Describing himself and Laura as “fundamentally classic people”, the house didn’t call to them immediately, as they’d been looking for a classic finca in the area. However eventually, the location, design and views of the house turned out to be perfect.
“One of the great struggles with the house was that the shapes were here – you couldn’t make it into something else, but it flowed. But the spaces are very gracious and this allowed me to hang the artwork I personally wanted to see.” With a passion for portraiture, particularly old masters, Leppan says he’d originally felt a little timid hanging this style of art in Ibiza, where things were typically minimalist and white or rustic and rural, but the Roca Llisa property gave him the perfect blank canvas.
Split across multiple levels, almost cascading down the mountainside, the perfectly manicured gardens are pristine, fragrant and colourful, from bright pink bougainvillea standing out in the upper pool area, to lush British style lawns and exotic palm trees inspired by Langkawi on the lower spaces near the bedrooms. A petanque course provides endless fun for the kids, while a retro-styled pool house is the perfect setting for adults.
This laidback approach to living is echoed throughout Leppan’s life. Rather than being a collector who stores things behind closed doors or glass cabinets however, he believes firmly in using everything. “I grew up in a house where fine china was for special occasions,” he explains. “But I find every occasion, every meal time with family and friends, is special. I would rather have 100 fabulous meals and bin a plate than have it sitting in a cupboard unused.”
The same goes for his collection of classic cars – including Rolls-Royce and Ferraris – which when he brings them to the island are stored in a purpose built garage beneath the house. “I absolutely drive my cars around in Ibiza,” he says. “They’ve got to be used. It’s a car, it’s built to be driven and any damage from caminos, stones and dust can be restored. I don’t hold back from using things.”
Leppan’s youngest daughter has recently developed a passion for books, with a particular fondness for the antique books lining his shelves. While he does admit he has to keep himself in check when it’s a pristine rare edition she reaches for, he also believes in spending the time with children to explain why something is precious and should be cherished, rather than panicking and taking it away.