10th Jul 2017
The Barr Group overseas delegate is currently a hive of activity; the ‘Casa Mallorca’ project is reaching its exciting fixtures, fittings and finishes stage and further Balearic commissions are taking shape. Mallorca is an island rich in skills and local materials, with an inimitable style all of its own. The SB Interior Design team have been reveling in this rich and exciting melting pot. Watch out for a little essence of Mallorca at the 2017 Barr Group Home Show on Sat 14th October – details to follow.
Without wanting to spoil the final Casa Mallorca ‘Ta-da’ here are a few sneaky peaks of the local Mallorcan sourcing, which has played a big part in bringing the ‘Casa Mallorca’ look together. SB Interior Designer Rachele Bowley spent a lot of time digging deep into the Mallorcan culture; observing how some of the islands most stylish venues have interpreted the local traditions and fusing the visual findings together with her own very distinct SB ID style.
A wonderful discovery was the concrete company Huguet, which has been producing original cement pieces on the island since 1933. Huguet have supplied tiles for all six Casa Mallorca bathrooms. Rachele says “we have designed our own tile combinations and layouts for each room using Huguet’s stunning palette of colours and patterns.”
Rattan features strongly in the Casa Mallorca interior (and exterior - much of the living space is outside) design. Furniture and lighting pieces have been sourced from local suppliers ‘La Percera’, a small boutique style shop on the island, who use local artisans to create design led products. Items such as woven rattan lights and rocking chairs have been made to order. Likewise, Mallorcan rattan rugs have been sourced from the oldest traditional rattan weaver on the island.
Timber tables and benches have been made to order from a local craftsman who specialises in making furniture from reclaimed wood. A local blacksmith has been commissioned to construct frames for some of the reclaimed timber pieces (including the beds) and a local seamstress is set to make covers for sun loungers, outside sofas and seating, as well as the internal soft furnishings.
The hammered limestone tiles running underfoot throughout the property, internally and externally, are straight from a Barcelona stone quarry. They are being joined and honed by specialist local craftsmen to make a plethora of structures including the seamless stone steps, bridging the many levels of this hillside residence.
In the meantime SB Interior Design team have had fun recycling old roof tiles to create wall lights and making use of other bits and pieces of the original property which have captured their imagination and begged to be re-born. “What we have loved about this project is how it has evolved organically” say Rachele, “the flow of ideas between owner and designer, via email (with much image drop boxing) and in the UK and then working on-site together. The Barr Group overseas Mallorca office has been a designer’s haven whilst on location. Now covered in swatches, tile samples, mood-boards and layouts Contracts Manager Pedro has had to make space and rekindle his creative side. “Surveying and designing on site and sourcing on location has been a great way of working” says Rachele “it has enabled us to truly bring the look and feel of the island into the project. We are all excited about the final result.”
Lucy Hiller, Barr Kitchens Designer, has worked closely with the SB ID team to take the ‘Casa Mallorca’ look and feel through the linked indoor and outdoor kitchen spaces. “Close collaborative working between designers and owners have been key to creating a shared vision and a continuous look throughout the property” says Lucy.
Last but by no means least, how could we not mention the dry stone walling, which defines the structural landscape surrounding the Casa. The stone is procured from a local quarry on the island and is delivered to site daily in ton bags of large boulders. Each boulder is then broken down into various shapes and sizes, by local stone masons by hand, using small simple hammer tools. It has been wonderful to watch the traditional techniques of the skilled local craftsmen at work.
As it turns out it is not just the SB ID team who are excited about natural raw materials and vibrant ‘clay’ colours. Decorex 2017 also looks to be embracing the natural materials theme, book here. Here at the Barr Group we are all set to get involved; with BarrJoinery building the Shalini Misra Champagne Bar, the centre piece for the exhibition. Billed as ‘Return to Nature’ this year’s Decorex is set to embrace natural materials; ceramics, wood, glass, marble, wools and linens will all be featuring strongly in their rawest form – see you there! For an insider’s review of the event stay tuned – we will be featuring it in the September Barr Group Newsletter.