It’s hard to imagine we are in Mallorca as we head through rolling lush countryside more reminiscent of Provence, with the lemon trees and Lavender. In fact, we are in the middle of the island between Costitx and Sencelles. A beautiful unknown part of Mallorca.
Design for life
Three friendly Spanish Podenco rescue dogs, Sota, Norte and Theo greet us. They are so elegant like their owner. You can tell Lillian has design in her blood. She has a Master’s in Fashion Design & Merchandise and spent most of her life in the fashion industry. The jewellery she wears seems to be part of her including the ring she is wear- ing, designed by her and made in Palma.
Even though Lillian has designed for many years for companies in different regions of the world, you get the feeling now that she is at her happiest up a ladder. She has completely reformed her country house, doing most of the manual work herself. In fact, if you stood still long enough Lillian would paint you!
Letting in light
It was her heart that brought Lillian to the island but it was the process of transfor- ming this property into a stunning idyll that sustained and healed her through a challenging illness. “It was all about letting the light in” Lilian explains. Windows expanded, and the frames and terrace beams were sanded. Living up a ladder often for weeks at a time during the two years that it took to complete the renovation. Painting the entire house inside and out, it became her therapy, even learning how to grout facing stones onto columns.
She transformed the dark kitchen which Lillian felt was a little cut off from the living room by squaring archways and of course, she repainted all the kitchen cabinets. The highlight of the dining room is the custom made teak wood table from the furniture store casa Lima in Palma. The guest bedroom has a new life with its own entrance and private patio to enjoy a coffee.
The details are what makes this house special. The fireplace surround was transformed. Lilian used leftover cement from the terrace. She mixed it up in one evening and ‘ta-da’, the 70’s brick fireplace became a cutting-edge beauty. “Everything about the house is about connection. The rooms flow from one to the other with a similar paint or a glass bowl,” she muses. The wrap-around central courtyard is a surprise as you glide into the Balinese-inspired space drenched in sunlight. “Me and the doggies love resting here on hot sunny days,” she says.
The pièce de résistance is the living room. Lillian wanted to bring the outside in. You can open an entire wall of windows onto a huge terrace. You must admire anyone who sands down the multiple wooden beams of a terrace roof. The view takes you right across to the Tramontana Mountains. The garden slopes down so the view is uninterrupted. It serves as a reminder of the mountain views. The significance of this renovation project for its owner’s journey to restore her health is not lost. As Lilian recounts the heartfelt story of how she transformed her home brush stroke by brush stroke, it seems like a reflection of the deep healing taking place inside herself. “It just came together,” Lilian reflects.
Text by Melanie Paton | Photos by Sara Savage