House Tour

Nordic meets boho in the laid-back interiors of this Mallorcan holiday flat

In her family's home-from-home, interior designer Tine Kjeldsen has created a layered, natural scheme that allows the beauty of the property's period features to shine

25 March 2018 - 00:00 By ROBYN ALEXANDER/BUREAUX.CO.ZA
An L-shaped couch occupies one corner of the living and dining room. The interior walls have been plastered but left unpainted, giving them a unique textured look.
An L-shaped couch occupies one corner of the living and dining room. The interior walls have been plastered but left unpainted, giving them a unique textured look.
Image: Greg Cox/Bureaux.co.za

Close to the historic old centre of Palma - the capital city of the idyllic Mediterranean island of Mallorca - is the neighbourhood of Santa Catalina. It's a lively historic district that features attractive low-rise apartment buildings with cast-iron balconies, classic Mallorcan wooden window shutters - mostly painted traditional dark green - and rooftop terraces ideal for enjoying long, balmy summer evenings.

The area has many coffee shops, bars and restaurants, and at its heart is the Santa Catalina market, where you can shop for fresh vegetables, cheeses, preserved meats, pastries, flowers and plants.

A short stroll from the market, on the first floor of a small building on a tree-lined street, is the apartment where Danish interior designer Tine Kjeldsen, her husband, Jacob Fossum, and their three children, Klara, Tilde and Konrad, spend their Spanish holidays. A light-filled corner flat with several Juliet balconies, it is a restful yet vibrantly urban getaway.

Tine says the apartment, then adorned with a Sa Vende (For Sale) sign, caught her eye one sunny December day a few years ago when she was in Palma seeing a client.

She fell in love with the property, in spite of it being in a state of disrepair after having been unoccupied for some time.

"It was clear that the apartment needed love," says Tine - and that is exactly what it received, in the form of a careful renovation that has reinvigorated the space.

The charming exterior of Tine Kjeldsen's holiday apartment in Santa Catalina, Palma de Mallorca.
The charming exterior of Tine Kjeldsen's holiday apartment in Santa Catalina, Palma de Mallorca.
Image: Greg Cox/Bureaux.co.za
The stairwell features a cast-iron balustrade, stone treads, and Mallorcan wall tiles.
The stairwell features a cast-iron balustrade, stone treads, and Mallorcan wall tiles.
Image: Greg Cox/Bureaux.co.za

Directly ahead is the doorway to the living and dining room, which has a small kitchen situated off it, while to the left and right are two of the flat's three bedrooms.

The largest bedroom is the one to your left, but don't make the mistake of thinking that this is the "master suite".

Rather, this is the bedroom that Klara, Tilde and Konrad share - it has plenty of space for two double beds - and it used to be the kitchen. "We didn't want to be cooking so much with all these lovely restaurants around us," says Tine, "so now the kids have a huge bedroom with lots of space."

Probably the most eye-catching elements of the apartment are its original period features. These include traditional Mallorcan floor tiles, wood and glass doors, pressed ceilings, cast-iron balcony railings and wooden exterior shutters.

The floor tiles, in particular, are intricately patterned and absolutely lovely - perhaps even more so because during the renovation they were a surprise discovery, unearthed from beneath flooring that had been laid on top of them.

Light streams into the dining area through the refurbished wood-and-glass doors.
Light streams into the dining area through the refurbished wood-and-glass doors.
Image: Greg Cox/Bureaux.co.za
The main bedroom leads off the open-plan living and dining room.
The main bedroom leads off the open-plan living and dining room.
Image: Greg Cox/Bureaux.co.za
A local carpenter made the deep white storage drawers in the compact kitchen.
A local carpenter made the deep white storage drawers in the compact kitchen.
Image: Greg Cox/Bureaux.co.za
A palette of black, white and natural tones gives the compact kitchen a spacious feel.
A palette of black, white and natural tones gives the compact kitchen a spacious feel.
Image: Greg Cox/Bureaux.co.za

Only in the children's bedroom and the bathroom were new tiles laid, and these are handcrafted Moroccan cement tiles from Tine's own collection, created for her store, Tine K Home. They work perfectly alongside the older tiles.

The traditional double wooden interior doors are all inset with glass, and these were retained. The existing glass was thick and discoloured, so it was changed to allow light to stream through the space.

As lovely as its period features are, the apartment feels unpretentious and functional. When they are here, Tine and her family spend plenty of time out and about in Palma, as well as exploring Mallorca's many attractions beyond the city itself.

Describing a typical day spent on the island, Tine says: "My husband and I wake up earlier than the kids, so we go to the small coffee shop in our street to people-watch as the locals go to the market to do their shopping."

Once the children are also awake, the family has breakfast together and then "we plan the day from there", says Tine. "And whatever the day brings, whether it's an excursion to Deià, a bicycle trip around town or a day on the beach, we always end up back in our area having a late dinner."

A bed has been cleverly built into an alcove in the bedroom shared by Tine Kjeldsen's three children.
A bed has been cleverly built into an alcove in the bedroom shared by Tine Kjeldsen's three children.
Image: Greg Cox/Bureaux.co.za
New patterned tiles were laid in the children's room to complement the original floor tiles elsewhere in the apartment.
New patterned tiles were laid in the children's room to complement the original floor tiles elsewhere in the apartment.
Image: Greg Cox/Bureaux.co.za
In the guest bedroom, storage takes the form of a simple bamboo 'wardrobe'.
In the guest bedroom, storage takes the form of a simple bamboo 'wardrobe'.
Image: Greg Cox/Bureaux.co.za
Sliding doors off the main bedroom and children’s bedroom allow access from two sides to the shared bathroom.
Sliding doors off the main bedroom and children’s bedroom allow access from two sides to the shared bathroom.

Of course the apartment also gets its stylish yet easy-going atmosphere from the style in which Tine has decorated it: the look is definitely in line with the overall feel of the Tine K Home brand - although appropriately, given its location, it's a little more laid-back.

"In Palma it's more boho combined with Nordic; simple and natural," says Tine. "And the use of materials like bamboo and rattan makes a perfect contrast with the old tiles on the floors."

Contrasting elements are used to perfection throughout the space. For example, white wooden glass-fronted cabinets display textured linens and books, and sleek white drawers in the kitchen hide crockery, cutlery and all the usual domestic necessities - but a swarm of rustic wood and wicker stools and side tables in turn provide perfect counterpoints to these.

The use of materials like bamboo and rattan makes a perfect contrast with the old tiles on the floors

In the living and dining room, a simple wood and bamboo dining table and woven cane chairs contrasts with the L-shaped couch in the corner. The couch is covered with grey textured throws and grey and white cushions that invite lounging.

The apartment is, in many ways, a perfect expression of the Tine K Home brand. Since founding it with her husband in 1999, Tine has created a unique blend of Scandinavian simplicity with French, Asian and Moroccan influences.

Yet this home away from home is by no means a showroom intended for display: rather, it is a family-orientated, lived-in space. Holidays spent in this unique pied-à-terre, situated in a vibrant yet historic city, are truly special.

Says Tine: "We love this style of simple living. Our Spanish home is our second home and a place where the whole family can relax."

The apartment is available for holiday rentals, e-mail palma@tinekhome.dk

• Styling: Sven Alberding/bureaux.co.za


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