A New Style for Ibiza
By Leonardo Balli
Italian design and Ibizan style: Is a dialogue possible?
This is one of the questions I asked myself two years ago when I opened my interior design studio in Ibiza. For almost ten years I have worked in large cities such as Milan, London and especially Paris. In the courseof my professional career until a few years ago I had not designed Mediterranean-style residences.
When I arrived in Ibiza in 2019, I realized that the local architecture was changing profoundly. Around me I saw villas in a minimalist style or in an organic architecture style springing up like flowers.
The landscape was no longer surrounded only by buildings from the seventies or by the typical old farmhouses. As a result, I found a huge divergence between this new architecture and the furnishings that were available in local shops. My artistic training has always led me to enhance the architecture,to maintain a style that was
an integral part of every single building and that best represented the client’s identity.
When I opened my studio, “BALLI Interiors”, I wanted to create something new. I wanted to bring the design of my country to Ibiza, but I wanted to do it in a natural and non-invasive way. The light, the colors, the shapes and the material were decisive elements in creating my style. When a client commissions my studio to design their residence, I interview the client, study the required architecture and create with the help of my team, a moodboard made of materials and nuances to create harmony between shapes and the owner’s personality. The theme of light, for example, is a very underestimated theme and to which very little importance is often attributed. A wonderful project, if badly lit, changes appearance, loses intensity. For this reason, the theme of lighting not only concerns the lighting equipment and the intensity of artificial light but also and above all the reflection that light has on architectural elements and textures. Artificial lights must be able to interact with natural light, the reflections of the sunsets are gifts of nature that can give new life to architecture. The same result can be achieved with artificial lights to illuminate the shapes in the night.
The Italian design of recent years is not simply linked to the style of an object but also to its eco-compatibility, to its respect for the environment. In recent years, the contemporary world and the new generations are increasingly sensitive to the issue of pollution. Pollution for me does not just mean the exhaust from a car or a plastic bottle. I feel that pollution is also the lack of stylistic respect in the way that a property impacts the place where it is located. I believe that buildings must integrate into their environment by respecting the surrounding nature, while also bringing nature into the architecture.
This was first expressed by Frank Lloyd Wright with his “House on the waterfall” built in the 1930’s.
The Italian design companies I work with are particularly sensitive to this issue. Clean shapes and ecological materials are an excellent way to represent the owner’s synchronicity with the environment. In the end, the true design and charm of each residence will arise from the people living in the house, because the furnishings will take on the identity of those who live there. Italian design allows, inits essentiality, to combine style, eco-sustainability and respect for the island, which are the keys to making a design dialogue with local architecture.