA HITTNER PHOTOGRAPHY BY GEOFF FENNEY
The Ibizan finca, or traditional farmhouse, is often characterized by locally sourced materials and a fluid blueprint that adapts to the needs of its inhabitants. When designer Ed Godrich was asked by longtime friends and clients to renovate a finca they had recently purchased in the hills of the Spanish island, he created a design in line with this rich tradition.
Godrich, creative director of London-based studio Godrich Interiors, keenly understood his clients’ desire to create something unique that still payed homage to the property’s history as an operational estate. “It was important to retain a sense of the original atmosphere of the building so that new and old molded together seamlessly,” says Godrich. “Much of the architecture and interior detailing are traditional, which gives the house a natural, balanced aesthetic. The walls appear to have evolved over time to provide for the family’s needs.”
Godrich and his team ultimately altered the entire layout of the property, incorporating existing and local materials whenever possible. The designer drew inspiration from the vibrant landscape and cultural history of the island, creating a distinctly Mediterranean flair. Bright colors, whitewashed walls, and ample seating evoke both cheer and hospitality.
“The [color] palette was built from all the different elements we sourced,” explains the designer. “Art, furniture, lighting, etcetera creates the palette and then we fit fabric selections around this.”
Melding existing items from a client’s collection with sourced vintage pieces is a hallmark of the Godrich Interiors design approach. “We source from so many different places internationally,” says Godrich. “This gives our interiors the unique end result that makes a home feel like it has been lived in forever. Our clients very much appreciate this approach, [as] each client and interior are entirely individual.”
This attention to detail is evident in the living room, where repurposed pieces bring the space to life. Antique cabinetry sourced from a church hall was repurposed into a mirrored bar, serving as a striking focal point. “Three different pieces were used to create the bar structure, ‘cut and shut’ as they say,” explains Godrich. “[The bar is] hand finished in soft chalk paint to balance the austerity of the original gothic design and heavy timber.”
Filigree globe pendants, hung collectively to create a floating sculpture, illuminate the space. The metallic surface of the fixtures further brightens the area, casting both sunlight and artificial light throughout the room.
From the shared spaces to the bedrooms, unique wall art lends the home personality. “We are always very focused on what items go on the walls and it’s often one of the first things we buy for a project,” says Godrich. “Because this was Ibiza and bohemian, we were able to spread our searches to items that were more unusual—anything goes in Ibiza!”
Framed magazine covers, pop culture prints, and colorful handkerchiefs provide a feast for the eyes in nearly every room, texturally contrasting with nearby sculptures and street signs. In the dining room, delicate china plates displayed on the wall provide the perfect foil to the exposed stone wall and fireplace.
The Godrich team scoured international markets for the vintage artwork that makes the finca feel both vibrant and timeless. “While on that search [for specific items], you will always see something unexpected that throws a curveball to the project, which shifts the design scheme in an unknown direction,” says Godrich. Traditional Mediterranean colors and materials bring a sense of place to the home’s main dining room.
“We are always very focused on what items go on the walls and it’s often one of the first things we buy for a project.”
This play on contrasts continues into a second dining area, which opens onto the outdoor patio. Hammered copper accents pop against resin-wicker chairs and light fixtures. Simple glass doors beckon guests onto the patio and into the sunshine. The Godrich team built the outdoor living space with traditional architectural elements of a finca like exposed beams, a thatched roof, and local stone. “Where possible, we sourced pieces locally with a scattering of our global flavor,” notes Godrich. The outdoor bar and cook space offer ample room for alfresco dining and entertaining—an ideal area to host guests on an island known for both pleasure and repose.
“We needed to create an oasis that you immediately felt at home in and safe, switching off the moment you enter the garden gates,” says Godrich. “Ibiza has two very different sides: the hedonistic and the calm culture of its past. We were keen to celebrate both.”
Curating Your Collection
Designer Ed Godrich offers his recommendations for sourcing and repurposing vintage pieces.
Keep an open mind. Given dimensional constraints, Godrich’s team often looks for specific pieces. But finding unanticipated treasures makes the search even sweeter. “It’s a huge pleasure to propose [a] curveball item to a client and is one of the best aspects of the job,” says Godrich.
Get creative. “Painting furniture is the quickest . . . way to give new life to something,” says Godrich. “Try something different like painting three layers of contrasting color and sand[ing] back one layer in places and two layers in others to give a variation of color and tone.” He recommends not completely replacing original parts of furniture, however, as this can create a confused identity for the piece.
Know when to use a professional. “If [the item] didn’t cost a fortune, then you have free license to experiment, and I always encourage experimentation whenever possible,” says Godrich. But when you find something of value? Always use a professional.