From the cuisine to the climate and the revered siesta, an idealised version of the Mediterranean lifestyle has become a global aspiration. While the Blakstad signature style is steeped in the traditions of Ibiza and the Mediterranean, it is also effortlessly transferable to other locales. Increasingly, our team are being called on to create homes in locations across Europe, North and South America and even Africa – exciting new ground to cover.
The three common elements connecting almost all of our international projects are climate, lifestyle and local heritage. The shapes, colour palettes and inside/outside lifestyle of a Blakstad Ibiza home look just as comfortable in the North American desert as it does in rolling countryside of the Balearics, the coastal regions of South America and Africa, or other Mediterranean destinations such as Turkey or Italy. In each of these projects, the Blakstad signature style is developed through the lens of the local heritage and adapted to the lifestyle of the client.
The arid lands surrounding Scottsdale in Arizona contain a fascinating architectural heritage that corresponds with the Blakstad Design Consultants ethos. “The pueblo cultures of that region are architecturally quite similar to Ibiza’s traditions,” explains Rolf Blakstad. “The difference is the pueblo style developed about 1000 years ago, and the Ibizan vernacular architecture has been used since the eighth millennium BC. Somehow they came up with the same solutions.” The Blakstad style fits beautifully within this landscape and heritage, and our team were honoured to be invited to design a house for clients there. Set on a large plot within a gated community, the surrounding landscape looks like the backdrop of a Hollywood western. Low dry brush growing from sandy earth, with towering saguaro cactus scattered across sweeping vistas, where a herd of wild horses would not look out of place.
The house clearly has the Blakstad stamp with large skylights, exposed wood beams and terraced landscaping. “Like all of our projects, we sourced the materials locally,” explains Blakstad. “The dry stone was taken directly from the site and the timber comes from local suppliers.” Scottsdale bylaws insist on rendered exterior wall finishes or exposed stone. Blakstad chose the latter, preferring to replicate the natural, rustic colours and textures of the surrounding land. The house is divided into two wings with a common pavilion and pool patio between. One side is smaller and independent, while the other contains further bedrooms and living spaces ideal for extended family and friends, keeping the usage flexible.
At the other end of the landscape spectrum is a Blakstad home located in Santa Barbara, California, where the Pacific Ocean laps at golden sands and palm trees sway in a sub-tropical breeze. Here, a Spanish revival style has long been popular among the more Americanised architecture of recent eras. Blakstad Design Consultants were engaged to enlarge an existing 1920s Mediterranean style bungalow with an additional guesthouse, pool and landscaping. “We designed the gardens to have a very Ibiza feel,” says Blakstad. “It fits in really well with the LA ambience. They do call it the American Riviera after all.” Again, all materials were sourced locally and the end result is very much a contemporary, Ibiza style villa dripping in bougainvillea, and taking advantage of the climate with plenty of outdoor space.
Situated on Turkey’s Aegean coast, Alaçati is an historic town not far from Izmir. Our project here sits on a plot of around 3000 square metres. Local regulations meant the Blakstad team had to adapt their usual flat roofed design to accommodate a pitched roof. “We quite often find this happens when we work off island,” says Blakstad. “It can be a challenge because it forces us to look a things in a slightly different way. It also makes the project very enjoyable from a design perspective.”
The local architecture has a distinctly Greek heritage as opposed to the Turkish style found in other towns. Many familiar Blakstad motifs were employed in this design, including inner courtyards, water features, pergola shaded terraces, exposed beams and white washed walls. “These are the elements the owners had in mind when they first got in touch,” says Blakstad. “I flew to Izmir then drove to Alaçati. It was my first time in that area and it’s very interesting to visit a place not as a tourist, but as a designer.” Alicati is another location where the Blakstad signature slides evenly into the surrounding landscape.
Blakstad Design Consultants’ international operations are growing exponentially, with projects slated for Italy, the Caribbean, Africa, South America and the US, in addition to many already in development across mainland Spain and Mallorca. There’s a universal appeal to the Blakstad style one that is based in designing for ease of living and flexibility. Our bright open spaces flooded with natural light are a beacon for clients across the world seeking a tranquil lifestyle.