It is winter in Mallorca. The leaves have turned yellow and the sun is low, but the temperature is still almost 20 degrees and after a few days of rain, the island is greener than ever.
The fruit trees in Carin Eriksson and Pedro Cerdá’s garden in Búger are winter bare. In summer there are pomegranates, figs, olives and apricots, and lush grape vines shadows the dining area on the beautiful stone terrace. Though further down on the green meadow there are still bright red roses in bloom.
The two dogs, Kira and Förnåt, are running across the lawn playing. The large, white crossbreed Kira is Carin and Pedro’s own dog, and the even larger one, dark brown Förnåt is their friend’s dog that they take care of during daytime.
– I found three abandoned puppies in the woods over here, Carin says and points toward the forest behind the house. Two of them I managed to find a new home immediately, but the third one I had to take home with me. When Pedro first saw him when he came home, he asked in Swedish “Vad är det här för nåt?” (meaning roughly “What is this thing?”). So we named him Förnåt , Carin says with a smile. It is a very Swedish expression, which Pedro picked up fast.
The couple met in 1994 when Carin was working at a Swedish restaurant in Alcudia, where Pedro at that time had a windsurfing shop. That summer their love story began and a year later Carin moved to Mallorca for good.
Having lived in an apartment for a few years, they started looking to buy a house, preferably on the countryside.
– We wanted to buy a small finca somewhere, but everything was so very expensive. Then we found this house and decided to go and see it, Pedro says.
A buyer had decided to back out in the very last moment and since he already paid the down payment, the owner was fine with just getting the remaining amount of the purchase price. So Carin and Pedro decided to go for it and bought themselves a house.
In December 2001, the house was theirs and only a few months later, in May 2002, they moved in, even though they had no electricity, no water or even a functional kitchen.
– We organized a midsummer party just a few weeks after we moved in, Carin says. We had to wash all the dishes by hand and use packs of ice to keep the food cold but it was amazing!
Even if their newly bought house was not exactly like what they wanted, it was the foundation for what would become Carin and Pedros dream home. They started by putting a stone facade, which made the house both prettier and warmer. They built a large terrace and installed an outdoor shower and an outdoor kitchen. The old unusable fire place inside was taken out and used to build an outdoor oven.
The couple is very conscious about the environment and are trying to make the house as self-sufficient and power saving as possible. Today it runs almost entirely by solar energy.
– We have a backup generator, but we almost never use it. It happens a few times a year at the most, Carin says. The only thing you need to keep in mind is maybe that you should not put on the washing machine at night for example.
Thanks to a stove they keep the house nice and warm during the winter and in the summer they take their showers outside with water heated by the sun. And on hot days, they can cool off in the all natural swimming pool. It has its own ecosystem, completely without chemicals, and is purified by a fountain Carin built by making large concrete leaves.
The house is a single story house of 70 square meters, divided into bedroom, kitchen and an open living room. The dark wood, pine floor and wicker baskets gives a warm feeling. In the bookcase there is a mix of both Swedish and Spanish literature, and the walls are decorated with photographs and paintings.
Carin and Pedro constantly have new ideas about what they want to change, renew or improve in their home, both indoors and outdoors.
– It is a never ending project, Pedro says and laughs and Carin agrees.
Carin and Pedro are both shop owners in Alcudia. Pedro owns a bike shop, Niuwave bicicletes, which is well attended by successful cyclists and triathletes, and since March last year Carin has her own interior design shop, A Living Store.
Even though Búger is located a bit far from Alcudia, about 20 km, and that there is a certain commuting distance does not matter. Carin and Pedro have created their dream home, and they can never see themselves living anywhere else.
– We want to stay here for the rest of our lives. We will just have to make sure to adapt and adjust the house as we get older, Carin says.
Text: Maria Strömqvist
Photo: Ida Carlsson