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May 23, 2020 – Published in Design & Decor Spring 2012 issue

Urban living

Words: Deana Luchia

Photography: Alan Carville

This spacious one-bedroom apartment in the heart of Sliema has it all: large sunny rooms, a good-sized, private yard, a garage accessed by an elevator, and all of this within one of the smartest parts of the island, with its easy access to shops, restaurants and cafes. What’s more, it’s just a minute’s walk from the sea front.

The owner has lived here for almost seven years, buying in shell-form and then transforming the apartment into a home. Originally the property had two bedrooms: the huge master bedroom with a walk-in-wardrobe was, on plan, a kitchen/living/dining room, whilst the current dining room and living room were bedrooms that opened onto the yard; the present kitchen was a spare room; two small bathrooms were knocked through to make one spacious family bathroom. Rearranging the rooms has given the owner, who only needed one bedroom, much more space and also the advantage of having the living rooms, rather than the bedrooms, opening onto the yard, which means this outdoor space is used much more often than it would have been.

The simple concept for the design was, says the owner, comfort. That and creating a home that was easy to keep clean. The furniture is a mix of modern and more classic pieces while the woodwork was kept dark to ensure a warm feel – essential when working with more modern pieces.

The hallway is of a good size and is very light. Not only does it have light coming in from the windows onto the yard, but there’s also a lighting panel in the ceiling which gives the effect of a skylight. The property has a nice division of living areas with the bedroom to the left and the living areas at the opposite end of the hallway.

The living room looks out onto the yard which is a veritable suntrap in summer. Here there’s a flower-shaped mirror over a sand-coloured, textured corner sofa. The picture over the sofa is the work of Nikki Arnett. The sofa is from Chateau d’Ax. The wall that would once have separated this room from the dining room has been cut through, which as well as being practical also gives a more spacious feel to the property.

The dining room has a large glass topped table and very pretty wood backed chairs. Like all the new furniture in the property, aside from the sofa, the table and chairs are from Casa Nova. The sideboard has a quirky curve to it and makes for a perfect display area for the owner’s ornaments and candelabra.

The small marble-topped table in one corner was bought from the set of Devil’s Double, a recent movie, filmed in Malta.

While galley-shaped, the kitchen is considerably wider than most galley-kitchens, with ample cupboards and plenty of counter space for food preparation. The kitchen itself has white lacquered doors and a grey counter and is also from Casa Nova. What’s particularly useful in this room is the yard accessed by a door, which is perfect for a washing machine and dryer and for storing water and other bulky items.

The bedroom is considerably larger than most rooms in Sliema apartments. With wide windows and a lot of light coming into the room, this space could also work as a second living area, with space for a sofa. One step leads up to a large walk in wardrobe, keeping the room clutter free. The floor here is a light-coloured parquet, while the bedhead is a bright red leather. The three-panelled picture over the bed is a bold statement in orange, brown and red. The wooden furniture here is dark, which the owner wanted to bring warmth to the room. The bedroom door, made by a local carpenter, is also made from dark-stained wood.

Now knocked through into one large space, the bathroom has a separate shower and bath and modern fittings.

The yard enjoys a south-facing position making it an ideal hang out in this smart apartment. Taking centre stage here is a Jacuzzi, while there’s still plenty of space for a barbecue, sofa, armchair, coffee table and myriad leafy plants. There’s a pleasant conservatory feel about this yard which has been decorated with Indonesian parasols and Asian figures.

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