When Ingela Gyllenkrok wasn’t redecorating notable Swedish homes, she would visit horse shows around the world.But one day she decided to make a big change in her life and move to Mallorca. She bought and remodeled Julian Lennon’s old house in Palmanova. Now it has become a creative heaven for her stunning ceramic boxes.
– I have always loved beautiful packages and boxes, explains Ingela Gyllenkrok, as she opens the door to her fabulous, almost Mexican, hacienda-like home in Mallorca, and shows us a large dining table full of her amazing, colourful artwork.
There is a clear creative vibe about the place. The house is full of patios, attractive stone sofas with cushions, comfy porches, old cartwheels and lots of lovely flowers and greenery.
A house with a history.
The villa was designed by the famous Spanish architect Pedro Outzop, the man behind the village-like sea front housing in Cala Fornells, and several other charming Mallorcan areas. Señor Outzop created the villa for himself and his wife Nicole in 1960.
Many years later, Julian Lennon, son of John Lennon from The Beatles, bought the house. He lived there just before Ingela arrived eight years ago. Ingela Gyllenkrok’s keen eye for houses and interior design was formed at an early age.
– I grew up on a farm in the countryside called Idingstad outside Linköping in Sweden, in an area with a lot of history from the viking era, says Ingela.
– In 1963 my father brought back some Purebred Arabian horses to the farm and that was the beginning of a lifelong love and admiration of this wonderful breed.-We began breeding these beautiful animals at just the right time, and little by little we learned how to understand the breeding lines and features really well and created a well known stud farm The family business almost became Ingela’s entire life, but somehow she managed to have time to get married and have two daughters, Anna and Alice too.
Ingela had a knack for it. She loved working with horses and got to take them to shows all over the world. Nowadays a lot of the breeding is done via the internet and banks of frozen sperm.
– The crown prince of Saudi Arabia invites a few horses from outside Saudi Arabia every year to be part of a large horse show in Saudi, says Ingela. – When my stallion was invited to take part, I got a personal invitation to go too, otherwise I would have had a visa problem. Everything was paid for. My horse was among the top five. It was a great honour. Despite her aptitude for horse breeding, Ingela started another business as well.
She was asked if she knew someone who might take over an interior decoration shop.
– I thought it might be a good idea for me, says Ingela.
Decorating notable homes
– The shop went well, but I was getting lots of offers to renovate and decorate people’s homes to such an extent that I had to give up the shop in Malmö and work full time with different projects. Eventually I also got some big projects in the Ukraine and worked there on and off for 10 years, Ingela Gyllenkrok’s daughters grew up and moved to London. Meanwhile, Ingela was living in a big house in the south of Sweden, wondering what to do next.
|– I decided to stay in London for a while, and soon realized I was ready for another adventure in life, says Ingela. – I thought about going to Italy first, but thought I I might be lonely there. Next I considered Mallorca. Ingela looked at some houses online and found one she liked. It used to be Julian Lennon’s, but at the time she had no idea that was the case. |
When she visited Mallorca she saw a number of other houses to have something to compare with, but she had known it from the start. She promptly fell head over heels with what was to become her new home.
– There was a lot to do, but I Iove renovating . As you can see I am no minimalist, and I adore lots of strong colors and different styles! Ingela’s home is deliciously well decorated and everything is in its own perfect place. There is a wonderful sense of calm in the courtyard, where Ingela loves having a gin and tonic with visiting friends. Two little miniature metal horses prop up the door to the kitchen.
– They are awards from the breeding shows, says Ingela, who still co-owns five purebred Arabian horses who are stabled in a beautiful training and breeding farm in France. But after her move to Mallorca eight years go, Ingela longed to be creative again. – I wanted to take up ceramics, but my back wasn’t in good enough condition to work on the wheel so I decided to start creating boxes and other ceramic items by hand.
Exhibiting ceramic boxes
Before Ingela makes a new box out of mud, she needs to think carefully about the process.
– Getting the lines straight is critical, and when you move the pieces they are very delicate and can easily break before they have been fired. – Once I sit in my little workshop I am almost captive there between five and eight hours to get a piece ready. Ingela Gyllenkrok makes affordable art with prices between 400 and 1200 euros.
Apart from all the delightful boxes in yellow, orange, green, red and blue, there are bowls, candlesticks, plates and more …
Once Ingela has taken her art to be fired, the next process is glazing the ceramics, which entails a lot of chemistry. Each of her pieces of art takes takes between 8-12 hours to create. – I was just about to have an exhibition in Sweden last summer when Covid happened, says Ingela. – I had a pop up exhibition for a few hours in my house 2019 and it was great fun.
I sold almost everything I had in just three hours!
Now Ingela is planning another exhibition.
Watch this space for the time and the place!
You can contact Ingela via email: email@example.com
Text: Charlotte von Proschwitz.
Photo: Thomas Engström.