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Jennifer of Mashamba Design on making the most of your terrace all-year roundDecember 15, 2017

Every month we talk to upmarket Mallorca garden and terrace design specialists Mashamba about how to make the most of your garden and terrace. This month, Jennifer answers our questions about terraces.

Let’s start at the very beginning, Jennifer. What are the factors that you ask clients to consider before planning a terrace?

The first thing we usually do is visit the property with the client to get a better understanding of the space itself.  This helps us to determine things like a style that fits with the architecture. There might be outstanding elements to enhance, like a great view, or special issues we need to address, such as the lack of privacy or feeling of intimacy in the space. This is also a good time to check any logistical issues involved with a terrace design, including access to bring materials and furnishings to the space.

It’s also important to consider the natural elements. Is the terrace in a very exposed, windy location? Does the hot summer sun beam down on the space during the afternoon? There’s usually a solution for anything, but careful and thoughtful planning is essential. Then of course, there’s the budget to think about.

How long does it take to design and build a decent-sized terrace?

This varies from project to project, but it can take a couple of months or longer from the initial design concept to the final installation and finishing touches. If we order furnishings this can take often several months.

The design process and installation is relatively quick so the main factor is often how long people take to make up their minds.

What would you say distinguishes your approach to terraces?

We have a real understanding and appreciation of the value and importance of outdoor living.

Most of us think of a terrace as something that comes into its own between, let’s say, May and October. Would you agree?

Yes, but the fantastic thing about Mallorca is you can have 20-degree days in mid-winter too.

If your terrace is going to be usable throughout the seasons, what needs to be considered?

Shelter in the winter and shade in the summertime are, as you’d think, the most important factors.

Could you give some specific examples of how to create a terrace which can be enjoyed in the middle of winter?

Building a covered terrace is the easiest way to have an outdoor living area which can be enjoyed even in winter. A terrace which has a proper roof on it means you can leave furnishings and cushions out, even if it’s raining. Adding an outdoor heater or even a fire pit can add warmth and ambiance to the area.

Could you share some general principles about dressing your terrace for a party?

It’s much easier if you start with a well-designed terrace to begin with of course. It’s also much simpler during the warmer months where the weather’s consistently excellent. However, there are a few things that you can do to help ensure a successful party on your terrace whatever the time of year.  The main thing is to determine what role your terrace will play during your party.

If you’re throwing a simple, lowkey party with a few friends,  a few fresh green plants and maybe some new throw cushions may be all you need.

Setting the mood is the most important task. This can be as simple as placing hurricane lanterns and loads of candles all around. Fairy lights are also great if you have a pergola or structure to wrap or hang them from. Hiring a tent or small marquee is a must if you’re hosting during the months where the weather may be unreliable. It’s also a good idea to hire a few outdoor heaters to place inside the tent which means you can have a terrace party even in winter, provided your terrace is large enough.

What are the key things to remember when you’re throwing a winter party on your terrace?

Keeping your guests warm and cosy. Simple things like serving hot drinks – think mulled-wine for example – as well as wines, beers and spirits – can go a long way to keep people warm and happy. Also, buying few inexpensive throws or small blankets for guests to wrap up in is a great idea, you can see these in many cafes and restaurants here in Mallorca. Have them handy on sofas and hung over the backs of chairs.

We all know the weather can be a bit unreliable during wintertime, so it’s always a good idea to have a back up plan in case of rain or if it’s just too cold to be outside.  If you don’t have a covered terrace, you can hire a small tent or marquee to be on the safe side. It is also easy to create a snug ambiance inside a tent by using outdoor heaters and lighting. Outdoor heaters are a great investment, and there are some very stylish natural gas models on the market that also add ambiance with the warm glowing light they have when lit.

Do you have a supplier of things like lights, heating and so on that you could recommend?

If you want to hire these things for an event, then yes, I highly recommend checking with VL Lounge, who have a stylish collection of furniture, lighting, tents and so on available for hire on Mallorca.

Should you be looking for stylish and functional outdoor natural gas heaters for your terrace, Mashamba has a great selection available for sale that usually can be delivered to Mallorca within a few days.

When you’re in search of beautiful terracotta plant pots for your terrace or garden, we’re the exclusive reps for Italian Terrace, a brand that offers beautiful range of pots, planters, vases and oil jars hand-crafted in Italy using traditional methods. Please contact us for a catalogue or go here for more information.

Lastly, could you recommend a place in Mallorca where readers can buy Christmas trees?

Typically, most local nurseries will have a decent supply of Christmas trees in stock close the holiday time. No need to worry on that score.

Thanks, Jennifer. Plenty of useful information there. Have a great holiday and I’m looking forward to speaking in 2018!

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