For many, making the move to Ibiza, particularly when trying to open a business, can be a lengthy, drawn out process. But for Irina Barneveld, founder and creative director of design and decoration business, La Vie Bohème, it felt like it happened overnight – albeit a restless one in which she tossed and turned and didn’t actually get much shut-eye! In part, because she already had an online and personal presence on the island (having worked on many interiors projects in the Balearics), but also because her relationship with Ibiza spans over two decades. When the time was right, she was ready to finally draw back the curtains on her first ever Ibiza store. During that period, many premises came and went, but for Irina and her partners Peter and Pedro – as with everything – it was about waiting for the right place, in the right moment and maintaining faith that the perfect space would pop up at some point. She was right, and her patience was rewarded with an outstanding spot in Cala Carbo, right next to the renowned Harissa Villas and cool café La Sardina Loca – a place that couldn’t be better suited for showcasing La Vie Bohème’s beautiful, inspirational wares. “Once we found the property we managed to complete everything within three weeks,” says Irina, slightly aghast at her own efficiency. “It was actually really fun.”
Finding joy in the midst of all this madness was a labour of love for Irina. Ibiza has fed into her creative process for many years, and consequently it’s always been a dream of hers to open a store on the island. “Our collection suits Ibiza very well,” she explains. By all accounts, people are coming in their droves. Since the store’s opening it has been inundated with clients keen to soak up some of Irina’s faultless style. In keeping with La Vie Bohème’s original aesthetic, there are standalone pieces from brands like Gervasoni, Linteloo, Classicon, Gubi, Meridiani and Ligne Roset and Matthew Williamson, but also a hand-picked selection from suppliers in far-flung destinations like India, Turkey, Morocco and South America. Of course, there’s also a stunning selection of Turkish kilims – Irina’s speciality – and a range of intricately woven, luxury fabrics, which can be transformed into cushions, benches or one-of-a-kind lampshades for both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Even in its early days, the store has already experienced huge demand for these. “Our lampshades are probably the first thing you notice when you come to the shop,” says Irina. “We can create something really beautiful with the fabrics we stock in store, and each one is made to specification.” It’s worth noting Irina works on a consultation basis too, so if you’re devoted to a particular style but can’t find the right fabric, she personally helps you uncover the ideal material. “If you let us know what you’re looking for, we can source it and have it in Ibiza within a couple of weeks,” she explains. “We work with excellent craftspeople, and we’re dedicated to delivering the finished product as quickly as possible.” This efficiency extends to larger projects too, which are typically carried out with Irina’s quintessential personal touch. “Whether it’s a living room or an entire house, we like to help our clients personalise their homes,” she states. “It’s their house, not ours, so it’s important you can feel their touch within the walls.”
Her devotion to authenticity means Irina’s projects truly stand out. “For me, it’s about trust,” she explains. “It’s about taking the time to form relationships with people. What do they like? How do they live? Do they have kids? These are the important questions to consider when working with them.” She goes on: “In someone’s private home you need to be able to feel their energy.” With an ethos such as this, it’s no wonder she’s been welcomed to the white isle with open arms.