Handling the Scenery by Daniel Scerri Periti

Handling the Scenery is a contemporary apartment located in Saint Paul’s Bay, Malta, designed in 2015 by Daniel Scerri Periti.

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We were approached with a request to design the furnishings for an existing ‘finished’ apartment. The intention was to move in relatively fast, and the property already had an existing marble floor, kitchen and bathrooms which had to be kept. The property also boasted a fantastic 270 degree view, seen from most of the apartment. The clients had a very important role in the completion of the project. They were very involved during the design process and through various decoration choices. The final design was kept as a rigid guideline when faced with picking out all the different elements.

Once clear of all previous furniture, the space felt cold and bare; so we immediately felt the need for warmth, and raw, natural elements and textures to complement the cold marble floor while visually tying in the design of the whole apartment together.

Since the existing kitchen had a touch of dark walnut stain, we felt this material was one we should add to the palette of materials to contest the stark materials. A raw cement finish was another material we felt would add an interesting contrast and could be used in a variety of ways, from cabinets to walls and ceilings, to tie up the design of various areas of the apartment.

To warm up the living/dining area, keeping the existing marble floor but visually creating zones within the large living/dining area without hindering the flow, a dark timber custom-made soffit, continuous with a floor-to-ceiling drinks cabinet zones the dining area, giving it a degree of much-needed warmth.

The various windows with a stupendous 270 degree view needed to be visually tied together. This was done by introducing a continuous sheer [drape] which also doubled up as a sound-absorbing material along 2 of the 4 walls of the space.

A very large sofa was required to fill up the space correctly, also required for the size of the young family.

Services were integrated within the units and soffits, while a customized design in the corner between the kitchen and the living room took into consideration the viewpoints from the main areas to create a pantry without hindering the flow or views. A strategically placed floor-to-ceiling mirror doubles up the space and extends the view to the inner parts of the apartment.

The daughter’s bedroom was a small challenge in itself, and a fun task, where we wanted to achieve the perception of a cozy niche with its own enclosed reading nook [for reading fairy tales], behind see-through curtains and a custom-ordered wall print sporting the girl’s favorite colors.

The sons’ bedroom had double the requirements in terms of space needed: more wardrobe, more homework desk space, a tv/play station area… “We combined a raised platform area between the boys’ beds to become an area with cushions where the kids can lay down and play, and face a hidden screen behind the homework desk’s sliding back panel for their play station”. The color of the homework desk was chosen in relation to the boys’ ages. A more masculine material palette was chosen for this room, in contrast to the light pastel palette of the girl’s bedroom. Again, this colour can easily be changed over time for a more mature look.

Photography by Tonio Lombardi

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- by Matt Watts