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May 15, 2020 – Published in Design & Decor Spring 2013 issue


Perfect for the modern, cosmopolitan lifetsyle

Words: Andrea Christians

Photography: Alan Carville

This apartment contains everything one would expect to find in a duplex and with its cleverly coordinated furniture and colour scheme strikes a subtle balance between a comfortable and cosy look whilst retaining a sense of space.

This apartment is located at Portomaso in what is undoubtedly one of Malta’s most exciting residential developments in recent years and stands apart from many of its neighbours as it is a duplex. The concept of loft style living is still something that is relatively new to the islands but designer Daniela Messina Ferrante rose to the challenge of creating something that combined the best of open plan design whilst also retaining the elements of being cosy and stylish.

Choosing a colour scheme that is easy on the eye, Daniela set about making certain changes to the original apartment by up-grading certain key features to set it apart from the rest.

The living room and kitchen are open plan and when it came to furniture Daniela wanted to include all the things that one would expect to find in a two bedroomed duplex whilst keeping it simple. Opting for leather and glass the low level sofa, armchair and television units were all sourced from Form whilst the coffee table was from the Atrium. The large circular lampshade in the living area is certainly a focal point and was also purchased from Form.

Originally the staircase leading to the upper floor was open with metal railings but Daniela used her creative flair to create another feature here and installed a gypsum wall that has a bold wall paper. Its clever design emphasises both the novel double height of the apartment whilst giving the effect of a floating stair case.

The staircase was originally sprayed white and was to have a wood flooring but Daniela chose to upgrade this to marble from Halmann to create a more luxurious effect. The entrance hall is glass partitioned and was also changed from parquet to marble and makes a nice contrast against the white walls and 100% gress rectified tiles from 1st Choice that are found on the floor of the main living area two steps below.

The kitchen area is compact and makes the optimum use of the available space. The units were sourced from Form and have a quartz work surface from Halmann.

The oval glass topped dining table is extendable and sits immediately adjacent to the kitchen. It too was bought from Form and the brown upholstered chairs are again in keeping with the gentle colour scheme adopted.

With two storeys of glass apertures privacy was obviously set to be something of an issue but again Daniela resolved this by opting for large stripped sheer curtains that allow light to enter and with electric sunblock roller blinds that were all purpose made.

The property has two bedrooms, one of which is on ground floor but Daniela still thought it important to create plenty of storage possibilities and there is one concealed under the stairs.

The staircase leads up to the main master bedroom and en suite with a spacious walk in wardrobe located next door. All the bedroom furniture was again sourced from Form with the bed linen echoing the wall paper on the opposite wall whilst the bed also offers storage underneath. At the far side of the room sliding glass doors open to reveal the spacious walk in wardrobe mentioned earlier.

The master en suite is next door and is quite different from what was initially planned. Here Daniela veered away for the conventional plan of a bath on one side, one sink and corner shower cubicle opting instead for a floating vanity unity with his and hers sinks with a large mirror above against a glamorous mosaic backdrop. A large bath has been installed to the left with the toilet and bidet to the right whilst a large shower cubicle with a large glass screen and swinging door is to be found on the other side. Both bathrooms in this apartment are from Halmann.

In conclusion, when it comes to loft style living I don’t think it comes much better than this. With its compact style and coordinated interior, this duplex apartment made a lasting impression and stands out not only for its originality but also because it captures perfectly the essence of the modern cosmopolitan lifestyle.

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