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25th Nov 2019

Villa Mariposa – Hideaway in the Mallorcan Hillside

This much-loved finca rustica is the lodge house to our client’s island family home of forty years. Full of memories and personal history, their emotional connection to the property was strongly reflected in their brief to the Barr Baleares team. The structure would remain unchanged; original beams retaining their age-old dark timber finish, shutters, window frames and dry-stone walls to be rebuilt, integral alcoves and enclaves to re-emerge.


The finca was, without doubt, in real need of modernisation in terms of utilities, plumbing and heating, electricals. It also was due to undergo a complete strip out and refit of fixtures, fittings and furnishings. Our clients, keen that winter visits would be just as inviting as those in the summer months, requested underfloor heating throughout, a system which is now innovatively fueled by almond pellets! With five million almond trees on the island (and more than a handful in the grounds of the Finca itself) the almond pellet burner offered an eco-friendly and economical solution.

Working alongside Barr Baleares, the Barr Design team played a pivotal part in this project, liaising with clients to provide a considered design scheme, as well as sourcing and procurement. White paint throughout allowed the wonderful lines of the old internal walls to speak for themselves. Alcoves and enclaves, which had often been built for a purpose, became design features of the new incarnation. A rough plastered finish added to the authenticity of the look and thoughtfully placed objects draws the eye to original architectural features. Hammered limestone tiles run from the terrace into the finca and up the curved stone staircase, creating continuity, flow and an increased perception of space.


All woodwork inside the finca is subtly highlighted with Farrow and Ball’s Hardwick White, picking out and bringing to life restored built-in cupboard doors and window frames and fireplaces which have been updated with handles and knobs from Buster and Punch as well as lighting by Holloways of Ludlow. Ferm Living brackets hold up rough sawn shelving sourced and cut on the island.

Many of the objects and furnishings have either been made to measure or adapted for use. A rustic timber shower stool, for example, set beneath matt black Lusso Stone fixings, was teak oiled to allow it to fulfill its function. The woven palm rocking chair is a one-off piece, sourced from La Percera, Palma. Rattan light shades in the kitchen are true to the modern island spirit and balance beautifully with the reclaimed timber kitchen table and made to measure kitchen cabinetry offers simplicity and function.


Bathroom configurations were carefully considered to maximise small spaces and make the best use of the integral architectural features. Simple but effective design solutions were employed throughout. Build-in cupboards, for example, were renovated and re-purposed.

Prior to the works the external area was concrete covered, so the introduction of well thought out steps and levels was truly transformational. Built-in stone seating, an outside kitchen and shower, and much more, were part of the specification - every stone placed with care. When asked their favourite part of the renovation our client did not hesitate “the dry-walls…they were expertly built, each one different to the next and all the more authentic as a result.”

The finca is situated in a rural location, well off the beaten track, allowing its inhabitants privacy and calm, away from their busy everyday lives. Barr Baleares would like to thank our clients for putting their trust in the team and for allowing us to tell its story.


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