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A STYLIST’S RETREAT

Beautifying is Louise Maxwell’s business, so when it came to styling her own home, the laidback bohemian beauty her clients strive for is evident in every last corner.

Louise Maxwell is one of Ibiza’s most in-demand hair and make-up artists, with clients ranging from beautiful brides and jet set girls to the visiting A-list or bands at Ibiza Rocks. Beautifying is her business, so as you can imagine, when it came to styling her own home in Ibiza, that laidback bohemian beauty her clients all strive for is evident in every last nook and cranny.

Louise first laid eyes on Casa Yasmina eight years ago, peeking around the wrought iron back gates and instantly falling in love with the Moroccan style courtyard. Having already viewed around 40 properties in search of ‘the one’, she says she felt an amazing energy and saw the potential in the run down gardens and living areas.

“It hadn’t been lived in for three years and it was a mess. Different coloured floors everywhere, a weird layout and strange windows. Within a year, I had redesigned everything – knocked down walls, put in new windows, doorways, cupboards – to give it a Moroccan feel, inspired by the courtyard, where everything was tiled and arched.”

With four bedrooms, four bathrooms and an open-plan self contained studio set on the upper level, plus many chill out areas and terraces and an open plan kitchen and living area, Casa Yasmina is deceptively spacious. “That’s the beauty of this house,” says Louise. “From the front, you wouldn’t have a clue what’s inside – like the riads in Morocco. And it’s just so quiet – no traffic at all.”

Louise confesses to a love of collecting quirky pieces for the house wherever she goes, be it India, Morocco, mainland Spain or the local San Jordi market here in Ibiza. “I love charity shops and markets – I love finding something amazing for a bargain, that you know you could have spent a fortune on somewhere else.”

There’s a beautiful flow as you walk through Casa Yasmina’s sun trap of a courtyard, starting with a chillout area resplendent with plants – including an entire staircase covered in thriving succulents, which according to Louise, “just grow like mad in the summer!” – and a central palm tree. Head through the arched doorway and you reach the pool area – another area of the home that has been completely renovated by Louise. “I don’t know if it was meant to be an above ground pool or if it was a cisterna when I bought the house, but it was an eyesore!” she says. “We raised the levels of the ground around it and added all the plants for a natural feel… it was an interesting experience.”

Gorgeous windows have been carved into the walls of the property, looking out to the perfectly farmed land surrounding it, complete with a flock of sheep who aren’t afraid to pop their heads through to say hello on occasion. “I love being outside,” says Louise of her sanctuary. “There are just so many places to chill out here.” The sun terrace adjacent to the kitchen is one of her favourite places to wind down, with a picture perfect view of the sun going down in the distance.

During the busy summer months, when her work keeps her active from morning until the early hours, and her kids Sydney, a university student, and Harley, a musician, are spending time in London, Louise rents Casa Yasmina to holidaymakers, happy to share the fruits of her labour with like-minded Ibiza lovers. “I love welcoming people to come and stay here. I do a lot of work on the property every year, and I’m happy it makes people happy. I love this house. When I come back in the winter, it’s like ‘aaaaaah’ and I instantly feel right at home again.”

Louise’s love and passion for her adopted island is shared with her guests via a noticeboard chock-full of her memories, flyers from her favourite venues and events, set in the office alcove just off the living room. “It really represents me and the things I love. When I come back at the end of summer, I love seeing the new things guests have added too,” she says.

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