All form and no function doesn’t make for an inspiring home, which is why Bloom Studio gives architecture and interior design equal footing.
A trademark. A signature style: call it what you will, but does having a defining aesthetic really help you stand out from the crowd? Especially when the crowd in question is as architecturally aware and design-minded as Ibiza’s residents? Or could it limit your potential.
Rather than confine its vision to a particular look, architectural design consultancy Bloom Studio’s guiding philosophy is grounded in the fact that no two projects – or clients, for that matter – are the same.
“We’re constantly searching for new materials, finishes and textures, but we tend to steer away from trademarks,” explains founder Kit Maplethorpe. “Instead, we go into every project with an open mind.” The functionality of a space is always a starting point for what follows. “The first question I ask is ‘what do you use the house for?’,” says the practice’s lead interior designer Sarah Elkabas. “It might sound obvious, but that’s a crucial consideration.”
Delving into the finer details of its client’s lives, the studio creates homes with timeless appeal, designed in response to both lifestyles and the surrounding landscapes. Bloom Studio might claim to eschew a certain style, but it clearly has a particular approach. Since founding in 2016, the intrinsic link between design and architecture has evolved to become the backbone of the practice’s ethos.
Arriving in Ibiza a decade ago, architect Kit wanted to carve out his own path. “At the time, I didn’t know what the Ibiza property scene was about. I’d been working as an architect on high-end residential projects in the UK, but I quickly learnt that designing in the Balearic islands is nothing like designing in England.”
To adjust to the seasonal rhythms of the island and the wish-lists of its discerning residents, Kit honed his skills working with other architects and developers. Then, six years ago, he spotted a shift in the Ibiza property market.
After the licensing change put a stop to new super villas in the countryside, the focus turned to renovation. “There’s a tendency to think of renovations as just interior design but in reality, they involve so much more,” he explains.
In response, Kit decided to expand the luxury interior design contingent of the business to complement the architecture side, calling on Sarah who has a background in fashion styling.
“We saw a gap in the market for interiors to truly coexist with architecture,” adds Sarah. “Together, these arms of the business grew and developed really quickly. In terms of how we work, it’s a very collaborative process.”
The expanded team’s approach to design is forensic in detail. Architecture and interiors are given equal footing, with both sides present from the start – from client meetings through to execution – while concepts are broken down into a series of intricate 3D drawings that bring a space to life virtually.
“I think that’s what differentiates us from other practices on Ibiza: at every stage, both parts are thought about to create the global picture of a project – neither works without the other,” continues Sarah.
From crumbling fincas to contemporary apartments, Bloom Studio works across the entire architectural spectrum of Ibiza villas. “It boils down to the fact that we don’t have a particular niche – we work across the board and that’s testament to our business that we have the ability to shift the design process from traditional to modern,” says Kit.
“If we’re working on an older property, however, we like to keep true to the heritage of the building,” he continues. “We’re not fans of knocking things down and creating white modern boxes.”
We’re constantly searching for new materials, finishes and textures, but we tend to steer away from trademarks. Instead, we go into every project with an open mind.
- Kit Maplethorpe, Founder
Preserving this sense of authenticity is often underscored in the materials used. Natural woods and stones, sourced from Europe where possible, are favoured, along with the expertise of local craftspeople. At one of the studio’s recent projects (pictured), the honesty, simplicity and integrity of the chosen materials seeps through in the pared back, rustic design.
“We spend a lot of time making sure our materials are right and building our network of trusted suppliers,” explains Sarah. “It’s a process to understand local materials and how they work. Obviously, we’re inspired by the island, but our inspiration can come from anywhere – we don’t limit ourselves to producing the same look and feel – everything is tailored to clients’ needs and what they use the house for.”
While year-round residents are growing in number, the pair reflect on the fact that Ibiza’s seasonal appeal remains. “People still want their houses for the summer,” says Kit. “The task of designing, executing and building in a 10-month period or less is intense, but we’re rolling with it. Let’s see what the next decade brings.” The team might shun a trademark style, but Bloom Studio is making its mark all the same.