A Long Story

When architects ARCHI+ Architects’ Studio saw the shell of this apartment in Ta’Xbiex they had a choice: go with its existing unconventional curves or straighten everything out with the use of soffits. ‘We decided not to hide the curves and instead tailor the design to follow them,’ says project manager Anthea Huber. ‘Like us, the client was excited to create something different from the norm even though the apartment was for the rental market.’
This bold decision has resulted in a handsome space that combines the stylish edge of industrial chic with a light elegance. Polished concrete and travertine flooring are warmed by oak veneer and generous floor-to-ceiling curtains, and statement lights and strong wallpaper add character.
However, even before the décor could be considered, the apartment’s configuration had to be decided on. An unusually long space of 280 square metres, one end overlooks a marina in Marsamxetto Harbour which made it the logical location for the living room, with the private spaces – three bedrooms and bathroom – at the quieter other end. But this meant that the entrance, situated in the middle of the apartment, opens directly into the kitchen. ‘This was one of our biggest challenges,’ says Anthea. ‘We could have had the kitchen where the living room is now, but that would have wasted the view, and we wanted a more cohesive feel to that part of the apartment. In the end, we had no choice but to have the kitchen where it was – so we needed to create an area that felt like an entrance to a home.’
The solution was a long console with a combination of open and closed shelving that obscured the view of the kitchen from the front door. ‘And it’s angled in such a way that it does not stop light flowing into the whole space from the kitchen windows,’ says Anthea.
The other considerable challenge was making the vast space feel like a comfortable home. ‘We needed to control the space otherwise it would have felt cold, and look as if we had simply thrown furniture into an enormous room,’ says Anthea.
Key to the comfort factor are deeply pleated, floor-to-ceiling curtains in off-white which give a textured softness and a relaxed feel. ‘They can be opened and closed to split the space as wanted,’ says Anthea.
Colour is another crucial design element, the sofas in the living room a mix of deep blue and lime green, and in the kitchen a splashback of pale green glass.
Storage is ample but stylishly done. In the living room and bar area, a line of integrated shelving is backed with wallpaper for an extra hit of decorative flair, and in the kitchen, units are built into the curve, an elegantly smooth ‘wall’ hiding away the pantry as well as the main appliances, all of which gives the space a stream-lined feel.
The attention to detail continues in the bedrooms where pattern and texture have been carefully used to give each room its own character, with an abstract wall mural decorating the master bedroom and graphic black and white wallpaper a highlight in another bedroom.
Lucky are the family who make this apartment their home.