Written by Meridith Moore
Photos by Pernilla Danielsson of Lifestyle Mallorca
Nestled high in the hills of Mallorca lies the picturesque and private retreat of a Northern European family of four. Drawn to its breathtaking views and untapped potential, they purchased the second home as a sanctuary away from the bustle of their everyday lives, a place they could spend quality family time together. The only drawback was that the property’s grand-scale and outdated style lacked the inviting charm and tranquility that they desired in a holiday home.
The family turned to their long-standing interior designer to renovate the interiors and entrusted the transformation of the outdoor spaces to Alexander and Jennifer Warren-Gash, the design duo behind Mashamba Design. It was an easy decision for the family, they had discovered Mashamba nearly a decade earlier, and several homes and projects later, they’ve fostered a close working relationship and friendship. The brief for the Warren-Gashes was simply to make their outdoor space a useable retreat, “a home I never want to leave.”
Jennifer knew just how to make the home more inviting. She adorned the near dozen terraces and the indoor and outdoor pool areas with handmade plant pots, lush greenery and custom artwork, starting with the entry.
She made an impressive statement and a happy homecoming for her clients with two Ficus macrocarpa (bonsai ficus) trees planted in extra-large textured pots. They stand guard in perfect symmetry at the entrance and match the scale and grandeur of the home. “The pots serve as statement pieces, akin to art,” Jennifer explains. “Because what does art do? It makes a statement.”
Further artwork was added to the pool house entry, where the exterior wall was both intimidating and uninspiring. Jennifer commissioned a trio of raku ceramic panels that break up the expanse of the multi-story wall. The ancient Japanese glazing technique results is something unexpected – varying textures and depths, much like a painted canvas – that’s completely suitable for outdoor use.
With so many beautiful areas surrounding the house, it’s hard for Jennifer to pick a favourite, but she agrees that the roof terrace off the primary bedroom is particularly special. “My clients sought an escape within their bedroom suite. I designed the terrace, which runs along the whole primary bedroom wing, as a secluded sanctuary within their home.”
To create the haven, Jennifer included colours, organic shapes and rich textures that are reminiscent of a Zen Garden. A variety of succulents and fan palms, a custom water feature and artistic clay pebbles and bench were all chosen to create a sense of tranquility.
She selected the Belgian artisans at Atelier Vierkant for many pieces of the design. Their pots and clay objects bridge the gap between modern aesthetics and Mediterranean allure, lending an unmatched quality and style to the terrace.
Throughout the property, Jennifer’s designs helped bring the larger-than-life estate down to a more intimate scale.
While Jennifer focused on the living areas, Alexander undertook the monumental task of reimaging the garden. Employing an artist’s eye and designer’s ingenuity, Alexander breathed life into the lackluster suburban garden. His designs incorporated an array of lush plant-life and he turned previously unused terraces into vibrant living areas, all in a modern Mediterranean design.
Alexander shares his philosophy on landscape design, “Creating a beautiful garden isn’t my only goal. Gardens aren’t just for admiring. They are an experience to savor and spaces to make lasting memories.” This ethos translates into gardens with a purpose. Elements like firepits, water features, orchards and pathways to hidden retreats encourage Mashamba’s clients to explore the garden, fostering a deeper connection with nature.
A prime example is what both designer and client affectionately refer to as the “romantic terrace.” Alexander transformed a secluded terrace beneath the pool area into a relaxing haven that appeals to the senses. Here, the clients enjoy the gentle rustling of palms and grasses, the soothing babble of a custom fountain and the heavenly fragrance of jasmine and lemon blossom.
Alexander’s favourite garden space is tucked along the eastern side of the house. Crafted in a Mediterranean style, he loves the form and aesthetic of the planting – it boasts statement Olea europaea (olives), swathes of Salvia rosmarinus (rosemary) and perfectly trimmed topiaries of Teucrium fruticans (tree germander).
Both casually elegant and calming, the garden is resplendent in a palette of muted greens and beiges, and the air carries the woodsy, fresh smell of rosemary and fragrant tree germander. These terraces are bathed in morning sunlight, and along with their verdant and secluded nature, are the perfect spot for morning tea and contemplation.
Following a meandering pathway from here, the sea view draws you to the pool and entertaining areas. Along the path, there’s a subtle and seamless shift of greenery that ends in a subtropical poolside garden. Sky-high palm trees, Cycas revoluta (sago palms) and large-leafed Strelitzia (birds of paradise) create a lush, wild and natural jungle atmosphere befitting poolside lounging.
Through their artful blend of design and nature, the Warren-Gashes achieved their distinctive Mashamba magic in this suburban Mallorcan estate. Their clients now delight in spaces that beckon you outside to explore and relax – a Mediterranean sanctuary they never need leave.
Let’s Work Together:
Outdoor living is the essence of Mediterranean life and we believe that gardens and terraces are the ultimate platform for creating the romance and charm we desire from life in Mallorca. Let us transform your outdoor spaces and create the Mediterranean dream you’ve always wanted.
Sources: plant pots, clay pebbles and bench from Atelier Vierkant, Raki ceramic artwork, custom Water fountains, custom