Tucked away in the historic center of Palma de Mallorca is San Gaieta, a 16-century palace that has been transformed into a colorful, comfortable modern residence. Italian architect and interior designer Teresa Sapey conceived and executed the design for the property, making it a totally customized home.
The building — San Gaieta — has a fascinating history, having been built by a pirate from Genoa. At one point, part if it was destroyed by fire in an act of arson, intended to frighten its owner, an Italian corsair, who was reviled in the city. Over the years, a number of renovations had changed the interior before Sapey purchased it in 2016.
Located in «la milla de oro» (the Golden Mile), a luxury shopping area, the Lonja neighborhood is a highly sought after area. In recreating the residence, Sapey decided to use both the wing that was traditionally reserved for nobility and the section that was intended for servants. The building features a variety of historic royal architectural elements, including distinctive windows and 5-meter high ceilings, and she expanded the space while maintaining the building’s traditional elements aspects.
Sun filters through the windows from the courtyard into the entryway, which is more than just a transition from the outdoors to the living spaces. It melds the historic exterior with the modern design of the interior by masterfully combining furniture and decor from the various eras. Traditional accessories on the left of the foyer are juxtaposed with modern, geometric head planters in a vivid chartreuse. The
Throughout the home, Sapey included decor items that she and her team designed and produced. The team also created the murals in the home.
The living room carries through the
Sporting a variety of shades of
The contrast of modern design against the Moorish window is especially intriguing. Minimalist and white, the table is a perfect display spot for the modern sculptures, framed by the more ornate window shape. You might have thought this would clash, but the artistic combination is fresh and cohesive.
Just off the entryway near the living room is the formal dining room. Because this is an interior space, it is defined by three windowless walls. The main source of natural light is windows that line the entryway on the other side of the single column. It could be a very dark space, but Sapey added a mirrored wall at the back, directly opposite the windows. This not only reflects more light, it gives the confined space a much less restrictive feeling and opens up the area.
The furniture in the dining again eases an element of modern into the space. A large tiled, hairpin-leg table is paired with a similar bench and a row of more
The design for the eat-in kitchen also mixes traditional pieces with modern features. Whitewalls and trim frame the room, accented by the swirl of stairs in the corner. A
Punctuated by bright greens, the master bedroom features an original mural that serves as a room divider as well. The natural feeling of the leaves and branches complement the colors and white background. Long linen panels that pool on the floor heighten the space visually and frame the large windows. It is a natural and relaxing space, accented with modern pieces like the occasional table and clear armchair.
Tiling in a neutral grayish beige is ideal for the minimalist design. Modern fixtures and open shelving keep the space light and open, even though natural light is minimal since the window is by the shower area. The taller ceiling also helps keep the spac efom feeling confined.
Similarly, a second bathroom has a brown tile base and contemporary styling with a long horizontal mirror above the vanity. Sea
A second bedroom is bright with various hues of blue. The white headboard is a work of art with a 3-D relief of stylized geometric flowers and it is paired with a coverlet on the bed that has a very natural and organic feeling. Striped of Ikat on the
A guest room is also done in shades of blue with the bed done up almost as if it were a daybed.
A similar chair sits in the hallway, the style of which is more conservative than the decor in the individual rooms throughout the home. Traditional art graces the walls, more in line with the traditional exterior.
A third bedroom is nearly all white, save for the pops of color that come from the unusual pink cushion and the green of the artwork on the wall. The nightstands echo the style of the tables elsewhere in the home and the
The front of the building features a small balcony with wrought iron railing and a breezy sunshade curtain that provides privacy. On the inside, flanked by the planters on the ledge, the balcony is set up with a cafe table and chairs. It is the perfect hideaway for enjoying a cup of coffee and intimate conversation. Or, fling aside the curtain and soak up some sun.