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The Art of Renovation

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September 1, 2008

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This sea-view apartment in Puerto Portals was on the market for a long time in its original state. It was badly in need of modernization and although there were many viewers, none wanted to take on the challenge – until the current owner came along and snapped it up. For the new owner, it was no problem to imagine how the first-line property could be transformed into the stylish and glitzy haven it has now become.

“I have renovated a few apartments in this building before, so I know the potential and luckily I know where to find the best furniture and accessories.” The purchase was completed in early June of this year and the renovation finalised by the end of July. The owner smiles: “Yes it was a bit of a challenge, particularly as noise is not permitted during July and August; plus it’s the holiday season and getting the suppliers to deliver on time can sometimes take a bit more effort than normal – but thankfully it all worked out.”

The property is now back on the market and the new owners – whoever they will be – can move in straight away, as the table is set and the candles are ready to light. “Yes, this is what I want to offer the buyers – that they can sign the purchase deed and sleep in their new home the same night.”

‘Turnkey’ is popular because foreigners buying a holiday home do not want to waste their time dealing with builders, and struggling to find what they need in a place where they probably don’t speak the language and don’t have a list of reliable suppliers.

If you are about to start a project here are some useful tips and contacts to help you achieve a great result with the minimum of pain.

The terrace
Probably the greatest asset of this apartment is the almost 40 sq metre terrace overlooking the marina of Puerto Portals. There was a lot of space gained from reducing the size of the walls underneath the railing and taking away a wall which served no purpose. The high wall at the back was repaired and the new tiles created a more modern and clean feeling to the terrace. Leaving space for a flowerbed to plant bougainvillea which was a good way to soften the impact of the high wall, and using flowerpots in front of the railing to enclose the terrace to create a garden atmosphere.

Choosing the right terrace furniture was particularly important. These Cora sun-beds are extremely comfortable and don’t take up as much space as flat ones. They can be used for sunbathing as well as a relaxing rocking chair and they fold-up flat, so storage in winter is not a problem. It would also be possible in the future to erect an awning over the terrace to create more privacy from the neighbours above.

The living/dining room
The shape of the room is rectangular so by using furniture to cross the width of the room, such as the dining table, you gain space and it doesn’t reinforce the form of the room. The centrepiece of the whole apartment is the silver chandelier over the black leather table. The glitzy colour is repeated in all the rooms from the tiles in the bathroom to the cushions in the bedrooms to the lamps in the guest bedroom, and in the accessories used on the tables and furniture. Carrying a theme throughout creates a concept and makes it much easier to choose the furniture and fittings so that it all comes together in the end.

Almost all of the furniture throughout the apartment was supplied by Màxim Confort with the exception of the chandelier and the dining table which were bought from La Oca.

The Bathrooms
Originally there was one large bathroom with a bathtub. This was converted into two – one en-suite and one bathroom for guests. The owner comments: “I was a bit worried about this as I was not sure that it would produce two sufficiently-sized bathrooms. In the end it worked out great and choosing light-coloured tiles and investing in really good quality bathrooms fittings is the secret to its success.”

The Kitchen
Previously the kitchen had a hatch/bar through to the living room. This was closed and two glass windows from floor to ceiling strategically placed 10 cm from the worktop so that when you are standing at the sink in the kitchen you can turn your head to the right and enjoy the most beautiful view of the yachts and sea beyond. The kitchen and living room doors were also changed to transparent glass to take full advantage of the tranquil view of the port.

The bedrooms
The two bedrooms were probably the least attractive part of the apartment prior to renovation. The rooms were small with high windows and dark bars and old-fashioned built-in pine waredrobes. Although many owners in the building have extended the windows in recent years permission was not granted to do so. To brighten up the rooms a stark white was chosen in combination with silver in the guest bedroom to continue the glitzy theme and black in the main bedroom. The result is a modern, crisp and bright feeling to each of the rooms and the change, as you see from the photos, is emence.

“Given the tight time constraints of the project there was really only one reliable kitchen supplier enabling installation of a fitted kitchen within two weeks and that’s Ikea. The quality of the Ikea kitchen units is very good and, to make a standard kitchen look great, I chose a 4 cm silicon worktop which cost more than all the units but has given it a fantastic finish,” reveals the owner.

The photos more than illustrate what can be achieved with some careful planning, creative ideas and good taste. What is truly unique about this apartment is the feeling that you are living right in the heart of the busy Puerto Portal and yet have all the peace, quiet and privacy of a stylish home far from anyone.

THE SUPPLIERS LIST

The Builder:
Argenbal de Angel Notario,
C/ de la Tanca de can Balanguer, No.13
Pont d’Inca, Marratxi
Tel: 971 794 699 Mobile: 657 316 979

The Consulting Architect:
Andreas Hummel Arquitecto,
C/del Moli del Comte, 72,
Establiments, Palma
Tel: 971 768 047 Mobile: 678 975 625
Email: andreashummel@gmx.net

The Light Shop:
Trilamp, C/ de Valldemossa, 68,
Palma de Mallorca,
Tel: 971 20 79 51

The Wardrobes:
Don Armario,
C/ de Valldamossa, infront of Carrefour, Palma
Tel: 971 756 289

The Furniture Shops:
Màxim Confort,
Poligono Son Valenti, sn,
Tel: 971 254 014

Beds,
Poligono Son Valenti, sn,

Curtains:
I Love Fabrics S.L.
C/Miguel Machado, 3, Son Caliu
Tel: 971 681 740

The Accessories:
Màxim Confort, Can Cabot for Cora Sun-beds & Missoni Home towels,
La Oca for decoration, Ikea for candles.
Artamtam for the canvas prints and El Corte Inglés for picture framing,
Magatzem Verd for all the plants and flowerpots.

The Bathroom & Tiles:
All the tiles and bathroom fittings were sourced from Kera Gras.


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About Author

Jan Edwards

Jan Edwards

An ex-BBC radio presenter/journalist living on the cosmopolitan island of Mallorca, who is assistant editor for the luxury lifestyle publication abcMallorca. Her main writing interests are in travel, food and interviewing interesting people and well-known celebrities. Jan blogs about her finca lifestyle and contributes articles to some well-known publications in the UK.