Ibiza living

Effortless bohème

Designer Barbara Boccara, co-founder of hip Parisian fashion label BA&SH, boasts an innate skill for fusing French style with Ibiza living...

The French have long been renowned for their innate sense of style, from that effortless feminine chic desired by fashionistas the world over, to the eclectic yet beautiful way they dress their homes.

Designer Barbara Boccara, co-founder of hip Parisian fashion label BA&SH (recently purchased by luxury fashion titans LVMH), boasts an incredible knack for both and nowhere is this fusion of style and living more obvious than in her gorgeous five-bedroom Ibiza villa, Casa Valentina in the island’s north. The villa is Barbara’s second home – a sanctuary where she can escape the fast-paced life of working in the fashion capital of world. “I love Paris,” she says. “I love my job and I am so happy to work there, but when I arrive in Ibiza, the first thing I do is kick my shoes off and I feel VERY happy.” Spending around three months per year at Casa Valentina, she admits her personal style changes on arrival – in Paris, she wears a more typical jeans and high heel combo, while in Ibiza she embraces the barefoot bohemian look.

Having first visited the island at the age of 18, Barbara continued to return to the white isle regularly over the years. Every July, she would rent a villa with friends, starting to feel more and more at home until eventually, in 2016, she realised she wanted to put down more permanent roots. “I had a little problem when looking for the house,” she says. “My husband and my two sons [aged 20 and 23] wanted a very modern, all-white villa. But I loved the idea of a finca. So when we saw this house, it was like the perfect compromise.” Casa Valentina is an anomaly among the typical Ibiza villas on the market. Created by Jaume Guash, founder and director of respected Ibiza construction agency Balafia de Baix, the single-level property has a slightly industrial feeling, while still exuding the spaciousness and style of a modern villa – somewhat reminiscent of contemporary Californian architecture. Barbara felt an instant connection with the property, however she knew she would need to make some changes to the design to suit her own carefully honed aesthetic.

“We had been staying in Agroturismo Atzaró while we were looking for a house,” Barbara says of the decision to buy in the north. “I loved the area, the smell, the quiet – and this house had all of that.” It is no coincidence – Guasch himself is eighth generation Atzaró family and Casa Valentina is set on a neighbouring plot of land. “Originally I wanted a sea view, but I felt so good and calm when I got here. I love the light,” says Barbara. “I love the way the land here is so flat, and a beautiful breeze comes through the house every day.” “I changed the whole interior,” she continues. “I painted all the big columns black, I bought in all-new furniture so it could be more relaxed. I wanted a lot of lounges, inside and outside, to create a very chilled feeling. My priority was that no matter where you are, what corner you are in, you feel at home and completely relaxed.” The epitome of boho luxe, the house reflects her love of bohemian style while still maintaining an extremely high level of luxury throughout. It’s all in the details.

An attraction to raw materials, such as linen, wood and metal, is evident throughout the open-plan living space, where plush sofas are piled high with cushions and throws, inviting one to sink in and truly relax. Black accents are prevalent throughout, from the stylish chairs contrasting with the organic wooden 12-seat dining table, to the shelves inset amongst wood panelled walls. Edgy artwork – such as the enormous print of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards presiding over the space – and elegant lighting complete the picture. It all feels very effortlessly pulled together, in true French style, however each and every piece of furniture, décor, lighting or art in Casa Valentina was personally selected and styled by Barbara, who confesses to a love of French interiors haven Caravane, alongside a mix of high-end Italian brands and rustic, local finds. Candles are everywhere, from the tables and bookshelves to lanterns on the floor, and the villa takes on a wonderful sense of romance as the sun goes down.

Barbara’s affinity for bohème living is truly apparent in the outdoor living space, set across the lush, green lawn opposite the main house. Adjacent to a lengthy swimming pool and sunbathing deck, the shaded space is filled with comfortable low-slung sofas, in natural hues, that are easily reconfigured to suit the amount of people lounging. On-trend hanging lamps create a feeling of warmth and intimacy by night. Wicker and cane feature heavily on the terrace, enhancing the feeling of connecting with the nature around you. An expansive outdoor kitchen and huge communal dining table set the scene for alfresco lazy lunches and decadent dinners. “When we come to Ibiza, we often come with groups of friends,” says Barbara. “So many of them don’t want to go out once they get here – we love to stay home and entertain.” When she does venture out, favourite places include Macao Café, La Paloma, El Chiringuito, Las Dalias, Heart, Pacha and Cova Santa – places that exude creativity and authentic Ibiza style.

There is so much more to Casa Valentina than meets the eye. The guesthouse has been transformed into a more masculine and modern space (“I broke it all down and extended it to make a special two-bedroom space with private entrances for my boys – they love Ibiza!”), for Barbara’s sons to feel their own sense of freedom. An additional annex houses a gym, next to a small football pitch, while across the garden is a quaint Wendy house, added for the enjoyment of Barbara’s eight-year old daughter. However it is Barbara’s own bedroom that she says is her ultimate cocoon in Ibiza. Set at the far end of the house, the space encompasses a giant walk-in wardrobe, filled with beautiful pieces from her label (which she describes as bohemian chic, very feminine and just a little sexy) alongside exotic finds from India amongst other places, a spacious bathroom and a private terrace where she does yoga every morning. Then there’s the bed that takes up almost the entire room. You get the feeling of being outside when you are in, and inside when you are out, with a contemporary fireplace providing the perfect finishing touch. “This really is my space,” she says with a smile.

Photography by Gypsy Westwood

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