It is impossible to remain indifferent to a project as indicative of mid-century spirit as this one created by interior designer Christine Leja. More than a lifestyle, this house in Mallorca, Spain is a delightful depiction of the “sunshine state” of California.
“Planning, designing and building living spaces is one of the most beautiful professions, since, with every and each new client and project, there is a new challenge,” says Leja. “I try to find out the needs, the wishes, the dreams and the living concept of the future resident to than create a corresponding new home for them. Maybe it took a little longer and my decisions became modified and overthought – but at least I had no need to explain or justify my choices, because it was me, whom will live and enjoy that space later on. I played with the ideas – I handled it in a loosely and unconventional way – without any rules and styling concepts”.
According to the designer, the only vision and concept she had was a mid-century bungalow with this typical L.A. spirit. “I think it was this old and huge Yucca tree in the garden, which reminded me from the first moment to West Hollywood. This inspiration carried me through the entire project,” she shares.
To start, she maintained the original form of the house. “I had to respect the existing shell of the building from the 60’s. No way to change the form of the building also not the roof. It was clear from the beginning, that I had to open the house as much as I can and that I have to clean out the inside, to convert it into a modern open living concept.”
After taking down more than the half of the facade in order to get openings of more than 5m and breaking down nearly all interior walls, Leja successfully brought about a sheer sense of openness, light and the spectacular sea view into the last corner of the house.
“Instead of 6 bed rooms there are now 3 and 3 bathrooms. Instead of a low & closed living room, there is a completely open big living space with 5m high ceiling. The entire house got transparent and feels like a clear space. To make it into one piece, I used all over the same cement floor, without having any joints – no where any other material on the floor – even not in the showers. The underfloor heating makes it even more comfortable to enjoy this smooth floor barefoot on cold days,” explains Leja.
Colours abound in this beautiful home, introduced throught various treatments of the walls and finer details. “Different colours of handmade tiles in the bath rooms, 6 different wall papers in the house, copper taps in the bathrooms, a tailor-made turquoise kitchen, all those details made this house into an inspiring and unique living space,” says the designer. “The mosaic tiles were custom made in South of Spain, the wallpapers from all over the world, the marble came from Italy, the shutters designed and done in Poland, the lamps came from Portugal etc. and the final result – lets call it a “potpourri” is a result of an exciting selection from all my travels and my researches to make the vision come true.”
Additionally, collector items like the Egg chair or the antique waterski collection were the consequence of making the vision perfect. Every piece of furniture was searched and selected in order to equip the house with the owners’ practical needs and the corresponding style.
“What is done in love is done well (Vincent van Gogh) and to complete it; what is done in love & freedom is unique,” says Leja.