Bathroom,Hammam style


Having been regular holidaymakers to Mallorca prior to purchasing a property there, the owners of this home – located within the protected confines of the Tramuntana mountains (a World Heritage site) – were looking for a place where they could spend time year round, rather than just in the summer months. This, along with the fact that the house is situated in one of the most unspoilt parts of the island, influenced all the decision-making processes when the time came to renovate. 

The homeowners chose Mallorca-based architecture firm More Design to work on the updates, and the brief was simple: ‘to modernise (the house) without spoiling its traditional Mallorquin characteristics’. In this bathroom, as in the rest of the home, the result is just that, as contemporary comfort combines seamlessly with a real heritage feel.

Consider the elements

♦ Materials world

The existing bathroom ‘did not really have any Mallorquin detailing. That is one of the reasons we wanted to renovate – to make it feel more original,’ says the homeowner. Hence the choice of local Binissalem stone for the basin and shower enclosure floor, which features a handmade elevated stone rim detail to prevent water from overflowing onto the rest of the bathroom floor. Tadelakt plaster – a traditional lime-based stucco from Marrakech – is used for the rest of the floors and on the walls, adding to the vernacular feel of the room. A smart (and invisible) modern update was the addition of under-floor heating, which is very useful during autumn and winter, as Mallorca’s winters are rainy and can be quite cold. The towel rail is heated too.

A touch of the traditional

The taps, shower rose and towel rails used in this bathroom were chosen for their vintage appeal. Their plain brass finish adds to the traditional feel of the space – but the technology used in their making is up-to-the-minute, of course. The tapware and towel rails seen here are by Lefroy Brooks ( but Butler & Rose( and Perrin & Rowe ( also make similar styles.

♦ Storage issues

Every bathroom needs good, integrated storage space, and here the built-in drawers below the vanity were designed especially for the room and constructed using reclaimed wooden beams. The thoughtful addition of a bespoke wooden ‘tray’ that straddles the stone basin, and on which one can rest a water glass, toiletries or other necessities, means that there is always somewhere close to hand to rest your toothbrush or moisturiser.


Lighten up

Getting a bathroom’s lighting right is not an easy task. There should be plenty of it where it is needed – at a mirror, for example – but the entire room should not feel as if it is lit like a sports stadium. In this bathroom, task lighting is provided where required, and the fixtures all share an organic, handmade quality that adds to the rustic yet sophisticated overall feel of the space. More Decor ( sourced the round glass wall lamps here, and the glass ceiling pendant light was made to order by a specialist UK glass-blowing company. A final tip: put all the lighting on dimmer switches where possible, and avoid harsh, unflattering down-lighters.

♦ Mirror images

Also essential in a bathroom are good mirrors: if well chosen and well placed, they do more than reflect yourself back at you – they also function to make the space seem larger and more light-filled. Here, the mirror panel is kept minimalist in design, which gives the space a simpler and more pared-back feel than, for example, mirrors in frames would have done.

♦ The final mix

Extras ranging from glassware to towels and robes add a final decorative layer; in this bathroom, these include locally sourced glass tumblers and handmade cotton hammam towels. Toiletries are decanted into simple, unmarked containers in keeping with the pared-back overall look of the space.

♦ The homeowner’s top tips

‘Use an architect or designer to renovate any part of a house – they are professionals and always have more ideas than us. Also, I usually like to use local materials and artisans. I’ve done a few houses around the world and like to do more of a local style.’

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