Both attended the international Morna Valley school, but didn’t truly connect until school was a distant memory. Both creative souls – Tavis a music producer and DJ and Nora a fine artist plus interior and event stylist – they spent years traversing the globe, living in places such as Barcelona, India and Brazil before the arrival of their daughter Yvy saw them return to their island home.
“Our dream is to open an art hotel,” says Nora, of the evolution of their six-bedroom villa, Las Cicadas. “We were in Brazil, making plans to go home, thinking Santa Gertrudis was the perfect place to be, in the heart of the island but ten minutes to town and beaches.” Within days of arriving home and announcing their plans to friends, as fate would have it, a 500-year old property in the area became available. “It was destiny,” Nora says knowingly.
After taking over the six-bedroom property at the end of 2013, the couple spent months transforming it into a rustic-chic bolthole complete with an artist’s studio, swimming pool and incredible entertaining areas. While they work on the bureaucracy and processes to turn the old property into an agroturismo, Las Cicadas is their family home. The house has been restored with much respect to the original Ibicenco style of the villa. An amazing swimming pool plus a chill out area under an ancient fig tree add to the appeal.
“Over the past three years it was a work in progress,” says Nora, who has always loved visiting flea markets, vintage stores and junk shops in search of pieces to restore and rehome. “We’ve been fixing things, adding things and improving things every day. We put so much effort, creativity and time into making it our home.” Spread out across a main house, a barn and additional bedrooms with private entrances, Las Cicadas is reminiscent of the countryside fincas they spent their childhood in, but with modern design elements “I love to play with the contrast of old and new,” says Nora. “There are so many things we had before, old furniture, carpets, combined with new pieces we have found.”
Art is prevalent in Las Cicadas. Tavis and Nora regularly invite creative friends working in the fields of art, music and fashion to take up residence with them. They even have a large art studio space for these artists to work. “We are creating a creative hub and platform and we have many exciting projects lined up based around our international creative collective,” explains Nora. Inspired by their parents’ bohemian lifestyles, the duo want to encourage a return to old school Ibiza. “We always had so many people visiting when I was young,” says Tavis. “People would come for a night and stay for the summer or drop round for dinner uninvited. We always had an open house.” Both come from a background in event production; Nora’s dad is a tour manager and event promoter.
With a genuine love for entertaining, the couple love to throw big dinners with friends and musicians in the open barn space in the spring and autumn, while winter is all about cooking and getting cosy in the kitchen within the main house. “We wanted to create a space where people from all over the world could connect,” says Nora. “That was how we grew up and we want to make this our lifestyle.” During the summer months, the family rent the Las Cicadas to holidaymakers, spending time with their respective families and continuing to travel in search of amazing décor and art. As for the name – Spanglish by all definitions – it was easy. “To us, there’s an undeniable feeling you get in Ibiza, walking down a camino, on a hot summer day, it’s dusty, the sun is bright and beating down on your neck, you can smell the pine trees,” Tavis explains. “When you hear the sound of the Cicadas, you know you’re back home in Ibiza.”