Ibiza living

Down the garden path

When former Pilates teacher Jayne Henderson turned her hand to the renovation and design of her newly acquired Ibiza villa, little did she know it would take her life...

When Jayne Henderson first visited Ibiza on a family holiday inspired by her sons’ love for music in 2008, little did she know the island would go on to play a major role in her future career path.

When Jayne Henderson first visited Ibiza on a family holiday inspired by her sons’ love for music in 2008, little did she know the island would go on to play a major role in her future career path. At the time, the busy mother of three boys had been working as a successful Pilates teacher for almost 20 years, originally in Edinburgh before her husband Gregor’s work took the family to London. Like many others before her (and no doubt many more to come) it was a case of love at first sight with Ibiza and the white isle soon became a regular holiday destination for the Henderson family. In 2013, Jayne and Gregor felt the desire to put down some roots in Ibiza and began the search for a holiday home – for both their own vacation time and to rent out to holidaymakers whilst it wasn’t in use.

“We’d always stayed in the north of the island – we loved it – and originally we were looking to buy in that area,” says Jayne of the two-year property search that ultimately led her to the 450-year old five-bedroom Sa Carocca villa Cas Orvays. “We just couldn’t find anything in the north that had the authentic Ibiza style we wanted and so we started to look elsewhere.” “When Victor from Prestige Properties showed us the pictures of this house, it had been on the market for a while,” Jayne says, proving that first impressions can be misleading. “I think the photos didn’t do it justice. I could see its potential – it was actually a jewel.” Though within extremely close proximity to Ibiza town, Cas Orvays – accessed via winding country laneways in a lush green valley – feels as though it is in the heart of the campo.

After completing the purchase in October 2015, Jayne and Gregor set about renovating the house completely, with total respect to its architectural heritage, preserving its authentic bohemian design elements. “It hadn’t been touched in about 35 years,” says Jayne. “But there were a lot of amazing features we wanted to keep.” Boasting a natural, impeccably elegant sense of style and developing an inherent understanding of what would work well under an Ibicencan roof, Jayne turned her talents to design and decoration. Knowing Cas Orvays was no cookie cutter Ibiza villa, Jayne set about sourcing the perfect pieces to suit the house. Some pieces, including oversized mirrors and antique beds, were shipped from the family’s original home in Edinburgh, the sheer size of the furnishings also suiting the high ceilings and spacious rooms of the Ibiza property. Other objects such as cabinets and drawers were found tucked away in a utility room of the villa, brought out and refurbished to be given a new lease of life. A new kitchen was added, modern yet in keeping with the home’s traditional style while original Sabina and seaweed ceilings have been carefully restored, as have the eclectic tiled floors.

Where Jayne had a vision for certain items that couldn’t be sourced, she was not deterred. Having previously lived near Borough market, she knew a specialist carpenterwho was once a film prop maker and knowing there was nothing he couldn’t create, she enlisted his help, flying him out to Ibiza to work on the project. “I’d show him a picture and then we’d go to the timber yard and he’d manage to make new pieces that looked like they were really old. We were like children in a sweet shop every time we got to go there!” she laughs at the memory. Stylish lighting is prevalent throughout Cas Orvays, ranging from meticulously restored, oversized lanterns from Edinburgh, a large antique Italian chandelier from the King’s Road, one-off pieces from Lassco, an architectural salvage place in Vauxhall London and unique finds from Can Castello here in Ibiza. No detail was overlooked – each element, be it original antique switches and black rope style cords to modern lamps, is particular to each individual space.

Soft furnishings were painstakingly hunted down in specialist stores in London, including The Linen Shop in Notting Hill, with custom upholstery made by Hossack and Gray London. Caravan London was another go-to showroom for decoration, in addition to vintage rug stores for both floor rugs and wall hangings. Jayne was also inspired by her friend John Teyssier of Ibiza pop-up décor showroom Jasserie – a concept showcasing local artisans and vintage pieces from the island. Jayne’s growing art collection includes works by famed Scottish painter Alberto Morocco among others. Stepping outside Cas Orvays is like stepping into a fairytale, with magical gardens awash with flowers, thriving with ancient succulents, tall bamboo and boasting a pretty plant-lined path down towards an ancient pool house, adjacent to the secluded swimming pool with its bohemian yellow tiles casting a gorgeous green tinge over the water. “This path is what sold the house to me,” confesses Jayne. “I like to imagine my grandchildren walking down here one day.” When they first acquired the property, Jayne says the garden was more like a jungle, but after many months clearing and landscaping, it is now a paradisiacal, tranquil wonderland.

“I really enjoyed doing it and it really opened up my creative side,” she explains of the renovation and design experience. Having taken a break from Pilates for the duration of the project, Jayne felt she had the time and space needed to engage her creative sensibilities. “My background is Pilates, and at one point when we bought the house I thought I could host retreats here, but after taking a year away from that to work on the renovation, it made me rethink what I wanted to do.” Fast-forward to 2017, and the story of Cas Orvays, and indeed, Jayne Henderson herself, has taken some new twists and turns. Inspired by the incredible transformation of the house, the couple decided to sell the villa, and are now planning to embark on an all-new renovation and house design project in Ibiza or Formentera. Meanwhile, Jayne has launched her very own design consultancy brand JHDESIGNLAB – working out of the Balearics and London, bringing her amazing eye for detail, hands-on experience, invaluable local and international contacts and creative skills into the homes of others.

For more information on JHDESIGNLAB, contact Jayne Henderson on [email protected]