In conversation with Durietz Design

In our series of conversations with individuals who explore how we relate to the spaces we inhabit, we meet with the founders of Durietz Design whose practice in Mallorca is renowned for its thoughtful and purposeful approach to interior design.

Josephine and Christoffer Du Rietz are originally from Sweden and moved to Mallorca five years ago to start a new way of life. They are now on their third renovation project and have also worked on homes for private clients around Mallorca.

Mallorca is clearly a very different place to Sweden. What prompted the move?

Josephine: My grandparents had an apartment in Mallorca in the 1980s so we used to visit in the summer and Easter holidays. It became like a second home to us. In 2016, we sold everything in Sweden and bought a derelict townhouse in Soller, which became our first renovation project Casa sa Mar.

How does Mallorca influence your designs?

The island is a wonderful source of inspiration, with its own energy and colours. The light is also very different. In Sweden it’s very dark so you always lean towards a brighter palette, whereas here there is more variety so we can play with that and introduce more colour.

We always try to bring the natural influence of the sea, the hills and the trees into the houses we create here. Our palette is very natural and earthy, which gives a feeling of calmness and serenity.

Do you have a specific process that you follow in order to create a unique and authentic home?

It is essential for us to think about the house first, to let it speak to us in some way. And luckily they almost always do! There is an original idea behind the architecture that we want to respect and add to – we never want to go against it. That way, we keep the soul of the house and allow it to speak for itself.

Also, we need to understand how the house will be used, how it will be lived in. So we put a lot of consideration into that, working closely with the people who will live there.

CREDITS

Left photo: Pernilla Danielsson

Right photo: Piet-Albert Goethals

 

And what do you think turns a building into a real home?

A house becomes a home when you put a lot of energy and thought into the materials and the details. That includes working with skilled craftspeople, so that we build the house together. It all begins with a feeling when you first encounter the building – and that’s what we want to bring to life.

Working with historic buildings must mean that you have to be very selective with materials, in order to stay in sympathy with the original. How does that work for you?

Every project is different, with a different story behind it. So we let the context influence the materials. Marble is one of our favourite materials to work with for interiors and also for objects such as tables. It has such texture and variety and we can source from a local firm, as well as from suppliers in Italy and Spain.

A lot of historic houses are quite elaborate or even extravagant, so we enjoy exploring how we can introduce a more minimal approach to interior design and objects into that type of space.

We noticed that you use VOLA a great deal. Is there any special reason for that?


We’ve worked with VOLA products for many years across all our projects – that’s how it is when you really love something! The beauty and simplicity of the design works in any environment. The products have weight; you know that they are made of the best materials and that they are designed to last. We’re looking forward to working with the exclusive colour range in our next project, which is an art deco house that features beautiful clay tiles and lots of original architectural details.


As well as the island itself, where else do you find creative inspiration?

Josephine: I do a lot of painting and clay sculpturing. I also find inspiration in the worlds of fashion and interiors. Combining those two worlds is fascinating.

Christoffer: My background is in graphic design, so that line of design thinking is part of our approach and remains a strong influence. I also find great inspiration in Danish design. It’s interesting to take those Scandinavian influences into this new, very different environment.

 

CREDITS

Photo credit wide:  Piet-Albert Goethals
Photo credit carousel: Pernilla Danielsson

You’ve clearly found a great deal of fulfilment from your projects in Mallorca and that looks set to continue to thrive. What would be a dream project for you, something that you haven’t done yet?


Christoffer: Hotels and restaurants would be a very interesting challenge. They tend to have less longevity than houses and need to work for a wider range of people, so the challenge would be to take what is there but push it much further.

Josephine: A castle in Tuscany, something beautiful and abandoned that we could bring back to life. And we’re going to create a permanent home for ourselves and our children here on beautiful Mallorca.

 

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