“You have to meet my friend John, he has got this amazing ongoing project in Palma and he has several Scandinavians working with him,” the words came from a colleague at the Daily Bulletin.
I was curious to hear about Besuto Homes, a new property developer in Majorca and as it turns out he is at the moment collaborating with Scandinavian garden designer Annika Zetterman who creates some of Sweden’s finest gardens.
So, I met John Candia founder of Besuto Homes for a coffee at Palma Tennis last week. He explained “We are a property investment and development company based in Santa Catalina, and together with my business partner we are determined to bring something fresh to the development scene. Our love of Scandinavian and Japanese design is something we are bringing to the forefront so that you have very clean lines and beautiful finishes which often lay just behind what is a more traditional Mallorcan façade. With this four-bedroom house in Son Espanyolet we have such ample exterior spaces including a courtyard and pool that we knew we needed someone at the top of their game to really make it special. For this reason, when my business partner spotted Annika Zetterman’s “New Nordic Gardens” book on a coffee table in London we knew we had to try our best to get her onboard and thankfully we were successful in doing so.”
Annika (www.annikazetterman.com) was born in Sweden and is creating gardens in the Nordics as well as overseas, with current projects in Spain and France. Her first visit to Mallorca was a family holiday in the 1980’s, and she loves the island.
Besuto is the Japanese word for ‘Best’. For each of our projects, our aim is to create exceptional homes and collaborate with the best within each field. Annika’s Scandinavian design ethos met our brief exactly. With her expertise we are creating a unique Japandi concept home.
Simply said, Japandi is a hybrid trend. This new way of decorating combines the modern flair of Scandinavian design with the timeless elegance of Japanese aesthetics to create a style with the best of both movements. The result is clean lines, raw functionality, a flawless finish, and lots of contrast.
Annika says: “I find the concept Japandi rather liberating, the equivalent of saying something is inspired or influenced by Japan and Scandinavia, with respect, and not to compare, to a genuine Japanese garden, that holds deep meaning, carries history and which only a designer with a deep understanding of Japan would be able to create.
Japan is a fascinating country and I admire their gardens and architecture. I have visited Japan on several occasions, witnessed the Sakura in spring, been hiking up Mt Fuji among the clouds, singing karaoke in bars in Tokyo. The new impressions never stop when visiting Japan, and I have been met by kindness repeatedly. I am taken by their attention to detail, the respect of material and the close relationship to nature.
It is important to say that there is a lot that Japan and Scandinavia do not have in common, and in much we are far apart. In my mind, I believe one strong common ground, reflected in Japandi, springs from to live comfortably close to nature.”
Do you want to make your garden more Japandi? I realized after going through her list that I already have two of the plants on her list, in my garden.
Here are Annika’s 5 choices of plants for a Japandi touch in a Mallorcan garden.
· Eriobotrya japonica – A small tree grown in Japan for centuries with high ornamental value. An architectural sculpture to any garden.
· Pennisetum alopecuroides – an ornamental grass, which adds an elegant, light appearance to the garden, and with varieties in beautiful arrays of greens and earthy hues.
· Tulbaghia Violacea Silver Lace – A pale beauty, adding a touch of Scandinavian colour. The silver-coloured foliage is holding interesting structure when the flowers are not in show.
· Nerium Oleander – a common and useful plant in the Mediterranean, where the simplicity of the flowers communicates well with a clean expression in a Japandi design concept.
· Sagina subulata – perfect for ground cover between steppingstones accentuating hard landscaping with its soft, moss-like expression. Delicate white flowers especially powerful when used across large areas.
Hope in challenging times
On the corner Calle Caro and Carrer Despuig there is a new attraction since a few weeks back. It is Sarah Elfvin from Lucky Bodys & Happy Souls that has put up a loom for carpets. “One day I had this exposure to weave carpets of denim, reuse jeans with help of others and then sell the mats and donate the money to those in need...” Sarah says. The project has been well received in the neighbourhood of Santa Catalina, and Sarah needs more people to contribute by handing in unwanted jeans or by giving her a helping hand to cut the jeans into strips. We do look forward to the first example to be ready and the charity auction will be held outside the workshop, date to be announced.