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August 5, 2020 – Published in Design & Decor Summer 2014 issue

Tranquillity and style combine to form a highly individual home

Words: Andrea Christians

Photography: Alan Carville

Muted tones and subtle wood hues characterise this home that is the brainchild of interior designer and Fabulous owner, Kenneth Tanti. When Kenneth accepted this commission the apartment, which has two bedrooms and an open plan style living area, was in little more than shell form. In an elevated position in one of Malta’s newest and most fashionable residential locations a little over a year ago, Kenneth’s brief was to create a relaxing ambience, coupled with the optimum use of space.

“The client wanted to create a home with a cosy but essentially masculine feel. With so much natural light we opted to use mostly muted shades combined with lots of neutrals with just occasional splashes of colour to create interest.”

With grey oak parquet flooring running throughout, the front door opens to reveal a hallway and a captivating feature of triple circular mirrors, vaguely reminiscent of ship port holes suggesting a nautical theme that is repeated with strategically placed items at various locations. A walnut console table naturally draws the eye to a dining area made particularly attractive by the extensive use of walnut inset with mirrors and glass shelves to create an illusion of further space and reflect the view. A cleverly integrated walnut door is almost unnoticeable at first glance, making the adjacent guest bathroom totally inconspicuous. On the subject of the other doors in this apartment, they are all a particularly striking mix of wood interspaced with frosted glass and are available from door and window specialists, Quadra.

The dining suite itself reflects the theme that defines the entire living space which is one of gentle shades and is a simple glass topped affair with silver microfibre upholstered chairs. The table runner, centre bowl and use of a pendant style chandelier with a shade over the table, are a nice touch with the latter adding a sense of frivolity to the surroundings and, like all the soft furnishings, come from Fabulous.

The sitting room has a retro vintage style maroon sofa with complimentary curtains. Hurricane lamps again pick up on the nautical theme, whilst the coffee table has a curved form, creating contrast to the mostly geometric style, reflected in the shape of the sofa and rug in the gypsum ceiling above. Kenneth’s attention to detail meant that great care was taken when creating the soffits, ensuring they disguised the curtain rails from where grey taffeta blackout curtains and complimentary sheers hang that provide relief from the afternoon sun. Fabric wallpaper on the far wall gives a sense of continuity to this style whilst the up lit TV cabinet is bespoke having been made by Tanti Designs and makes for an attractive feature as well as having the practical aspect of providing storage that is not immediately obvious to the eye.

The rear bar of the sitting area was again custom made by Kenneth’s team and is a combination of marble (from Hal Mann) together with wood and mirrors that add a feeling of depth and consistency. An interesting idea here was to leave part of the marble unpolished which creates an interesting textural feature that is also repeated in the breakfast bar area and is particularly noticeable at night. The adjacent side shelving creates a partition between the main bedroom and bathroom.

The kitchen melds beautifully into the serene atmosphere of this apartment. It is Varenna and is available from One Percent with the combination of unfinished marble and dark hues of spessalt oak doors contrasting nicely with the taupe lacquered finish of the kitchen cabinets. An integrated sink and hob are set amidst a split level island with a raised breakfast bar at the far side. The moulded piston style stools are height adjustable and made from ABS plastic and are both comfortable and practical whilst also being unequivocally stylish! The overhead lighting incorporates a combination of PL lighting above the kitchen area whilst the overhanging lamps are particularly eye catching and again reflect the nautical theme and are also available at Fabulous.

In the main bedroom Kenneth used mirrored wardrobe doors to enhance the sense of space together with bronze textured wall paper behind the bed to create a feature that is further emphasised with LED lights and matching bronze bedside lamps. Attractive curved bedside cabinets continue the lines of a bed that is upholstered in leather whilst the inset gypsum ceiling shop immediately above. A side console table completes the furniture whilst a textured bedspread together with scattering of Fabulous cushions and an enormous silk roman blind with a taffeta sheer behind complete the look of this essentially simple but stylish bedroom.

When it came to the main bathroom Kenneth told me that he wanted to create something akin to a spar feel. To do so a relaxing ambience was necessary along with the best use of the space available. Opting for neutral coloured tiles and mosaics the cupboards have a simple white lacquered finish and sit unassumingly against white ceramics. A rainfall shower and silver accessories add a hint of pizzazz whilst the ceiling bulk heads take the shape of the walls creating an intriguing aesthetic and give the room something of a Zen feel.

Finally one cannot write about this apartment without mentioning the wonderful terraced area with it spectacular views of Sliema, Valletta and the Three Cities. Here Kenneth again kept things intrinsically simple with simple rattan furniture, complementary soft furnishings and a repeat of the wood theme in the form of the dining suite for al fresco dining. In doing so he created a sensation of continuation between the outdoor and indoor areas of this apartment with informality and comfort being the key words. One can only imagine the pleasure sitting in such tranquil surroundings and simply watching the world go by from this elevated position.

In conclusion, yet again, it would seem that Kenneth Tanti has worked his magic in creating a highly individual home that is both stylish and peaceful making it a perfect sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the world below.

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