Celebrating Life’s Small Pleasures with Casa Balandra

Folding Ribbon in Casa Balandra’s living room.

Casa Balandra might be one of the most coveted places of the moment. The guest house and creative residency in Mallorca is run by sister duo Claudia and Isabella del Olmo. Run from their family home, Claudia and Isabella have created a space that’s built on the foundation of ‘la buena vida’ – celebrating the simple but significant moments. In a world that’s moving faster than ever, Casa Balandra is focusing on slowing down. But the guest house is more than simply a place to stay. The del Olmo sisters hope to build a creative community, and for guests to connect and collaborate over food, art and design.

We spoke with co-founder Claudia about her take on design.

Square – Tobaco at Casa Balandra.

Describe what Casa Balandra is, in one sentence?

C: Casa Balandra is a creative playground where people from all over the world and all interests can come and immerse themselves in slow living and indulgence.

What’s the story behind Casa Balandra, and how it started?

C: My sister Isabella and I began dreaming it up years ago and it’s taken different shapes since. We’ve been lucky to have so much help from dear friends at early stages. Eventually when we had finalized the fact that we wanted to create a physical space to bring creatives together, we decided to test it out in our family home. At this point, me and one of my best friends Cecile Denis moved to Mallorca and began decorating the house and bringing it to life as Casa Balandra.

Where are you based?

C: I am based here on the island and my sister is in Los Angeles.

What are you currently working on?

C: We are currently working on fundraising to expand Casa Balandra both within the art and the hospitality world. We’re looking for properties off the island to offer our guests a fully hosted experience. It’s one of the limitations of the current property.

Square – Pink in one of the Casa Balandra bedrooms.

Square – Pink adds a playful touch in one of the Casa Balandra bedrooms.

How would you describe your style?

C: It’s constantly changing, but probably messy is a good way to describe it. I’m not much for rules and overthinking. When I like something, I go for it and (so far) it usually makes sense! I love colour and unique, in your face objects. It’s something that we dream of having a lot of at our next property!

What inspires you? Where do you find your inspiration?

C: The artists that do residencies with us and to observe the everyday during these months.

Any special interior tips or advice you can share with us?

C: You can’t go wrong with a statement piece. Thrifting is always fun because you find unique treasures. Also, you don’t need buckets of money to have a fun, unique space.

Do you have a favourite object/design piece?

C: I’m going to apply this to what we have in Casa Balandra because if not I will never be able to pick just one! I love the marble table we have in the kitchen. It’s thick, white marble with a unique shape and a sculptural base.

Folding Ribbon in Casa Balandra’s living room.

Square – Pink details captured at Casa Balandra.

The sunlight hits Folding Ribbon in Casa Balandra’s living room.

Any ongoing or interesting upcoming trends you see?

C: I am all for the uprise of decadent silky textures and in general, decadence of sorts.

What does home mean to you?

C: This is cheesy, but definitely where the heart is. However, thinking solely of a physical space and not the people in it, it has to be a space where you feel your best. Somewhere where you feel calm and fully yourself. A place where you can gather your thoughts and have peace of mind. I’m also an aesthete, so it’s important to me that my space is filled with objects that are visually pleasing to me.

Which is your favourite Nordic Knots rug, and where would you use it?

C: I love the folding ribbon and we use that in our living room. It really brought it all together with a pop of colour.

Photography by Casa Balandra