This week, Suite 67, a one-bed suite designed by Matthew Williamson for Belmond La Residencia was officially opened. I took the opportunity to ask Matthew how the project came about, what made him move to Deià and how he feels about the village and Mallorca.
If you have any interest in fashion and design, especially interiors, you’ll already be familiar with Matthew’s work. But, just in case, you can read his impressive biography here.
I began by asking Matthew how he came to Deià. ‘I discovered Deià by chance about two years ago,’ he explained. ‘I’d travelled far and wide but I’d never even been to Mallorca. A friend of mine invited me to stay in her house near Palma. One day I took a taxi up to Deià and fell in love with the area straight away. The scenery struck me immediately – the picture postcard views of Valdemossa followed by the rugged coastline as you head towards Deià.’
Now Matthew lives 80% of the time just outside the village, in what he describes as ‘a lovely five-bedroom house with a gorgeous garden, or at least it will be in two months’ time. I’m halfway through extensive renovations so that’s been keeping me busy.’
How does he feel about Deià? ‘I love the lifestyle and can also work here as it’s one of the places where I feel most creative, away from the distractions of a big city. I travel back to London for meetings once a month, so the balance works well for me at the moment.’
Matthew’s design sensibility is wonderfully strong and colourful. I wondered if he felt inspired by the Mediterranean. ‘I’ve always loved bold colours and intricate patterns,’ he replied, ‘and my work has always been informed by elements of nature. I’ve spent the last year developing a collection of wallpapers and furnishing fabrics inspired by Deià. The range launches in September with Osborne and Little and it’s been great to work on as I’ve been able to really explore the island and get to know it much better.’
Regular readers of this blog will know that Matthew Williamson designed the interior of Nama, the remarkable Asian organic and somewhat vegan restaurant on Deià’s main street. How did Matthew come to design Nama’s beautiful interior, I asked? ‘Nama bar is owned by my friends Namali and Linus who live and work in Deià. They asked if I would help out with the design of their new venture, which this year will also serve sushi. It was a pleasure to work on the project. I wanted to keep the space Spanish and rustic in feel but inject it with a few unexpected flourishes, such as a deep peacock blue room and washrooms with parrots and flamingos.’
And how did the commission for Suite 67 at Belmond La Residencia come about? ‘I think the manager of Belmond La Residencia saw my work at Nama and it all developed from there. I met the Belmond team, who were keen to develop the concept of a luxury, designer home from home within the hotel. Belmond La Residencia is one of my favourite hotels, so I was flattered and honoured to have been asked to create a Matthew Williamson space for them. The hotel’s location could not be more magical and unique, it oozes a very subtle, understated sophistication. I think the combination of our respective design values makes for a really interesting mix. Because I live just around the corner from the hotel, it was easy for me to pop in while Suite 67 was being created. The fact that I’m a Deià local also provides an authentic story for guests who stay in the suite.’
After Nama and Suite 67, will Matthew be undertaking other projects in Deià? ‘I’d love to work more in Deià and Mallorca generally. I have a project I’m developing at the moment but it’s very early days. I’d really love to design the interior of someone’s home on the island as I love working one to one.’
I was curious to know what Matthew appreciates most about the village and Mallorca. ‘I love the peace and quiet of Deià in the months out of season. I spent the winter here and it was completely empty, which was actually really nice. The village is so small and I’ve got to know all the locals by name now. It’s a lovely community and people tend to look out for you which is great. The landscape inspires me each and every day. It’s a wonderful place for any creative person to be lucky enough to experience. As for Mallorca, I really love the island. It’s surpassed all my expectations. The city of Palma is wonderful to wander around. If you get lost in the backstreets, you’ll always stumble across something new. Santa Catalina is a favourite part of town. I often visit for great food, cafés, bars and creative design-based shops.’
Suite 67 illustrates the real connection Matthew feels to Deià and Mallorca. His signature aesthetic is very much in evidence, but he also honours the heritage and traditional Mallorquin feel of Belmond La Residencia. Inspired by the hotel’s enchanting gardens, his designs bring the outside in so guests feel connected to their natural surroundings.
The one-bed suite features an outdoor snug, private pool and garden, luxurious living space and vibrant bathroom. Each space has a distinct mood, balancing contemporary playful designs with eye-catching hues, hand-drawn fauna and floral patterns.
Matthew’s signature wallpaper, Rosanna Trellis, adorns the walls of the bedroom, which features a bed lacquered in Yves Klein electric blue. In the living space, Matthew’s upholstery fabrics are set against soft pink blush walls. The private garden and pool area features designs inspired by the glamour of 1950s Palm Springs and California.
Ulisses Marreiros, General Manager of Belmond La Residencia is delighted with the result of Matthew Williamson’s collaboration with the hotel. ‘We’re extremely honoured to work with Matthew,’ he says. ‘Suite 67 is a visually gorgeous, one-of-a-kind space in which the modern or more traditional traveller can escape, relax and indulge their senses.’
If you’d like to know more about Suite 67, please contact Belmond La Residencia.