In a dazzling mix of baroque and contemporary design, the top interior design, Francis Sultana makes his own retreat of a 16th-century palazzo.
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“Valletta, a palace town built by gentlemen for gentlemen”. This is precisely the mansions that Francis Sultana acquires twelve years ago in order to make it a haven of peace.
“The house remained vacant since the Second World War when the city was the target of the violent bombing. It kept some of its baroque details and I was struck by the presence of a courtyard, an unusual thing in this fortified city where the land is a rare commodity. ”
Soon, he submits planning applications – Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980 – consults architects and recruits local artisans to restore the palace’s luster.
He also decided to bring it into our era, installing an elevator and creating a pool in the vast vaulted basements. The extensive art collection of the couple brings to the whole a more modern note.
“I wanted to get the right balance of traditional—as in original—and contemporary in both the refurbishing and decorating,” Sultana explains.
The interior designer selected unique design pieces for the project, a roundtable, by Mattia Bonetti and two scagliola consoles designed by Francis Sultana itself, the style of the house, embodies a mix of old, contemporary, new and made to measure.
Originally from Gozo, one of the three islands that make up the Maltese archipelago, the interior designer has a deep respect for tradition.
“When I was a child, Valletta was almost a ghost town, nobody wanted to live there. But I have always been fascinated by its palaces with beautiful limestone facades embellished with their green balconies. ”
Photography: Simon Upton