Ibiza homes: Can Cordeta – A hands-on home
Photography by Ana Lui
Paul Wilhelm and Regina Potma didn’t know each other when they had their first Ibiza experiences; nor did they know the island would go on to play such an important role in their lives. Today, it is a symbol of their future – the place where they envision their families coming together to share a space – and their beautiful home, Can Cordeta, is a testament to their passion. Passion for each other, passion for design and of course, passion for Ibiza.
Paul’s first visit was in 1991, when he felt an instant connection to the hippy vibes and bohemian spirit. Year after year, he would return, renting villas for a month at a time with groups of friends until eventually, he was inspired to invest in a plot of land to create a holiday home of his own. In 2006, some friends led him to a rocky, dry plot in Es Cubells – needing much work and much love to transform it into a home – and he knew he had found the place.
Interestingly, the creative process began after the couple undertook an intensive yoga teacher training course together. “We brought that shared energy into the house,” says Regina, who is also a yoga teacher and Ayurvedic therapist in Holland. “It was a very intense year but I think if we hadn’t done it, it would have been impossible to stay together! I get up and go to bed with yoga, so it was important for me to be with someone who wasn’t going to get annoyed and want to throw my mat out the window.”
This shared holistic experience influenced the design process of Can Cordeta in many ways. “By doing the training together, it allowed us to connect in a different way – going beyond the connection of people, or lovers,” Regina explains. “We then wanted to find that same connection, that union, but with nature and with the elements, in our home. There is an Ayurvedic theory that there are five elements – earth, water, air, fire and ether – and we have brought each of these together into the house. That’s why I believe there is such harmony here.”
The first case where this was proven was an initial hiccup dictated by the size of the 15,000 square metre pizza slice shaped plot of land. With its pointy tip landing in the middle of a protected rural zone, it seemed Paul would need to acquire more land either side of the property in order to legally accommodate the house and pool size he was looking to design and build. And so, rather than redesign his dreams, he instead extended the square meterage to 21,000 in total.
Further hurdles included storms and wild fires to receiving pallets upon pallets of the wrong tiling and builders covering up (and then uncovering) their chosen bespoke paint swatches. Paul even suffered broken ribs at one point! Their patience and passion for getting it j-u-s-t right meant they didn’t feel a sense of urgency to settle for second best, or rush to finish the house and get it onto the rental market. If anything, they preferred to let it breathe, to see what would really make the house come alive. Three years later, Can Cordeta is a masterpiece of modern design – impeccably dressed, with a laidback yet luxurious aesthetic that is at once warm and welcoming, while still invoking a feeling of true luxury.
Earthy textures and colours are everywhere within Can Cordeta, from the hand picked wooden railway materials that have become thick, statement doors, the bespoke wooden kitchen panelling created from Brazilian trees and the rustic CORTEN steel wall surrounding the fireplace to raw, natural fabrics used on the outdoor sofas and soft furnishings throughout. Creating a feeling of warmth was important to the couple – whether it was just the two of them staying in the five-bedroom home or it was at capacity, they wanted cosiness despite its grandeur. “The key aspect is warmth,” says Regina. “We always wanted a feeling of space, but also a feeling of being at home.”