In the most authentic part of the island, an interior design project brings new life to an old farmhouse, an injection of lively and versatile creativity based on deep crafts know-how and a great love of art

On an island that is an unrivaled mecca for global tourism and entertainment, there is still a zone with a genuine character, with the scent of the sea but also cultivated countryside, dotted with villages that still have a rural vocation – almond trees and rosemary – exuded by the stones of the houses, warmed by the dazzling sunlight of the Balearic Islands. The northern portion of Ibiza, lush with vegetation and signs of a much less noisy past, far from the all-night parties that have made the island famous. A place that is quiet but no less fascinating.

In a 21st-century finca

After lengthy searching, a couple of art collectors have found their own buen retiro, far from the busy life of the city: they have chosen a traditional rural dwelling (finca) from the 18th century, with stone walls and a roof featuring wooden beams and earthenware tiles. Local heritage regulations prevented altering the physiognomy, or changing the structural framework and the internal layout. The owners have thus carefully studied the interiors, to create a space that would narrate their personal history, while ensuring a balance between the historical memory of the site and the needs of comfort in a 21st-century residence.

A truly unique

The genesis of the idea involved the collaboration between the owners and the designer Marco Stefanini of Dumdumarreda, a studio that has designed and self-produced, by hand and with the aid of industrial technologies, many of the furnishings that add liveliness to the space. A decidedly customer-oriented approach that has made it possible to translate the desires and tastes of the refined owners into concrete objects, through an all-around creative process – from design to implementation – which took about seven years. The extensive customization as made the house truly unique.

A wide spatial character

Far from being gripped by horror vacui, the clients decided to let the house ‘breathe’ without filling it up with objects that would alter its nature and its spatial character. The choice went to furnishings that add tactile, chromatic and visual allure to the rooms without loading them down with too much information: the vintage tone of family heirlooms thus blends with the rather ‘primordial’ look of Stefanini’s creations, which inspired by the expressive forms of prehistoric art stand out for their instinctive, immediate vitality, and for the enthusiastic use of simple, natural and also recycled materials.

Attention to detail

In this way, Stefanini has invented, designed and produced the kitchen furnishings with painstaking attention to detail (a table in wood and steel, a lamp in steel and nautical rope, a steel shelf). In the living room he has created masonry cabinets, while the guestrooms feature other items of his making (a wardrobe in steel, wood and methacrylate). Other items include the mirrors and towel racks in the bathrooms, and the perforated grille in coated steel that becomes a leitmotif of the lamps and dividers in the bathrooms and guestrooms.

A substantial design

Outside, the wall lamps placed over the doors are composed of two salvaged terracotta tiles, suggesting a stylized African face, offering a welcome to the family and its guests with their soft light. The project also reveals a great passion for art and a profound sensitivity to materials, including the humblest ones, formulating powerful impressions in the context of substantial design and proudly artisanal processes, bringing the vital energy and warmth of a true home.

Interior design Marco Stefanini - Photos Santi Caleca