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Fine Design In Palma

Majorca is one of the pearls of the Mediterranean. Over the years, the island has drawn from its traditional resources to reinvent itself in line with current trends. No wonder, then, that it is one of Spain’s design meccas. This is where the Camper footwear brand was born, and the painter, Miquel Barceló, too. It was also the destination of such artists as Joan Miró and the pianist, Frédéric Chopin. This thirst for creation and good taste has led its capital, Palma, to build up a bountiful network of shops, restaurants, bars and hotels which can wreak havoc on the unsuspecting design lover. From the old town to the grass-roots quarter of Santa Catalina, from the classical to the most genuine vintage, one things emerges clearly – Palma is design.

1. In Progress
In the heart of Santa Catalina lies the store run by Sonia and Jesús, two enfants terribles of vintage who specialise in artefacts from the fifties to the eighties. Here you will find anything from chairs and lamps to Pontesa crockery, Arcoroc glasses and old Palma shop counters. With special emphasis on “Made in Spain”, on many a Saturday they organise aperitif concerts and exhibitions by local artists.

2. Rialto Living
As soon as you set foot in Rialto Living you will feel as though you’re in the chic venues of Capri or the Hamptons. This “living store” is housed in an old palace in the city’s historic centre and its offerings range from furniture and art to books, fashion and a restaurant. Old and modern mingle in the ambience, with that Mediterranean flourish we are so fond of.

3. Frida Watson
Seen from the shop window, items in the Frida Watson collection confirm love at first sight. This store in Santa Catalina features pure Scandinavian design from the fifties to the seventies in harmony with Vitra clocks, Murano glass and retro lamps that resemble flying saucers.

4. Hotel Cort
The work of interior designer, Lázaro Rosa-Violán, Hotel Cort is one of the most elegant in town. Perfect lighting, hydraulic flooring and island colours compound a blend of elements that can make your head swim. Further, the sophisticated hotel restaurant is the ideal spot for a quiet dinner with your partner.

5. La Pecera
Few places can reconcile mid-20th-century European furniture with vintage and contemporary Majorcan items so deftly. La Pecera is a small but alluring store where you can find lamps, designer furniture, decorative items and craftwork. C/ Victoria, 4

6. Ariela Schönberg Vintage Collective
German furniture is one of Ariela Schönberg’s fortes. This, one of the latest shops to open in Santa Catalina, features designer artefacts and anonymous furniture from the whole continent.

7. Posada Terra Santa
Despite its rather solemn name, the Posada Terra Santa (Holy Land Inn) is one of the loveliest hotels in Palma. Housed in a 16th-century palace, its 26 rooms display a blend of history and modernity with comfort. Additionally, their swimming pool, with views of the Cathedral, is the perfect spot for chilling out and letting yourself get drawn in by the city’s charm.

8. Sa Costa
Sa Costa is a classic in Palma. Their antiques show wonderfully next to vintage formica, plastic and iron. As soon as you enter the shop, you realise you could spend hours admiring the dozens of furniture pieces and other items that people this store in the city centre. Costa de Sa Pols, 7A

9. Patrón Lunares
The classic essence of the Mediterranean arrives in Palma, skippered by the Patrón Lunares tavern and their chef, Javier Bonet. A pretty venue decorated with hydraulic floor tiles, iron columns and retro furniture where you can eat good seafood and enjoy the island’s flavours.

10. Galería Veintinueve
Now in their recently opened new premises, Galería Veintinueve continues to be a hit, with their dual facet of contemporary art exhibition centre and venue for large 20th-century pieces by such designers as Jacobsen, Scarpa and Colombo. The store and patio are spectacular and the collection of art and furniture will leave you impressed.

11.  Viveca
Antiquities, ceramics, textiles and lots of vintage – this is the essence of Viveca Palma, where Íñigo Güell and Ingrid Iturralde have unveiled a store featuring 18th-century Swedish furniture and iconic 20th-century furniture. A real pleasure.

12. Louis 21
Upcoming artists jostle to exhibit their creations in Louis 21, one of the leading springboards for promoting the careers of emerging artists. With another gallery in Madrid, their philosophy is to elicit interaction with the public and the collaborative urge.

Come in search of fine design in the Balearic capital – check out your Vueling here.

Text by Aleix Palau for Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Images by Aleix Palau