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May 16, 2012


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It is clear that the owners of this beautiful home in the South West consider it a retreat. They are both professionals with demanding careers on the island, and see their home as the place to escape from work issues and concentrate on their children, animals, trees and roses.

The house itself was built just over four years ago on a large piece of ground with beautiful views. The owners loved traditional Mallorcan finca living but, having spent seven years in a very old finca that let in rain and drafts and where the windows didn’t close properly, they wanted all the luxuries of modern living in their new home.

“We decided not to imitate anything old, but to create a very honest and peaceful country home which would work well for all the family. Our parents, who are architects, did the design and what we have achieved is both practical and attractive. We have modern cons, like under floor heating and a smart kitchen, but still feel connected to nature.

“We love the fact that we are close to Palma but live a quiet and peaceful life among almond and olive trees without the noise of neighbours and traffic”, explains the owner, who admits that:

Her two favourite rooms are her kitchen and the horse stables. She also admits that they prefer a more minimalist, neutral look, which does not distract from the light and views.

“It was a wonderful house to work with,” said Swedish designer Klas Kall. “I liked the clean, modern architecture which was combined with a traditional Mallorcan exterior. I loved how the light came from all directions. It is a beautiful house with beautiful flooring, which is an important aspect of any house.

“As I was given a free hand and the weather is cold at this time of year, I decided to add some cosiness and personality. Colour can have a very positive effect on your emotions and the wonderful light we have in Mallorca shows off colour to its full advantage.

“At Rialto Living we basically work with four different concepts. The first is Hampton’s, ideal for coastal living with lots of white, blue and red, and crisp, clean linen. Then we have Ethnic Chic which is more rustic, and cosy with lots of natural colours. The third look is Colourful European, which is bright and colourful. The final look is New York, which is very elegant cool and much more minimalist.

“What I like about these four looks is that they are contemporary without being “in”. We don’t go for looks that date in a few months. On the whole, we try to make a house look personal rather than trendy, concentrating on good classic pieces that are easy to live with.

“For me, the best look combines a mixture of old and new and has a lot of personal touches that reflect the people living there.”

“We avoid the “package look” which ends up looking like a hotel.

“For the country house we chose Colourful European, introducing colour in the soft furnishings and accessories. For comfort in the main living room we added a carpet, sofa, armchairs, a picture and some lamps with bright shades. In the dining room we added a carpet and concentrated on the table setting.”

So, hey presto, a few changes to create a cosy look for a beautiful home, ideal for snuggling up with a good book and bottle of wine on a cold Sunday in January.

And for those who like reading about décor, I ask Klas his personal décor tips.

“Well if you buy a new house or flat and can only purchase a few items, I’d suggest you start off with a beautiful carpet and some great art work. When it comes to the design of the building, you can’t go wrong with good lighting – whether natural or artificial – and good flooring.”

And is there a décor trend for 2008? “The industrial look, such as old car workshop tables, is still big and can look good when put together in harmony with more classical items.

“Klas Kall and his wife Barbara Bergman are the owners of Rialto Living, which opened in Palma at the end of July. Klas has had 25 year’s experience as an international designer and is responsible for most of the concepts and decoration. Barbara assists him with the buying.

They have owned a home in Mallorca since 1988 so are very familiar with the island and what works here.

Rialto Living
Calle San Feliu

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