Scientists can confirm that the Mediterranean diet is considered the world’s healthiest, but there is one overlooked vital component of that fact: the indispensable role of the Mediterranean lifestyle itself. Central to this way of living is a penchant for being outdoors, and when combined with the cherished tradition of daily siestas, the result is nothing short of paradisiacal.
Architecture delivers the containers for this lifestyle and in each Blakstad design there exists an almost reverent appreciation for the patio, terrace, rooftop, or porch – essentially, any space where the art of leisure can be practiced under the caress of sunlight or the glow of moonbeams. The following outdoor elements are quintessential Ibiza settings that offer a pristine backdrop for cultivating the Mediterranean lifestyle we all crave.
Patios are fundamental within the great tradition of Mediterranean architecture. The Romans favoured interior courtyards bordered by colonnades; the Moors preferred a central water feature; and the Greeks never shied away from a statement statue. The patio is a tranquil oasis that blurs the lines between interior and exterior, offering a haven for solitude, relaxation and social gatherings, and inviting us to unwind and connect without ever needing to leave the house.
In more rustic Blakstad designs, the patio may be paved in irregularly shaped stones and interwoven with greenery, while more contemporary homes may lean towards patios made of smooth, polished cement, with angular, sharp lines. They can be draped in the pink blush of bougainvillea or heavily scented jasmine flowers or play host to ancient olive tree standing sentry or the gentle trickle of a bespoke water feature. Perhaps the patio leaves space for a long dining table for starlit dinners, or a simple sofa for quiet conversations and morning coffee. Whatever the composition, the patio is a focus of pure rest.
The chill-out is an emblematic Ibiza motif, as synonymous with the island as its beach clubs and hippie markets. These sanctuaries are dedicated to the art of relaxation — a place where refined comfort meets aesthetic elegance. As enclaves of leisure, the chill-out can encompass styles as wide-ranging as Balinese-influenced opulence to whitewashed simplicity or ultra-luxurious minimalism.
Picture sumptuous beds adorned with plush cushions, shaded beneath pergolas or sheltered by leafy trees, completing the journey from poolside to complete surrender. The chill-out is a palace designed for all-day relaxation, where languid moments of connection are intertwined with accidental naps and perhaps a few tasty snacks.
A thoughtfully designed outdoor dining setting seamlessly blends with the surroundings. It can boast rustic appeal, with wooden tables set amid citrus trees, or it can evoke modern sophistication with a minimalist terrace overlooking an infinity pool. If the space allows, a fully equipped outdoor kitchen not only makes entertaining easy, but also allows cooking to become an integral component of the pleasure equation.
Wood-fired ovens inspire do-it-yourself pizza nights, the aroma of succulent meats and vegetables on an open grill waft on the breeze, and of course, a complete bar critically supplies refreshing cocktails. The enjoyment of sharing a meal beneath the vast expanse of the sky is unparalleled and transforms the act of nourishment into an art form.
Allocating a dedicated space for the little ones is a masterclass in effective parenting. Self-directed play means grown-ups get a little bit of time and space, and kids get to create lifelong memories with their buddies and siblings. Gone are the days of flimsy plastic swing sets — we are now in the era of mega-playground extravagance.
Envision wooden frames crafted for climbing, swinging, and zip lining, slides that artfully wind through trees and shrubs, and pirate ships adorned with Jolly Roger flags and billowing canvas sails. And let’s not forget the contemporary interpretation of the timeless Wendy house, complete with a full kitchen setup and porch. Within these playground utopias, creative journeys of the imagination are limitless, fostering complex games and narratives that grownups couldn’t even begin to understand.
Playtime is not solely reserved for kids. Grown-up playgrounds have revolutionised the idea of recreation, with tailored spaces for adult enjoyment becoming an essential part of a property’s outdoor space. From an enchanting dance floor beneath the shimmering stars to a dedicated petanque pitch, sandy volleyball court, croquet setup and giant chessboard, each of these spaces are thoughtfully orchestrated to foster collective moments of jubilation and tongue-in-cheek competition.
Naturally, positioning is of paramount importance, and the prime location for these recreational hubs should always lie adjacent to the outdoor bar. This arrangement effortlessly integrates active leisure with socialising — the perfect combination for maximising the Mediterranean lifestyle.
It’s evident these spaces are not just architectural structures; they are extensions of the human capacity for joy that promote the gentle art of doing nothing and the celebration of life’s simple pleasures. Be it a tranquil afternoon spent on a sun-kissed patio, a lively gathering in an alfresco dining area, or the enchantment of a play zone, these outdoor havens serve as a poignant reminder that architecture is, in its true essence, a conduit for experience.