Mid-Century Chronicles: Eclectic Apartment

Jo Caruana – 29th October 2016

Mid-century furniture and design have experienced a definite resurgence, and design aficionados are taking notice. Thomas Camilleri, actor and creative executive at brand and design agency Switch, spent a year-and-a-half transforming this spacious third-floor apartment into an eclectic space with an authentic charm.

“It was my brother, Mark, who first discovered this property while I was living in the UK. He viewed over 180 places while on the hunt for his perfect apartment and, having extended his search parameters slightly, spotted this. I immediately loved it and advised him to get it, but it wasn’t his thing. When I moved back a year later, I was thrilled to find it was still on the market, and made an offer almost immediately.

“Structurally there was a lot to do. Aside from opening up three of the rooms to create the now-open plan kitchen/living/dining area, I also wanted to keep the original tiles. I removed the tiles myself, scraped off the cement and cleaned them. I like the fact that a part of the apartment’s past is still here, as well as some other old tiles that I sourced from houses in Bormla and Valletta.

“So many of the pieces here were actually sourced from other properties, and very little is new. At home we laugh that ‘nanna bought it, mum threw it out, and I brought it back!’ Some of the items are family-owned, including my grandfather’s original swivel armchair and my grandmother’s sofa, while I found others at garage sales, flea markets and online.

“The kitchen, on the other hand, is very minimalist. This fits in with my need for function and the fact that I knew the rest of the house would be quite ‘full’. The white kitchen is a Zen space where everything can be cleared away and put out of sight. I think it juxtaposes nicely against the rest of the space, as well as against the raw, concrete ceiling.

“When I look around this apartment now I love that almost every item has a story to tell; it’s authentic and real. Right now it feels as though most people are desperate to build or buy things new, without realising the potential of the properties and pieces already out there. With a bit of styling they can still look contemporary and modern, and there’s a sense of satisfaction to be enjoyed from their longevity too.”

This is a snippet. Read the full feature on the latest issue of STYLE on Sunday.

Jo Caruana – 5th November 2016

Lisa Gwen, curator and head of the Creative Europe Desk at the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, has lovingly transformed this Hamrun townhouse by flooding it with light, enveloping it in art and, yet, staying completely true to its original design aesthetic.

Sarah Micallef – 2nd October 2016

Consisting of nothing less than a complete makeover of the executive floor with no structural alterations whatsoever, the brief for this luxurious office and lounge space was an interesting one for Atelier Maison architects Paula Agius-Vadala' and Katja Abela Cassar, and one which they pulled off seamlessly.

Sarah Micallef – 11th September 2016

The restaurant design series takes a look at recently opened Brass & Knuckle in Naxxar – the design of which pairs fine textures and materials to achieve a cool, modern aesthetic.

Marie-Claire Grima – 10th September 2016

It’s out with the new and in with the old – here’s a look at some of the freshest trends in office design, many of which draw heavy inspiration from the past.