Ibiza living: La Vie Bohème – The continuous beauty of Kilims

For Irina Barneveld, interior designer and owner of La Vie Bohème, her love affair with traditional Turkish Kilims began 10 years ago. At the time, she was travelling in Turkey and fell in love with the soft pastels, colours and patterns of the woven, mosaic-like tapestries. From that point on, they made their way into more and more of her designs, and these days – encouraged by their continuous beauty – they form an integral basis of many of her compositions. “All you need is one beautiful standout piece amid a calm interior,” she says, and when you see her home designs, this ethos makes total sense.

Irina’s relationship with Ibiza dates back even further than her love for Kilims – she’s been coming to the island for over two decades – and as a result, has an innate understanding of the island, its aesthetic and its people. That’s why she’s in high demand among those looking for interior inspiration, and why her pared-back creativity and Kilim expertise is much sought after among islanders. “Every Kilim is completely unique,” she explains. “Every pattern means something and every creation tells a story.” Much like Ibiza, there’s more to these decorative rugs than meets the eye.

“It’s very rare to find good pieces these days,” Irina explains. “Kilims are enjoyed all over the world now, plus I’m mostly just looking for ones made before 1960. On these ones, the colours are more faded and the handiwork is more detailed.” This expertise is what Irina passes on her to clients, in addition to a passion for finding beautiful, authentic pieces that bring to life the colour palette of any home. Kilims can be hung from walls, as intended, or Irina crafts them into bespoke benches and cushions to act as one-of-a-kind focal pieces of a room.

“Seeing a Kilim in person gives you an entirely new respect for the piece,” she says. “I once had a lady come to my shop who started to cry when she saw one, saying its story spoke to her somehow. That’s a very special thing to see.”

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