It’s a crisp October morning when we pull up the crunching driveway in the heart of Alaró countryside. A Springer Spaniel bounds up, greets us with canine over-enthusiasm, and ushers us up to the house. It’s a charmingly rustic affair with cerulean-blue shutters and rough stone walls, all surrounded by gardens brimming with greenery; the smell from a log fire inside adds to the wonderfully autumnal vibe. A broad panorama of rolling landscape also spreads out before us, dominated by the dramatic Puig d’Alaró peak. Mel welcomes us with a warm smile and recounts the story how she found this magical place she now calls home.
“I’d been visiting for many years, staying with a friend who lived Alaró,” she begins. Loving the area she decided she wanted to buy here, but soon become frustrated with endless showings of places she didn’t connect with. One day out jogging, however, she stumbled across a ‘SE VENDE’ sign on a property close by. It was a ‘this is it’ moment. “I always say this place chose me,” Mel says with a wistful smile.
From production to printing
Before moving to Mallorca she’d lived mostly between the UK and Asia, running a successful film production company. But after over two decades, it was time to “hang up my producer boots and get the paint box out.” And like many, it was lockdown when Mel suddenly felt she had time to stop and really observe the nature around her. Inspired by the native flora, “fabric designs started to consume my life and feed my soul and wellbeing.”
Mel inherited her mother’s passion for interior design and nature, a pairing she applies to her textile design. “Wherever I look designs and patterns just jump out,” she says. She also puts her eye for design down to her years of film making and editing: “you develop an instinct of what feels right.” She creates her designs on paper and these are translated to teak blocks in Jaipur, India, before artisan printers produce the pattern on fabric. The first run of her Blue Thistle collection sold out quickly, partly thanks to a big order from Germany. It came unexpectedly through someone she had met during a hc/ Connect & Grow Digital Marketing Workshop. “It really did help me connect and grow!” Mel laughs.
A home with soul
She also points to the ‘cross pollination’ of creativity in her home. “There are no straight lines in nature” was a mantra her mother would repeat, and Mel’s interior design choices reflect this. When walls were replastered she insisted they follow their unique uneven quality. She also kept raw concrete beams exposed as well as the original ancient front doors. “Everything that had a soul had to stay,” she beams. Echoing her own designs, flooring inside and out is reclaimed patterned tiling. She’d found just a pair of tiles at the Consell flea market. “I asked the man if he had any more and he turned up with six crates of them!” she recalls.
It’s clear since moving to Mallorca, the fabric of Mel’s home, work and creativity have become finely interwoven. “They’re the essence of my whole life now,” she says, contentedly.
Text by Leon Beckenham | Photos by Sara Savage