After a year of travelling in Vietnam, Spanish-Swedish couple Pablo and Angeliqa were ready to settle down in Mallorca. Pablo is the Founder of PMA Studio (an architecture firm based in Santa Catalina) so getting the right team together for the renovation was easy. However, their choice of property was an old Mallorcan townhouse, left abandoned for years and covered in flaking plaster. Their Scandi-Med vision was not going to be a straightforward renovation. The only thing exempt from any modification was the 100-year-old lemon tree in the garden, which during times of hardship, symbolized hope and reassurance for the couple. A bright motif for a bright and innovative project.
In the planning of their first home, it was important to Pablo and Angeliqa that their property reflected both their cultures. Getting enough Mediterranean ambience was special to both of them and easy given the property’s sunny position in outer Santa Catalina. It was the Swedish influence (from Angeliqa’s side) that meant infusing the property with a darker, more industrial feel. Concrete floors (normally used in garages) and petrol-coloured beams were just some of the concepts introduced. “We wanted our space to feel continuous and spacey, but cosy at the same time,” says Angeliqa, picking up their Jack Russel. “Most of my clients are Swedish,” smiles Pablo, “so I knew what materials would help us get the look we wanted, then Angeliqa was great at tying it all together.”
The renovation took the best part of quarantine in 2020, which kept the couple busy when restrictions tightened. The big steel beams that centralise the kitchen and living area were the trickiest part of the process and not helped by their discovery of a well under the property. “The house is over 100 years old so it’s quite typical to find a well – we just didn’t expect to find it right underneath the foundation! It was worrying having our entire house held up by scaffolding,” says Pablo. They considered filling in the well with concrete (to position the iron beam), but after stabilising the property in other ways decided against it. “In the end, it was cheaper for us to take the stones out then fill it with concrete,” says Angeliqa, who has it now covered in glass and made into an attractive feature.
As a way of remembering the process, Angeliqa has documented The Lemon House on Instagram for people to follow. What she didn’t expect was to gain such an interested following. “I get messages from people from all over the world who want to know what products we used,” she says. Their big Scandinavian windows painted in railing grey are one of their most asked-about features, as well as their sofas and kitchen chairs. As a shoe designer by profession, Angeliqa naturally values artisan producers. “I worked a lot with my mum who is a designer as well in Palma – together we made the sofa and cushions. I love Lasanta&Co. too, which is where we got our handmade chairs,” she explains. The only thing left to do is to add a few more plants and make some amendments to the garden. The lemon tree though, the couple press, will stay firmly in its place.
Written by Rosie Foot
Photos by Sara Savage