Justine hands back the keys to Wrighty. | Oliver Neilson


When Mark Wright walked into the Knox Design Store in Son Bugadelles looking for an interior designer, it wasn’t an accident. “Justine Knox had been recommended to me and I really needed someone who could help me rescue my apartment in Calvia Beach.” Mark had recently bought a property but had been let down by the previous construction and design team who had left the place in a mess and the pressure was on him to get it ready for family holidays this summer.

Go BIG! Justine’s advice for anyone furnishing a compact apartment. Photo: Oliver Neilson

Mark, or Wrighty to his friends and fans, is a busy guy. Aside from making and presenting TV shows he is also a regular on Heart Radio and often travels between his home in the UK, for engagements in Europe and America. “He’s actually quite typical of the type of people that are my clients,“ said Justine, “They tend to own a holiday home in Mallorca and be occupied with their work and family lives, so they want me to design and create a place where they can relax without them necessarily even being on the island to oversee the work.”

Justine Knox is a very established interior designer living and working in Mallorca, although her completed projects can also be found in the UK, and even Seattle now. She is no stranger to working with well known faces, counting comedian John Bishop and his wife Mel, and the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen amongst her clients. Justine is the founder and co-owner of Knox Design which is a full service interior design company with its own extensive shop in Son Bugadelles (which is in the process of being rebranded as the “Mallorca Design District”).

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On the first meeting the two hit it off and agreed to work together to transform Mark’s two bedroom seaview apartment in the Melia Hotel overlooking Nikki Beach. “The biggest issue was the time frame, we didn’t have long to complete the work as the hotel was due to open for the season and we had to be finished by then.” The duo were on the same wavelength as Mark had previous experience of renovating properties in Britain, but there are definitely some things which are done very differently in Mallorca to back home. “There are certain technical practices which are just fundamentally different here, but he didn’t need to concern himself with the details as my team and I collectively have decades worth of experience in renovation in Mallorca,“ said Justine. “Mark and I communicated mostly over WhatsApp messages which is quite normal. I like to keep all of my clients well informed about the stage of their property and every thing that is going on.”

“Mark had some tradesmen that he wanted to bring over from the UK, and I had some of my guys available, so we were able to make a plan and get started quite quickly.” After a consultation with Mark and his wife, the actress Michelle Keegan, Justine came to the conclusion that the couple would not enjoy her trademark use of colour. “They didn’t want a lot of colours so I decided to use a range of textures instead. The last thing they needed was for their apartment to look like a boring white box!” Justine completely redesigned the interior of the apartment with an emphasis on wood and marble as well as other textures. “They bring interesting shades and tones into the space, this is why I decided to design and install a large wooden slatted headboard up the wall and over the bed to make it a main feature of the master bedroom”.

A common misconception that many holiday home owners have is that if their property is compact that they should only put comparatively small pieces of decoration in the rooms, not so says Justine who proves quite conclusively that the opposite is in fact the way to go. “I went BIG. So, for example if you look at the living room the marble around the television is deliberately large. You should not choose small dinky pieces, choose to go oversize, the bedside lamps are another good example of this. And I used a lot of mirror to bounce more light around. It gives the feel of space, and encourages you to relax and really begin to get into the holiday mood.” To add to the spacious and luxurious feel of the design, Justine even utilised a space in the corridor of the apartment, “I stole a cupboard away and replaced it with a bar!”

How did Mark react to the final reveal of the completed renovation and redesign? “He absolutely loved it. We definitely met the brief. I hope that he and Michelle and their family enjoy many happy holidays here. The overall effect was intended to give a “Wow” factor of course, I wanted to reflect the personalities of Mark and Michelle in the interior of their apartment, and I think I have achieved that.” You can see for yourself in the photos taken by architectural photographer, Oliver Neilson, for Phoenix Media Mallorca and visit Justine’s Instagram @justineknox_designer and her website for more https://justineknox.com