Ibiza living: Meet the Blakstad team – Sonia Montoya, draughtswoman
Meeting someone who loves what they do is always a delight. Their eyes shine and an atmosphere of contentment surrounds them like a bright aura. Sonia’s family hails from Granada but when both her brother and then sister moved to Ibiza, Sonia was convinced to follow. Little did she know it would be a life altering choice.
On arrival in Ibiza Sonia studied interior design and worked in fashion retail while obtaining her qualifications. It was her future husband who first introduced her to the work of Rolph Blakstad senior. They were teenage sweethearts and he had watched his father work for Rolph, becoming enamoured with his methods and his way of being. When they finally married he told Sonia that one day they would have a Blakstad house. Eventually, they were able to purchase a plot of land and so began a relationship that would last decades.
While constructing their home, Rolph senior invited Sonia to work along side himself and his son, also Rolf, but with a Spanish spelling. Together the three of them occupied a room that sits adjacent to the current Blakstad HQ. Sonia was in charge of converting the hand drawn architectural concepts into a digitised format. A strong bond was formed between the three of them as Sonia was soon absorbed into the Blakstad family. “I had to learn so much, about the style, the history of the architecture of the island,” she remembers. “Rolph was a wonderful teacher. He taught me everything, all sorts of things about architecture but also about other cultures, carpentry and design.”
The process is completely collaborative and the atmosphere at the Blakstad office is that of a collective of people working towards one goal. Sonia’s role as draughtswoman is to transform Rolf’s designs into a format where the architects can prepare the appropriate applications to council. It’s an exacting process that requires patience and a near obsessive mind but the result is always satisfying. “A Blakstad design elevates the everyday and the simple to the extraordinary; the houses are harmonious, light, unpretentious and full of grandeur at the same time,” Sonia explains. “There are so many adjectives to describe them but the best thing is to see and feel them, then you realise the effect they have. I am very proud to be part of this.”
The house Sonia and her husband built with Rolph didn’t become her family home until recently. Both she and her husband wake in the morning and can’t quite believe their dream came true. “After all this time, we still can’t believe that it’s ours,” she gushes. The respect for both Rolph and his son are obvious, amongst all of Blakstad’s employees but Sonia has a special place in her heart for those early days when it was just the three of them. “He was so patient with me, I admired him so much. It was so easy to work for him.” Although, Rolph is no longer with us Sonia’s sentiments have changed little, having worked at Blakstad Design Consultants for nine years. “I love my job so much,” she says. “Working here feels like I’ve won the lottery!”