Converting a centuries-old Mallorcan finca, or rural estate, into a modern holiday house without effacing its vernacular sensibility and storied architecture is no easy task, especially for a fledgling interior design studio with a few completed projects under its belt. This however didn’t stop interior design duo Feliu Rullán and Victoria Vidal from saying yes to such as proposal a few years ago after a chance meeting with the new owners of an 800-square-metre finca on the outskirts of Bunyola, a charming village in the Tramuntana mountain range. The new owners, a Belgian family seeking a peaceful retreat in the Balearic Islands, fell in love with the duo’s aesthetic when they happened to visit Bon Vivant Concept, their concept store in Palma’s old town where they showcase their own design pieces alongside vintage furniture, locally crafted objects and artworks. Two years of hard work later, the restored estate strikes a harmonious balance between its vernacular heritage and the owner’s cosmopolitan lifestyle thanks to Rullán and Vidal’s unique take on Mallorcan modernism, a soulful mix of pure forms, natural materials, well-crafted details and timeless sophistication.
Dating back to 1776, Son Serra, as the estate is known, was expanded over the years, most notably in 1909 when Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau elements were added to the original stone-built structure. The result is a sprawling three-storey building complex with multiple terraces enjoying beautiful views of the mountains. Meticulously refurbished with respect to their vernacular character by Bernardo Oliver and Javier Márquez of Mallorcan architecture practice BO-ARQ in collaboration with Consfutur, the buildings were opened up to their surroundings with the introduction of strategically located openings in line with Rullán and Vidal’s mission to create spacious and bright interiors befitting a contemporary summer retreat.
In order to instil the eight-bedroom house with a sense of modernity whilst celebrating its intrinsic rustic character, the team opted for local materials traditionally used in the region such as Binissalem stone (known as Mallorca’s marble), solid wood, iron, brass and lime paint, which they combined with a minimalist aesthetic of clean lines, rounded forms and uncluttered spaces. In combination with a muted colour palette of earthy hues, this approach has ensured continuity throughout the eight-bedroom residence despite the property’s amalgamation of vernacular, Art Nouveau and modernist aspects.
Restored timber roof beans, exposed masonry walls and recycled stone pavers speak to the property’s agricultural past, as does the ‘tafona’, or stone grain mill, which has been left intact, the traditional wood-burning stove transformed into a minimalist fireplace, and a decorative display of traditional cookware found at the property. Black-painted steel-framed glass doors and windows, chevron-patterned hardwood floors and terrazzo-like flooring add layers of timeless elegance, while the curation of furniture and decor introduce contemporary sophistication.
Comprising a mix of modernist and contemporary pieces, including many custom-designed by Rullán and Vidal and others by Mallorcan manufacturers and artisans, the eclectic furniture collection is underpinned by minimalist refinement and sculptural gracefulness. In the living room, Camaleonda sofas in a caramel hue designed by Mario Bellin in the 1970s for B&B Italia are paired with an Arco Lounge Chair by Dusty Deco and a coffee table by Mallorcan brand La Pecera. In the adjacent dining room, a curvaceous monolithic dining table by Bon Vivant Concept is complemented by Modern Mackintosh chairs by Palma-based Lasanta&Co., which are modelled on Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 1902 Hill House Chair, and a modernist-inflected chandelier hand-crafted in brass, blown glass by Mallorcan studio CONTAIN.
Bespoke oak and fabric wardrobes and headboards add soft touches in the bedrooms, while the master bathroom stands out as a “temple of wellness” with its sculptural bathtub, another custom design by Bon Vivant Concept, that almost looks like it has organically grown out of the floor taking the place of the altar. Crafted in collaboration with local artisans, the plethora of bespoke furnishings are complemented by artworks by four Mallorcan artists who draw inspiration from the island’s handicrafts heritage, namely paintings by Jaume Roig, limestone sculptures by Toni Salom, ceramic creations by Elisa Braemg, and textile pieces by Adriana Meunié. Ultimately, the end result is a testament to both Rullán and Vidal’s keen eye for craftsmanship and sense of poise where everything artfully comes harmoniously together to create a soulful environment that feels just as nostalgic as it feels fresh.