This delightful and original row house with walled garden has been carefully restored using materials and techniques favoured by mallorquin builders for centuries. At the time the house was built (late XVIII) this little hamlet, then part of the nearby historical village of Petra, was home to prosperous farmers. Their "corrals" or back gardens were large enough to stable cattle and mules, and had back gates opening onto a parallel street behind. This house has been restored and enlarged, keeping the foundations and carefully preserved rough sandstone walls of the outbuildings, to extend the sleeping quarters. The plunge pool was formerly the "aljibe" or reservoir. The furniture is a mix of local antiques acquired over the years, and late 19th Century family stuff, shipped over years ago from our farm in the US. The aim has been to provide total comfort and convenience in a traditional setting. Visitors invariably remark on the aura of upbeat, peaceful wellbeing the house radiates.
Your host is an Anglo-American expatriate and longtime resident of the island. Painter and sculptor as a very young man he moved into the field of design, and eventually to posts as university lecturer in Barcelona, before retiring to Mallorca once more, specifically to restore old houses. This he's been doing for 10 years, and has never been happier.
The owner-family is composed of 4 generations, and starts with a terrifically amusing matriarch of 103, down to a lovely prima donna of 8, great granddaughter of the titular head of the group.
Everyone chips in to make the property comfortable and pleasing. The centenarian, who learned watercolour painting at the age of 96, has done a number of paintings of butterflies, fishes and flowers which hang on the walls of the village house.
Ray Chatham purchased this in 1998
We had lived in Palma's Old Town since 1975 and were keen for our youngest to have a place to spread out a bit, swim, hike and exhaust themselves during school holidays. The central agricultural area was the last bastion of true mallorquin village life, near enough to the coast, but off the usual tourist routes. Property values were about to soar as investors, needing to get in before the advent of the euro, were buying up everything available, and we were lucky to get in just before this happened. We love the village for its pace and unpretentious aesthetic and the intelligence with which the Arianyers have kept to traditions while at the same time going very green. The village is situated on a hillside and isn't on the way to anywhere else, making it blissfully quiet.
The house is just off the village square and therefore only a couple of minutes walk from the cafes, shops and bank. It's way off the beaten track but at the same time has easy access to all the attractions of the North Coast (15 to 20 minutes) and a straight road into Palma through beautiful countryside (about 40 minutes).
We've been careful not to "ruin" the house with our restoration, but at the same time have added conveniences that it didn't have before. With broadband and Sky one can keep in touch while otherwise living a rural village lifestyle.