Home Tour: A Picture-Perfect Ibiza Villa with Striking Architecture and Plenty Of Charm
If you get the chance to visit Sabina Villa, Ibiza’s first eco-inspired private estate and clubhouse, it’s likely you’ll be swept away by the island’s white sand beaches, sun-dappled waters and verdant landscapes.
When Sabina Estates founder Anton Bilton reached out to acclaimed British designer Tara Bernerd for the opportunity to design a turnkey six-bedroom villa within the development, she agreed almost instantly.
“It was something of a personal dream to design a home in Ibiza, so I jumped at the chance,” she says. “I have been friends with Anton for many years, so it was a particular pleasure when he came to my office to discuss his vision for the project.”
Located a mere 500m from the Balearic Sea, the villa was the first of thirteen launched in 2020, with more properties to be conceived by an international group of architects and designers over the next few years. This includes award-winning Spanish architect Jordi Carreño, who built the modern home that Bernerd was also commissioned for.
“I was immediately drawn to Carreño’s vision for the villa,” says Bernerd. “The entrance of the building is deceptively understated, appearing as a series of stone-clad boxes, each with a large timber-framed window protruding slightly, containing the bedrooms. In contrast, the garden is much more dramatic, housed in a white framed box that appears to float slightly above the ground. Our job as interior designers was to marry these two different aspects together in the interior, which was a challenge we relished.”
The southwest-facing building is surrounded by a thriving garden envisioned by landscape designer Andrea Sanchez, who supplemented the area’s indigenous vegetation with bright bursts of bougainvillea. Look beyond the horizon, and one catches a glimpse of the sea.
“The setting of a project is extremely important, as it can be an element that changes a project from merely good to great,” says Bernerd. “Sanchez has designed the garden using local and indigenous flora, which makes the villa feel like it’s been there forever. And the results are stunning.”
This scenery provided an inspiring backdrop for the designers. To let the building’s design shine through, the team chose to highlight the garden, swimming pool and seafront views.
But as beautiful as the surroundings are, Bernerd had to consider the other practical aspects of a liveable home, too. “We always start by looking at the layout. We need to ensure that the flow of a space works and that all elements have been considered, so that it is as practical and usable as it is beautiful,” she explains.
The open-plan house, decked in blonde wood, stone, and sand-coloured walls, sprawls across the ground level. Beneath the airy structure is a lower basement floor with the games and cinema rooms. Upstairs, an expansive wall of glass faces the garden, with a corner master suite peeking through the other side.
The designer spares no expense with details, and the master suite’s bathroom and wardrobe are adorned with a mix of bespoke finishes and natural textures. “Designing bathrooms and wardrobes is our speciality,” she says. “As we are in Ibiza, we wanted to (embody the island aesthetic) by emphasising the artisanal quality of the design—from washbasins hand carved from stone, to beautiful encaustic tile floors and free-standing towel rails made from reclaimed wood and oversized mirrors.”
Bernerd opted for a slightly more restrained approach when it came to decorating the garden. She extended the villa’s neutral colour palette to a carefully curated selection of understated outdoor furnishings. Sleek wooden deck chairs with cylindrical side tables by the pool enhance the resort-like atmosphere, while a stylish seating area accompanies an al fresco dining table.
“We spent time designing the pergola with a substantial outdoor seating area and dining table, so it’s perfect for dining outside on sunny days. It was important to us that the interior and exterior should feel like one continuous, unified space,” says Bernerd.
The villa’s laid-back charm is further emphasised in the main salon on the ground floor. A Bonaldo Peanut B sofa with grey and blue cushions sits in the room’s formal seating area, framed by honey-hued stone walls and a sand-coloured rug on the limestone floor, creating a welcoming ambience that invites one to rest their feet.
“Throughout the villa, we have tried to keep the mood relaxed, while also seeking out handcrafted and notable pieces of furniture that are beautiful works of art in their own right,” says Bernerd.
Across from the main salon is a dining area furnished with a Pendle dining table by Belgian table maker Heerenhuis. Crafted in untreated oak, it is paired with the iconic Wishbone Chairs by Danish designer Hans J. Wegner and accommodates a maximum of twelve guests. A kitchen overlooks the dining area, which can be accessed through the connecting double crittall doors or via a side door from the main corridor.
Linking the games room in the basement with the upper level is a floating staircase constructed in cantilevered stone, which amplifies the sense of lightness present throughout the villa. Bernerd points out a skylight installed above the lightwell that flows through the void between the upper and lower floors. “It makes the space bright and welcoming during the day, while creating a cosier retreat at night.”
The games room houses amenities such as a billiards table and bespoke bar. “We have designed the bar to be a focal point in the space. The lower part (of the bar counter) is finished in a light oak that has been fluted, and the countertop is a stunning piece of marble that we have finished with rounded edges to soften the design,” says Bernerd.
Unsurprisingly, the villa had attracted the attention of home buyers even before its official release. Its owner, an entrepreneur who purchased the property while it was still under construction, was initially drawn by its architecture, but later won over by Bernerd’s vision.
“The villa picked itself for us (with its) combination of contemporary architecture and stunning interior design based on a flat, southwest-facing site,” he says. “Both the design and furnishings proposed were classical, timeless and exactly the style we had in mind.”
For Bernerd, the immense satisfaction she derived from the project was the fact that Tara Bernerd & Partners, known for its expertise in hospitality, had successfully delivered a home that fulfilled all aspects of the brief, while communicating the island’s joie de vivre.
“Increasingly, we are known as designers of hotels. However, as a practice we do like to maintain a mixture of projects in order to keep our ideas fresh and invigorated. It was a real joy to be able to indulge ourselves with this dream property, which has such intelligent, striking architecture set on the beautiful grounds of Ibiza,” she says.
- PhotographyAna Lui