Woman of the world

Designer Aline Matsika on how her ideas come together

Aline Matsika

As soon as Aline steps into the warm Mallorcan breeze, there is an irresistible energy orbiting her, humble, wise and intuitive. The collar of her light satin shirt glimmers in the afternoon sun, highlighting a certain twinkle in her eye that has seen beauty far beyond the shores of Palma. We decide on a spot in the tropical garden of Palacio Can Marques, the hotel she designed, and brought to life with partner Kim. She agrees, brushing off a few curled leaves on the sofa, sitting back and releasing a light chuckle before we’ve even begun.

We start at the beginning, until it becomes clear that there could be several beginnings. Words flow from her lips like liquid, dripping into dialogues once spoken and cities once lived. There is a richness to her descriptions in which a thread of creative force – from modelling to her love of flea markets – is drawn from one continent to the next. The furniture she used to move around as a child were the early signs of a designer that would see no boundaries in her creativity. We notice the same streak in her narrative, as we move from picking-out African masks to shipping stone statues from Florence. The breadth of her creative vision widens with every passing country, prompting us to ask how she manages to make sense of it all. She lightly gestures the air: “mood boards”. We all share a smile. No matter how eclectic her work, no matter how far-travelled her experiences, it all pieces together with a relaxed simplicity.

The surrounding birdsong pulls us back to Palacio Can Marques and when we express our admiration for its design, there is a softer, more heartfelt pause. “Can Marques is my…” She searches for the words but struggles, slipping into her French native tongue. She sighs “…well, it comes from meeting Kim”. The conversation now has a different tone, as her far-flung travels fade into the background. She talks of when Kim first bought Palacio Can Marques, and how at first, he was living in one room. Her eyes widen. “[‘I told him] this would be great as a boutique hotel’ and he said ‘never.’” We laugh, as she gestures at what now is one of Palma’s grandest places to stay. We ask what her signature suite is, and she doesn’t waver: ‘Renaissance’. She describes a painting that hangs there of a couple rushing through an art gallery. Her love for it is no surprise. The pace, the freedom and the world spinning in the background. It all comes together, much like one of her mood boards. Aline, Kim and the world.

Photos by Sara Savage

Address details

Palacio Can Marques

Carrer dels Apuntadors, 15, Palma