Es Cubells by Hollie Bowden

  • Es Cubells by Hollie Bowden

    Interior designer Hollie Bowden revives an expansive villa and estate to emulate the slower pace of life its Ibizan village is renowned for.

    Tapping into a bygone era, London-based designer Hollie Bowden’s unique aesthetic has led her to transform a number of residential projects on the Balearic Islands off Eastern Spain.

    Hollie Bowden’s second project on Ibiza to feature on est, this villa and estate lies in the village of Es Cubells; a small, peaceful village where it feels as though time slows down a notch. Spanning seven bedrooms, staff quarters, a gymnasium, health suite and spa, this far more than a place to reside – but a luxurious destination of escape.

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    Hollie says when the client first bought the home, ‘it wasn’t very Ibiza’. Lacking a sense of flow, the designer was asked to create harmony and a feeling of fluidity and freshness, by opening the home up and bringing the light in. “It was built in the 80s by a swiss architect and was just a bit gloomy and oppressive,” she says. “The materials used were tiles, marble and dark wood; it was too heavy.”

    Before taking on the project, Hollie had been extensively researching Wabi-sabi style and certain natural materials reflective of this philosophy; a taste shared by the client. As soon as she arrived at the property, Hollie says the surrounds really spoke to her. Flanked by forest and with spectacular ocean views from its hilltop position, Hollie set out to combine her relevant worldly studies with this unrivalled spot. 

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    Hollie completely gutted the home and started again. To make the most of ceiling height, including the triple-height ceiling in the dining area, as well as the sea views, Hollie introduced larger windows, while stripping back and treating the timber beams.

    It’s really special having that much space –  and space that is unusual in layout,” Hollie says. She describes the home as a spectrum – from the open reception area to the little cosy corners of the home – offering itself to both entertaining and a romantic setting.  In the private quarters, Hollie opened up some of the walls of the master bedroom and introduced an ensuite to the north, with a built-in bath ready to lap up the spirit of the sea. 

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    Concrete was the flooring of choice, for uniformity across all areas and easy maintenance. To create a seamless wrap from wall-to-ceiling, and the interior and exterior, the concrete was coated in cream.

    One of the highlights of the project, Hollie sourced an antique fireplace for the central living space. “I sourced an incredible 16th-century pre-renaissance limestone fireplace for the living room, which completely transformed the space,” she says. “That was quite a magical moment when it went in; it had arrived in multiple pieces and was carefully rebuilt and assembled in the space,” she adds.

    All of Hollie Bowden’s projects are marked by a time-worn, timeless aesthetic. The designer’s magpie eye takes her to all corners of the globe, sourcing vintage pieces from America, the UK and Europe and combining them with Ibizan craftsmanship. “We made a bespoke door from antique wood and antique studs to fit the main entrance and we changed all the doors throughout,” Hollie says. 

    The designer created a blissful balance of old and new, weaving old materials with depth and character in a more contemporary setting. “It was a fine balance of sourcing key and important design pieces and beautiful antiques and unique pieces that wouldn’t detract from the where we placed the art,” she says. 

    While the scale of this Es Cubells project may have been daunting for some, Hollie Bowden has approached it with a sense of unabiding attention to detail. The designer’s eclectic and down-to-earth aesthetic is right at home in this expansive villa and estate, inviting anyone to wind down and appreciate the slower pace of life. 

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