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It was the house’s original purpose that defined the design. I wanted each room to feel like a different point in time, while at the same time having all the rooms interlinked somehow, through a motive that would connect them all into one. Each room recounts a long-forgotten story and reminds us that it is part of history, but it also offers a departure from the very same history. Floreat is a place of rest, but it is also a place where one engages with art, since only art is eternal and has the ability to outlive us. It is important that we respect the fact and simultaneously enjoy such beauty. Hence the love of antiques.
The family house located in Orebić, on the Pelješac peninsula, originally belonged to our grandparents, Zorka and Cvitan Bikić. It was built back in 1968, and in 2015 Tino Bikić (Zorka and Cvitan’s grandson) came up with the idea to turn the family house into a holiday home. As a family, each of us became part of the process, Tino my brother, together with our parents Jasmina and Jure Bikic, was in charge of all the maneuvers around the maintenance of the house, while I was given the role of interior designer. Working diligently as a family, we have given the home an added value that is manifested in constant care and attention. I could say that this added value has created a sense of home in holiday home Floreat, which makes a distinction from tourist accommodation.
Seeing as my first love is art and design is a close second, I could hardly wait for the opportunity to finally get started on a serious independent project – to create a whole new world – from scratch. The design solutions made the house unrecognisable and created a new story – the Floreat holiday home. In choosing the items, I followed my vision. Some were made to measure, old pieces were restored and new ones bought, and in my search of refined items I happened upon antiques. The renovation was carried out in accordance with the original measurements, and the layout of the house remained untouched. The process included all manner of construction projects. We became acquainted with all the different facets of constructing a building and learned a lot about the house itself.
The entire process of construction and renovation lasted a year. Our holiday home is made all the more interesting through the strict use of green fences/walls. My original plan was that the guests could step out of the kitchen and into the conservatory, that their children could play outdoors, on the terrace, surrounded by green walls that would protect the entire house from view and create an intimate ambience. Hence the name of the house, ‘Floreat – let it flourish’, a Latin term which means to blossom, last, thrive…
After the work was completed, the interior immediately attained its well-rounded character, but the exterior was a whole other thing. Today, five years after the start of renovations, the exterior is in its most fertile phase of growth and flowering. Nature found its way and did its thing, we just needed to water it enough. The hardest part was having to wait patiently all these years, but it was worth it. It’s wonderful to witness fanciful images taking form right in front of you, like a dream coming true.
Tina Bikić, Interior stylist and Brand Storyteller