Porter: Brigitta Spinocchia Freund, My Stylish Life
My Stylish Life: Brigitta Spinocchia Freund
Hiding high up in the hills of Ibiza, the idyllic bolthole of this Italian-Greek interior designer sets the tone for carefree summer days, floating from orange grove to pool to the cool interiors of this bohemian-styled, art-filled white villa.
Brigitta Spinocchia Freund’s Ibiza villa does not have an address. Reaching it requires an escort up a dirt track high into the hills, and a keen eye for exactly the right turn. Once found, however, the quest is worthwhile. The eight-acre property features an orange grove, wood cabins, a slide fashioned out of a Spitfire plane, 400-year-old olive trees, a vegetable garden, two swimming pools and an outdoor cinema screen. With a white villa as its central axis, this is less a house and more a universe to discover, one that feels far, far away from any kind of urban existence. At its heart is Spinocchia Freund, a pint-sized beauty with the kind of dark, glowing Mediterranean features that shine in the Balearic light. By day, she is an interior designer, but that’s only half the story: Spinocchia Freund doubles as a consummate host. During summer stays at the villa with her three children and husband Michael, they are rarely alone. “We have dinner parties two or three times a week with 40 to 60 people,” she says. “It is my favorite thing. I think it’ s because of my Greek heritage, I love feeding people.” When designing the villa, Spinocchia Freund included an outside area dedicated to entertaining; longtables suitable for the vast dinner parties are primed for fun and laughter late into the night. The couple met on the island’s Es Cavallet beach in 2007 and bought the villa four years later, just as their first child was born. “It felt like a natural place to set up a summer getaway for us and our growing family,” says Spinocchia Freund. The renovation took three years. “There was absolutely nothing here,” she says. “The orange grove only had four or five trees that were alive; we planted 200 trees and 2,000 different indigenous species of plants.”
The house benefits from Spinocchia Freund’s style, which she describes as “a bit of eclectic charm with antiques and art”. Sprawling custom-made sofas are spread across different rooms for optimum relaxation. A vast oak dining table from Boco do Lobo – perfect for hosting long, lazy lunches – fills an informal reception room, and flea market finds like an antique Leica camera share shelves with personal curiosities, such as a sculpture of Michael dancing. A green wall of tropical plants, designed to bring both oxygen and the feel of the outside in, provides a centrepiece. Spinocchia Freund’s passion for collecting is clear; artwork is everywhere. There’s a sculpture of tattooed women by South Korean installation artist Choi Xoo Ang in the TV area, while a video of three lounging models makes an eye-catching talking point. Hidden around another corner is a selection of delicate drawings by Tracey Emin, while personal photographs share wall space with prints by Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin.
Her eclecticism as an interior designer is matched by her taste in fashion. While her typical look in London might be “ripped jeans with a Chanel jacket and vintage tee”. In Ibiza she aims for “eclectic chic”. This means the kind of clothes that come with an effortless bohemian romance. Her go-to designers are Isable Marant and Alice Temperley, both of whom are also friends. “I love Isabel’s cothes because they’re natural, casual and easy,” she says. “We had a party in the summer and I wore on of Alice’s dresses – it was really glitzy but she took out the lining for me and I wore it with trainers. You can be really glam but then play it down”. She goes to Charlotte Tilbury, another friend, for her makeup, including appropriately names Las Salinas Beach Stick her “a natural-looking glow”.
Of course, any woman with a predilection for all things boho has a particularly favoured label right now and Spinocchia Freund is no exception. “I adore the fresh new Gucci look by Alessandro Michele,” she purrs. “It’s my current fashion obsession.” She especially likes Michele’s pleated skirts and metallic jackets, though her latest acquisition is a Gabriela Heartst handle bag, which looks more like a piece of art than something to carry your phone and keys in.
Born in Turkey to an Italian father and Greek mother, who worked in furniture and art respectively, Spinnocchia Freund gew up in Dorset with ambitions to become a fashion designer. However, after completing a degree in branding and marketing, she moved into interiors and was creative director at high-end interior design company Candy&Candy before setting up on her own in 2009. Now she is in charge of an 18-person workforce, which is currently working across 17 projects, including a 40,000 sq ft house in Courchevel, an apartment for “a high-profile model” in New York and Spinocchia Freund’s London home.
With such a schedule, it’s no wonder Ibiza provides a much-needed summer getaway. What is it about the White Isle that continues to enchant? “The sunset,” she says, without skipping a beat. “Out favourite thing to do is sit on the beach at our little secret spot near Cala d’Hort near Ed Vedra.” Island life, she adds, is a great leveler too. “No one talks about what you do,” she says. “The island allows everyone to be free of the kinds of labels you get in London. There’s nothing better than being with your friends and family, everyone enjoying themselves. It reminds you of what’s most important.”
Photography by Alexia Silvagni
Words by Lauren Cochrane