When designer Theresa Obermoser’s longtime friend, Tobias Punga, a single man in his 30s, asked her to help him with furniture for his new house in Ibiza, the designer leaped at the chance. Obermoser, the founder and creative director of TO Design, with offices in London and Vienna, coveted another visit to the famed Spanish island for many reasons.
“Ibiza is enchanting,” Obermoser says. “It has so many different sides. Mostly, it’s known for its parties and glam scene, but it also has a magical energy and beautiful landscapes.”
Many others have sensed Ibiza’s ethereal draw: The early Phoenicians who settled the island—a World Heritage Site—believed it to be a magical place blessed by the gods, and by all appearances, it is.
After Obermoser arrived, the consultation on furnishings turned into much more. The client, who works for Morgan Stanley, originally wanted some simple tweaks to furniture, Obermoser says. “But when I arrived, I saw the potential of the place and convinced him to do a whole renovation.”
Right away, Obermoser saw the staggering beauty of the home’s location, in the village of Sant Josep de sa Talaia, on the west side of Ibiza. The property, a sanctuary of verdant green dotted with fig, olive, and lemon trees, is backed by rolling terrain and the foothills of the island’s tallest mountain.
Just beyond is the ever-beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Punga bought the house from a French family four years ago; the interior redesign began immediately. Obermoser, who has won various awards for her work, drew on European design, functionality, and multicultural touches for the project.
Built in the 1970s, the house has the traditional elements of a finca—a rural property with the spirit of a farmhouse—enlivened with dynamic contemporary lines. Obermoser drew on that spirit, creating a chic Bohemian atmosphere punctuated with Scandinavian and African design touches.
Color palettes are earthy and muted, allowing nature’s green and blue hues to shine. A large indoor seating area draws in guests with facing sofas wrapped in offwhite linen, built-in shelving, modern pendants, and one of the Moroccan rugs she purchased for the home at a souk, an openair market, in Marrakesh.
Slender black framing around the room’s windows, including a striking multipaned style bookended by simple wood shelving, plays up the views. Throughout the house, vintage rustic elements, including pottery, baskets, and nubby woven fabrics, lend an intimate air.
The art, including vintage photographs of local surroundings, was curated by Lawrence Van Hagen, founder of LVH Art. Although Obermoser’s work did not change the architecture of the finca, she reached beyond simple décor design. For instance, in the home’s bathrooms and the indoor kitchen’s floor and counter worktop, she applied microcement, a thin cement-based coating that can be used on various surfaces, including wood. The result is a clean, bright look that lends functionality, as well as heightening the finca aesthetic.
Equipped with another kitchen—an open-air space next to the swimming pool and a grove of lemon trees—and six bedrooms, the 5,400-square-foot home affords many opportunities to cater to guests, Punga’s friends and family. The pool, a small cinema, and a garden are perfect for finding quiet solitude or for entertaining.
A house that offers both options, in Ibiza’s seaside setting, is very special, and mirrors the island’s dual identities. As Obermoser says, “the essence of Ibiza can be encapsulated in the phrase ‘detox and retox.’ Families arrive seeking relaxation and quality time, while others come to revel in nonstop partying before embarking on a detox regimen with daily massages to ease back into reality.”
The balance that Ibiza offers — opportunities for both healing quiet and glittery parties with world-class DJs—is what drew the homeowner when he was house shopping. “Every island or destination I’ve been to has had a unique signature experience,” Punga says, “It might be a party place, a spiritual retreat, or a very family-oriented escape. Ibiza struck me that it encompassed it all.”