Ibiza homes: Casa Rosie – Rural respect
Photography by Gypsy Westwood
It took more than 15 years of visiting Ibiza before London-based couple Katy Paterson and James Kirkham decided to invest in a summer home on the white isle. Both had loved the island’s music scene, its beaches and unspoilt nature plus the laidback lifestyle on offer, but it was a particularly memorable holiday in 2008 – when Katy was pregnant with their son Jax – that truly inspired them to make Ibiza their second home officially, with a view to a more permanent move in the future.
“We just drove around in a little rental car and explored all of the villages,” says James. “We loved the inner part of the island: Santa Ines, San Lorenzo, San Mateo, San Rafael. These villages are such a huge part of any Ibiza trip to us now, but back then we didn’t even see another car driving around.” During their explorations of the island, the couple came across boutique Ibiza hotel Es Cucons and it was love at first sight – with the aesthetic, the vibe and the energy alike.
“I burst into tears!” she admits – tears of happiness. The five-bedroom property for sale was the much-loved family home of a German couple who had lived there for decades, originally a centuries-old finca that had been renovated in parts over the years. Katy and James knew they wanted to preserve the traditional style of the house and yet give it an updated, contemporary interior more suited to modern Ibiza living. Its most recent ‘modernisation’ had been in 1977, after all.
“We wanted to deeply respect the original finca and the feeling of San Rafael,” explains James, who is the head of Copa90, the online football channel. “It felt wrong to go in there and start smashing things up. We just wanted to enhance what it already had.” To do that, they spent a summer living in Casa Rosie, exactly as it was, to get to know its intricacies and its character. “It was great fun,” says Katy, who did the entire design of the project herself. “We had to understand the way the house worked before doing anything to it, and after that summer our vision remained the same.”
Outside, the primary objective was to install a swimming pool, pergola, bar and outdoor dining space – an area Katy and James now refer to as ‘The Shack’. Enlisting the services of Pasi Kalju of Tipik design (who also happened to be responsible for the Es Cucons gardens and outdoor living style they’d originally fallen in love with), they created a rustic chic space with a distinct nod to another favourite Ibiza restaurant, La Paloma, via the use of mismatched blue tiling, alongside natural and organic materials sourced in Ibiza.
Over time, the surrounding orchards – which include grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin and pomegranate – have been nurtured and herb gardens have begun to take shape. Giant fields of lavender sway on the breeze below the pool area. Surrounded by beautiful terraced stone walls that are hundreds of years old, the land feels almost untouched despite its recent redevelopment – an aesthetic that was 100-percent intentional. Nearby, Jax has his own little football pitch and a treehouse, with former animal pens and hay bales offering endless places in which to build forts, watch lizards and have little his own Ibiza adventures.