Things of Beauty: A look inside Margit Waas and Jeffrey Twitchell-Waas' eclectic home

16th April 2017 – Iggy Fenech

In the final instalment of our property special, Margit Waas and Jeffrey Twitchell-Waas, who have travelled the world together lecturing at universities around the globe, welcome us into their charming home in Qormi, where they’ve lived for 10 years, following their decision to relocate to the warmest country in Europe.

"I saw this house in an advertisement while walking down Merchants Street and it looked like it had the right details. I felt comfortable the minute I walked in, particularly because we were looking for a lot of wall space for our books. I was a professor of applied linguistics, while Jeff was a professor of literature, so between us we have 10,000 reference books, plus all the ones we’re reading, which we then give away or donate to charity. The libraries are some of our favourite spots.

"The house had already been renovated when we bought it, so we added our own touch wherever we could. I cladded the steps’ risers with mosaic pieces to colour to the otherwise-whitewashed area and hung art we had collected on our travels. The hook in the picture is a star in its own right. In summer, we hang hats on this and the other two hooks, and it was this scene that inspired Maltese artist Rossella Dalmas to paint them – the painting, called ‘Hattrick’, hangs nearby.

"The walls of the house were simply too bare and white for us and, when it came to the guest bathroom, we decided to let our friends, neighbours and all those who enter the house leave their mark on the spare bathroom’s wall. Since then, people from all over the world have visited, scribbled and doodled to their heart’s content.

"This area is one of my favourites as it has a lot of personal meaning for me. The girl in the picture is me as a four-year-old. My father was an avid painter and, even when he was captured as a World War II prisoner-of-war, he continued to paint in miniature; around 1,000 of his pieces survive to this day. 

"The cards in the bowl, meanwhile, are a collaborative initiative involving more than 200 people in support of the Happy Paws charity organisation. I got together with more than 60 artists living in the Maltese Islands to create Malta’s first (and portable) contemporary art museum. Aged between 19 and 84, they showcase the vibrant diversity of the local contemporary art scene. All profits from the Malta Playing Arts go to Happy Paws."

14th May 2017 – Sarah Micallef

Situated between West Street and Old Theatre Street, the recently completed offices of translation company GTS, is the latest project by promising young architecture firm, A Collective. Adorned with five Maltese balconies and enjoying views of the Anglican Cathedral, Carmelite Church dome, Marsamxett harbour and Valletta rooftops, the Valletta property provided a characterful, albeit challenging backdrop for architects responsible, Steven Risiott and Patricia Grech.

15 April 2017 – Jo Caruana

In the second instalment of our property special, the Reverend Simon Godfrey, Canon of the St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral in Valletta, shows us around the adjacent Chancellor’s Lodge, where he has lived for nine years. His favourite space is his office, which is located in the historic spire. He has filled it with items that reflect his passions – art, history, literature and, of course, religion.