Celia Muñoz, the founder of the popular Spanish children’s clothing company La Coqueta, fell in love with the island of Barbados in 2020, spending days on the beach, hiking with her family, and enjoying life by the ocean. At the end of the day, she would gather with her husband and five children to watch Stranger Things on a laptop in the courtyard of their rental home.
Muñoz and her husband, an investor, already split their time between London and Granada, Spain, but they wanted a place that would bring them closer to other parts of the world. So they opted to buy their seaside Barbados escape and transform it into a place that could serve as both a retreat and a launch pad for new adventures.
The house, a 1960s estate, was blessed with timber ceilings, travertine floors, and a generous veranda. “When we purchased the house, we actually fell in love with that kind of understated look and the open spaces,” Muñoz says.
What Muñoz didn’t love, however, was the home’s existing leopard-print furniture. Instead, she desired a home that drew from its lush, tropical surroundings (“low-key and very beachy,” Muñoz says) and from Europe, owing to Muñoz’s ties to France and Spain, and her husband’s Dutch heritage. Working with Victor Cadene, a designer based in Fontainebleau, France, Muñoz switched out the maximalist prints for fabrics and linens from London, France, and Majorca. Continental furnishings, like iron chairs by Hervé Baume in the dining room and pieces from Atelier Vime, add to the elegant atmosphere. “It’s my French touch!” he says.
Designing a home on an island, of course, can be tricky; trips back and forth to London meant things like sconces were tucked away in suitcases. The rest of their punch list includes photographs by the French photographer François Halard, 18th-century French engravings that Muñoz inherited from her family in the bedroom, and furniture by designers such as ELLE DECOR A-Lister Laura Gonzalez. Elsewhere Muñoz focused on sourcing vintage and antique pieces from sites such as Selency and 1stDibs. “It ages really well and looks more beautiful with patina,” she says.
In the end, she created a breezy escape that connects her to family, past and present. “I wanted the house to reflect our life, in a way, and our origins,” says Muñoz.