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May 25, 2022 – Published in Design & Decor Spring-Summer 2022 issue
Function and style, with a touch of the blues
Words Shirley Jobson
Photography Nick Sant Manduca
Upon entering this stunningly converted house of character, you immediately notice how bright and airy it is.
Gleaming white walls and light-coloured tiles give it a clean look throughout, with a recurring splash of blue within the modern style of décor, as a tribute to our beloved sea. The original part of this four-bedroomed house is probably over 500 years old, and it was skillfully converted into the beautiful home it is today.
The white wall panelling to the side of the entrance hall cleverly hides built-in storage cupboards. The hall mirror is a recycled wardrobe door from a previous abode, and a colourful ethnic touch is added via the hanging light fixture.
As you walk through into the open plan kitchen/dining space, light pours in from the impressive skylight spanning the ceiling over the stairs, bathing the area with sunshine. Though the décor is modern, the house – with an area of just under 655 square metres – had some of its basic stone features enhanced to retain a rustic touch. This is evident in the stone wall which flanks the open staircase connecting the floors.
The spacious living area allows for a long dining table that can seat up to ten people on comfortably padded light grey chairs. A large metal and wood wall clock on the far wall immediately catches your eye, while the vetrina (showcase) on the opposite wall adds a traditional touch to the contemporary style. Over the dining table, pendant lights in various shapes and sizes add a dazzle of gold when lit.
The kitchen is large and functional, with the neutral-coloured cupboards and marble countertop highlighted by the dark brown wooden feature wall. The sizeable island, designed in the same dark brown wood as the wall, spans the width of the room. State of the art appliances complete the look, with natural light streaming in through the wide door leading to a small garden.
Splashes of colour are added to the living area through vibrant paintings, an assortment of plants, and blue velvet kitchen stools.
This is a house clearly ideal for entertaining guests, while still maintaining a relaxing atmosphere for quiet nights in. The charming reading corner under the stairs is testament to this, offering a peaceful haven and another shade of blue from the comfortable armchair.
Separate from the kitchen/dining space – but connected by a wide open doorway – the homely lounge includes a custom-made blue couch for relaxed TV viewing. The low stone ceiling and wooden beams give the room a cosy feel, enhanced by the heater in the corner. The unique coffee table is another fixer-upper. Originally an old mahogany table, it was restored and hand-painted with a Maltese tile design. A subtle, yet different, shade of blue is found in the background of the ample bookcase, also custom-made and illuminated by soft overhead lighting.
An interesting feature – down a few steps to the side of the lounge – is a small wine cellar formed within the old section of the house. Here, the original stone surroundings keep the wines and spirits cool, offering an ideal storage space for wine lovers.
The lounge opens up into a large garden, with a beautifully tiled swimming pool – in deep blue, of course!
The low surrounding walls were heightened to add privacy, aided by a number of olive trees around the perimeters. The trees are protected by a wooden fence uniquely designed from plant support poles. A Buddha statue sits atop a mosaic stone wall, feeding water into the pool through a slit fountain.
Under a retractable canopy, a number of cushioned sofas and armchairs offer seating for guests or family members. Two different-sized tables provide outdoor dining options, while blue and white planters complement the colour scheme inside the home.
The artwork found inside the house is a selection obtained from street artists encountered when on trips abroad. A humorous art theme adorns the guest bathroom downstairs, which presents a hanging sink unit in medium oak that blends in with the white ceramics. An eye-catching red metal cabinet adds a vivid dash of colour. This is one of four bathrooms found inside the house.
The open wooden staircase leads up to two upstairs levels with spacious rooms arranged closely around two landings.
The mid-level landing houses the main bathroom, a double bedroom which is being used as a study, and a large-sized room serving as a home gymnasium. The main bathroom, situated right above the wine cellar, also retains the natural stone ceiling that came with the original house.
Walking up to the second, longer landing, you find yourself in the elegant master bedroom. Here, the colour blue is more dominant, as featured in the delightful teal-coloured bed with padded headboard and footboard, as well as blue curtains opening out to a balcony with unobscured views of the pool area. The rustic element is once again present in the newly added stone ceiling and low beams.
The ensuite features ‘his and hers’ sinks and mirrors, hanging on tiled walls sporting a patterned motif.
The bathroom is screened off from the bedroom with light blue glass panels, giving the room the recurring marine aspect spotted all around the house, while the red bean bag in the corner offers a different pigment to offset the aquatic theme. At the other end of the bedroom, a walk-in closet offers a dream space to house a significant collection of clothes and shoes.
Along the landing, the guest bedroom is furnished with a simple touch, always ready to accommodate unexpected stays. A few personalised accessories added to the minimalist design would easily turn this into a bedroom for a teenager. The final room is ideal as a children’s room, with a cute bunk bed for sleepovers and a wooden dresser and chest of drawers. It also has room for a desk in the corner, providing an additional workstation indoors.
This beautiful house is spacious but homely; pretty but functional.
It welcomes natural light all throughout its rooms. The persistent theme of blue shades is subtle enough to allow for other colours to be added here and there. The house is ideally practical for the demands of daily family life, especially when children or pets are around, yet it radiates leisurely comfort for its occupants. It is truly an exquisite and stylish home.
This property is currently for sale exclusively through Perry Estate Agents – one of Malta’s longest established and most reputable estate agencies. Perry may be contacted on +356 2131 0800/0088 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. You may view this property on Perry’s leading portal for quality property – www.perry.com.mt.