The very moment you step into the inner courtyard of the beautiful Palma palace, located in the heart of Old Town, you’re met by a stunning architecture. From the narrow cobblestone street, you’re led to a wide staircase with forged handrails, through a large vault and up to the next floor and a big timber door. This is the entrance to Stefan and Pärnilla Lundgren’s home and part of their art gallery – Lundgren Gallery.
The high, spacious vault above the staircase is a perfect surface for projections, Stefan says.
– Sometimes when we have parties or host dinners, we use this wall for art projections. It really creates a great and welcoming atmosphere, he says, and opens up the door to the home he shares with his wife.
When stepping over the threshold, it feels like walking into an art museum. In every room there are paintings and sculptures. Some quite small, others which take up most of the room. The collection is completely private, Stefan says.
– We only buy the art that we like to surround ourselves with. After building and creating a number of homes, you know what you want to live with, he says.
Stefan is originally from Skåne, Sweden, but has lived in both Berlin and New York, among others, before moving to Mallorca with Pärnilla and their two sons.
– Art really is a way of life, he says as he’s eyeing one of the large paintings.
But the artwork in their home is just a selection, and far from the whole collection.
– We move, replace and change it as we go, Stefan says.
With both passion and great knowledge, Stefan talks about each artwork and every artist. Jacolby Satterwhite, Louis Gispert, Patrick Hill and Gerald Davis are some of the artists who currently adorn the walls, and floor, of their home. Several of the artists that Stefan mention have also been staying in the flat, in during their exhibitions.
Even though Stefan and Pärnilla are both artists, they spend most of their time in their art gallery and showing other artists’ work. They’re constantly travelling the world, finding new talents and exciting artwork.
It was also art which brought them to Mallorca the first time.
– We’d never been here before, but during a weekend to Barcelona we got an invitation and made a detour.
Even though it was their first time on the island, Mallorca made a strong first impression.
– We were really pleasantly surprised. It was such a friendly and beautiful island, Stefan says.
You could say it was love at first sight, because during the same visit they found a real estate agent who helped them to rent a house in Portixol. Later on, they decided to buy a small house instead, and it wasn’t until a few years later that the offer to take over the old property in Palma came along.
The 600 square meter flat had great potential, but also a great need of renovation. The building was more than 350 years old and had been abandoned for over 50 years.
– It was an absolute wreck, but still absolutely stunning, Stefan says.
They had electricity and water installed, and did an extensive renovation, but they were careful not to change too much.
– We had the floors and walls fixed, but we wanted to make sure to keep the old charm.
The beautiful stone floors have been preserved and as much as possible of the interior have been restored, such as the stucco on the ceiling and the old doors with handmade details.
– Our plan wasn’t actually to live here, but have a place where we could accommodate people and show our art. Host dinners, invite guests and let the artists stay here in connection with exhibitions. But we really, really liked it here, and began to feel like this was our home, Stefan says.
Eventually they sold their house and moved into their palace of art.
The February sun is finding its way through the large terrace doors, and under one of the chairs by the dining room table, one of Stefan and Pärnillas dogs is resting in the warming light. It’s a beautiful, light and welcoming room.
– We spend the most of our time in here, in the dining room, and in the kitchen, Stefan says.
A big part of the decor and furniture come from friends who run hotels or restaurants on the island, which adds yet another dimension to the art and design feel.
There is a real restaurant stove in the kitchen, large work surfaces in stainless steel, and rows of pots and pans are hanging on the wall. And like the rest of the apartment, the art is very present. Each piece carefully selected and hand-picked by Stefan and Pärnilla.
– I’ve been interested in art my whole life, Stefan says. I bought my first artwork when I was 17 years old.
Since then the collection, and the love for art, has just kept growing, and in order to have space for both private collections and exhibiting other artists, Stefan and Pärnilla opened their art gallery, Lundgren Gallery, in Santa Catalina, a couple of years ago.
But decorating a beautiful home with art doesn’t end with theirs. A big part of Lundgren’s business, is to help others find the right art for the right home.
– A lot of people don’t really know where to start when it comes to what art, what they want or where to look, Stefan says. We’ve helped customers all over the world, from Stockholm to Miami, finding art that matches with their home and personality.
Stefan and Pärnilla constantly see a positive development for art and art enthusiasts, not least in Mallorca. They still travel a lot for work, but state there is plenty to discover right here, on the island.
– Mallorca has so many galleries, in relation to the number of people living here. And there are so many who are interested, creative and eager to learn. And it just keeps getting better, Stefan says.
– We never expected it, but Mallorca turned out to be the best possible place for us.
Text: Maria Strömqvist
Photo: Ida Carlsson