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May 5, 2020 – Published in Design & Decor Spring 2014 issue

Classic meets vintage

Interior design & words: Kenneth Tanti of Tanti Interiors

Photographs: Alan Carville

“Energy is found in everything” I was told and I truly believe it. There are certain properties that almost uncannily seem to call out to me right before I get contacted to design them.

Like this quant Sliema townhouse which caught my eye a number of times whilst driving past and before I knew it I was given the opportunity to design and fill it with furniture that I love!

This property has so much character. Perched on top of a bridge it has a corner location and is south facing with windows that flood with light giving the interiors full opportunity to shine their true colours.

On entering one is just struck by the different old floor tiles that reflect all sorts of hues onto the walls. The effect is reminiscent of a kaleidoscope and is the perfect starting point to make further colour choices in the rooms. As one who is addicted to wallpaper I made the unusual decision to leave this house mainly in stone and used wallpapers only minimally later on to create magical effects in the bedroom and bathroom.

When the images and list of furniture that were to be used in this space were drawn up there were those who thought it would look odd. I picked up vintage furniture, classical pieces, industrial and also modern. When seen on paper one would think they would clash. However, I knew it would work. All the furniture, curtains, wallpapers and lights were carefully chosen from Fabulous Home – Valley Road. Though I must admit with such an infinite choice there were times when it all got rather confusing! Delivering and putting things in place and then moving them around eventually resulted in exactly what I was after - A classical effect that reflects both vintage and modern.

The living room consists of a beautiful vintage leather sofa from Fabulous Home with pictures on the wall that enhance and complement the look. The rest was kept quite modern and minimal with the upholstered stools that can be moved around to create seating flexibility without obstructing the space. These too were from Fabulous Home.

As you walk through into the kitchen the feeling changes with clean and modern furniture lines that provide a striking contrast against the floor. The kitchen was chosen from the ever efficient Onepercent in Valley Road. With essentially plain units I now had ample scope to experiment with the dining table and chairs where again I combined classical with contemporary. This choice of transparent chairs really lets you admire the beauty in the dining table. An Asian touch is always my signature and, in this case, came in the form of a small Chinese sideboard placed next to the dining table. The hurricane lamps on either side and the Roman picture above it were all chosen from Fabulous Home.

The effect of the bedroom was inspired from the idea of creating a “Palazzo” feel inside a much smaller interior. I used the height of the ceiling to my advantage and let loose on the wallpaper that gives an old stucco effect. Being slightly shimmery and having areas that are matt produce and old aged effect to the two walls that then in turn make the jet black chesterfield paneled headboard really stand out against the wall. The bedside tables reflect the design of the wallpaper in their panels. I then thought of reflecting the jet-black colour from the headboard in the shades and lamps by the bed. Again, all these pieces are obtained from Fabulous Home.

The other pieces of furniture in the bedroom lean more towards the vintage direction. I wanted to give the effect of trunks and cases that travellers have left behind. All looking old and as though they have a story to tell.

The bathroom depicts a slightly more modern style with the subway tile glass wall in the walk in shower and cement looking tiles. However, so as to not appear cold, the tiles were stopped at a low level and fabric wallpaper used to the ceiling. This really worked well and instantly added a feeling of warmth.

I really enjoyed working on this project as it gave me the opportunity to deviate in different directions with one thing leading to the other. Having fun with interior design is really what it’s all about and, for me especially, it is most definitely the time when the best artistic ideas seem to flow!

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