Mallorca Luxury Interiors
The aesthetic of interior designer Samantha Knight, whose work spans from the finest residences in London to breath-taking Mallorca luxury interiors, effortlessly balances elegance with beauty. Samantha’s distinctive style is synonymous with sophistication and luxury, all at the same time paying particular attention to sustainability and well-being. An expert attention to detail, love for craftsmanship and respect for natural materials have earned this interior designer a formidable reputation amongst her peers and most importantly her clients.
“Your home is the most important space and for this reason it has such an impact on your wellbeing.”
Combining beauty with function
Her experience and vision has propelled her studio into the spotlight, thanks to the ability of her multi-national team to transform spaces that are not just aesthetically pleasing, but also practical in everyday life. As one of the most celebrated and sought-after entrepreneurs on the island, we had to sit down with Samantha about her work.
Interviewing Samantha Knight
Tell us about your journey into the sphere of interior design?
I started my career in the fashion industry and with a growing love for interior aesthetics. Then, I decided to train as an interior designer in my late twenties and gained my qualification at a London Design School. Consequently, I learnt the ropes of the professional interior design business at a renowned property development firm in Knightsbridge. Some years later I set up my own studio and concentrated on the re-design of historical buildings in central London.
Has your first project left a lasting impression on your career?
My first project was the renovation of a Georgian mansion which once belonged to the Hampton Court Palace Estate. When I saw how happy the new interior made my clients feel, I knew this was the right career move for me.
I love nothing more than designing a space which enhances the lifestyle and wellness of my clients. It is a very satisfying feeling knowing that you are contributing to the happiness of a person’s day to day life.
You’ve created quite a career for yourself, first restoring Grade II Listed interiors in London before setting up a studio in Mallorca. What led you to make the move over to the island?
One of my British clients asked me to re-design his apartment in Mayfair. He also owns a house in Calvià and asked me to look at his house in Mallorca for him too. This was the very start of our design journey here and once I had established connections on the island and found common synergy with Paul Robinson, it felt like the right time to set up an overseas studio.
Since then we have completed seven full architectural interior design projects in Mallorca together and we are currently working together on two residential developments. One is in the south of the island and the other is in the northern town of Pollença where I live with my husband and cocker spaniel Maggie.
Decoration in London vs Mallorca Luxury Interiors
Are there key differences between working on a London residence and transforming a traditional Spanish villa?
Yes, I am very careful to strike the right balance when it comes to applying to houses in Mallorca what I have learnt from designing homes in London. The barefoot lifestyle in Mallorca is very different from how my clients live in London. The natural canvas and the light on the island is also very different – both of which play into the design dialogue – so we have developed a whole new set of principles when it comes to designing a residence in Mallorca.
Whilst in London you might detail the interior architecture quite heavily to create warmth through texture within the home, in Mallorca your views from your villa are generally stunning and filled with natural colours, so we keep the base materials quite muted so not to conflict and add texture through the furnishings.
I love using soft bronze detailing in the furniture we design as is complements the warmth of a Mallorcan summer so beautifully. One similarity between London and Mallorca can be found in the cold winters. So I am very careful to design a home for both summer and winter, especially if a client wishes to use the house all-year-round.
What is your source of inspiration?
Nature, which has some of the best natural colour palettes you will find, travel, history such as antique jewellery and semi-precious stones for the blend of harmonious tones that you can only find in natural elements.
What are the essential ingredients to creating the perfect interior design space in Mallorca?
Symmetry, balance, texture, flow, minimalism, layering and subtle luxury.
How do you combine beauty and function?
We prefer to design bespoke pieces which are hand-made for our clients. This way we can design specifically for their requirements to combine function with beauty. We also ask clients how they wish to sleep, sit, bathe, work in their kitchen etc. so every element is considered around functionality first.
What has been your favourite project to date and why?
It has to be my first project in Mallorca as it opened my eyes to new possibilities. My second project on the island has also left a lasting impression. This was ‘The Beach House’, which featured in Architectural Digest. It was very satisfying to be on the pages of AD, since it is a magazine I admire that is filled with designers and architects that I respect.
Finest Mallorca’s luxury interiors
Is there an interior design style you favour or do you implement your own signature aesthetic?
I always love to add subtle signature SKD details to a design scheme but overall I am designing for the taste of my client. Your home is the most important space and it has such an impact on your wellbeing that I always try to instinctively know what a client needs to make it one of the best experiences for them, long after the project has completed.
Are trends important for Mallorca luxury interiors?
I prefer to create timeless design schemes so I don’t tend to follow trends unless it is a commercial project – for example, a show home that needs to attract a certain market.
Selecting the best pieces to compose a project can be the secret to getting the best overall result. Do you have some tips for someone who may not know how to start a challenge like this?
Inspiration can pop up from anywhere so don’t force yourself to rush. Time is one of the most undervalued assets in design and when you have time you organically lead yourself to the best design by taking the time to research, play with colour, explore texture and dream.
Always carry your iPhone with you and photograph everything. A flower has a natural colour palette so take a photograph and study the composition. Spend time on a beach and see how the natural colours of a stone blend harmoniously. Put a large pin board up on the wall and fill it with magazine tear sheets, photographs you have taken, fabric remnants, dried flowers and other items that inspire you. Play with this board until you arrive at a base them that makes you feel happy and content.
Good design is instinctive so I would also advise keeping your ideas to yourself until you develop them by yourself or with your interior designer, so not to be lead elsewhere by another’s kind opinion.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
There are so may jigsaw pieces to interior design, each as precious as the next, so wearing so many hats within one day can be challenging. But I love it and I have a great team around me so everyday can be a joy.
And the most gratifying?
When a client is beaming on a project handover. It makes every little moment in the studio and during site visits worth it. It is a very personal career and I believe we have to be empathetic to be an interior designer.
One of my favourite memories is of my clients’ teenage daughter. When I walked her into her new room, she burst into tears. I was worried at first but she told me she was overwhelmed at how perfect her bedroom was. It is moments like these that make all of the hard work worth it.
Do your ideas about interiors in Mallorca translate into your own house? Can you describe what your home looks like?
We are in the process of designing our family home at the moment. We hope to build it on an olive grove in the Campanet Valley. There are definitely elements to this design which translate from some of my favourite projects.
The blend of old and new is important to me, as well as natural light, so as well as large glass doors at the back of the house with fine bronze frames, we are sourcing historic Mallorcan stone to finish the external walls. I want the house to feel like it has been on the land for decades, not just months, so it is important I inject soul into the build.
Inside, the base will be minimal as the view is the canvas, however I will add texture with the furnishings. We want to preserve as many of the trees as possible too, so I am looking at ways of introducing trees into the walkways connecting the principle areas of the home.
I am also a big fan of lateral living so it will be one storey so every room has direct access to the garden which will lead to the pool. We will install solar panels and dedicate part of the land to a vegetable garden so we can be as self-sufficient as possible. Eco-consciousness is also a factor which resonates throughout my work and the technology for this is improving every day.
What are your other interests outside of interior design and how do they propel you in your work life?
I always start my day with exercise followed by meditation. As an interior designer, you have to keep a clear mind to create your best work so I feel this really helps start the day well for me. Travel is always an important source of inspiration and when I am on the island, some of my best ideas come to be when I’m in nature sea swimming, horse riding or paddle boarding.
I also love entertaining and gain a lot of inspiration from colours within food styling. Some of my friends here on the island are excellent food stylists so I always love to be surprised by their table settings and food arrangements.
What’s on the horizon for you and your team…
As well as design development on our projects here in Mallorca, we have a family home completing in London later this year, a chalet in France which we hope to see our clients enjoying this winter and a family home in Africa which is under development with a team of architects from South Africa.
Scent and how it translates into design is also an important factor to me so I am in the process of developing bespoke organic fragrances for my clients homes. Not only is it a signature scent to uplift their interior scheme, but it is a memory of Mallorca; one which they can take anywhere in the world with them to enjoy the essence of the island.