Take a look around Villa Mariposa. The Ibiza villa was designed by architecture virtuoso Rolph Blakstad and celebrates traditional architecture while adding contemporary comfort.
Some names come with reputations that precede them: like Blakstad Design Consultants. The legacy of the practice’s eponymous founder Rolph and his son, Rolf can be found the length and breadth of the Balearic Islands, in homes that fuse the fundamental tenets of local, traditional architecture with contemporary functionality.
Take Villa Mariposa, a seven-bedroom villa set in the lush, secluded surrounds of San Miguel, Ibiza. When owner Sharon Costi and her husband bought the finca at the end of 2020, its Blakstad-designed structure was sound, but its interiors needed a refresh to bring them up to the same standard.
“We wanted to inject interiors that complemented the feel of the house and mirrored that Blakstad aesthetic in a way,” begins Sharon. As the last property designed by the renowned architect, she admits that Villa Mariposa might not have quite the same polish as some of the practice’s more recent transformations, but its distinctive finca charm is unquestionable.
Much like the original Blakstad brief to make the finca conducive to contemporary living, Sharon wanted the reimagined space to be as welcoming as possible. “It was really about keeping the beauty of the original shell, enhancing it, but making it a comfortable place to live,” she says.
Walls were painted white and the all-black ceilings were resurfaced to return the Sabina beams to their former glory. A local carpenter restored original joinery, with any new additions, such as the kitchen, sensitively crafted to respect the history of the building.
“You can disconnect and think here, something many of us don’t often get the chance to.”
- Sharon Costi
The streamlined simplicity of the refreshed design lets the architectural details take centre stage. Traditional Ibicencan materials – from exposed stone walls to terracotta tiles – segue into slick finishes and high-tech touches, such as a Sonos sound system.
Rather than shun the idiosyncrasies inherent in an older structure, however, Villa Mariposa embraces them. Subtle variations in the terracotta floors found throughout, for example, heighten the character feel. “Every room was added over time, so each one has a slightly different floor,” explains Sharon. “It adds interest that I love. Lots of houses you go into now don’t have that – there’s just a big expanse of poured concrete.”
The result is as comfortable as it is calming. “When you think about a typical Blakstad house it has a serenity to it,” she continues. “That’s because they really read the property and the way people will live in it.” The lightwells added by the practice are a case in point.
“They’re the best architectural detail of the house,” Sharon muses. “They’re inconspicuous so you don’t really see them, but they illuminate what would have once been quite a dark space.”
The finca’s surroundings further enhance the feeling of calm set in motion by the light-filled internal design. Olive trees, vibrant foliage and rolling hills sit in stark contrast to the building’s bright white exterior, while the shaded pergolas surrounding the saltwater swimming pool and the scenic terrace off the master bedroom offer multiple spots to pause and reflect.
“It really is a complete oasis,” Sharon reflects. “You can disconnect and think, something many of us don’t often get the chance to. When you’re here you’re at peace – and it’s a peace you don’t find elsewhere.”
Villa Mariposa is available to rent for retreats and longer term stays, with a minimum 31-day booking period.