Francis Sultana is one of the world’s foremost interior and furniture designers! Sultana is the go-to interior designer for international collectors, many of whom have major contemporary art and design collections. Loved for his unique ability to merge the residential requirements of a domestic space with often large scale visual art, sculpture and installation pieces, his studio is working on projects in the UK and across Europe as well as in China and in the US.
Even though he works in London he is originally from Malta, a country that’s one of his favorite places in the whole world! In 2018 Francis was announced as Ambassador of Culture for Malta, where he sits on the board of MICAS, Malta’s new museum space which opens in 2021. It’s in this country that he bought a stunning palace that he redesigned! In a dazzling mix of baroque and contemporary design, the top interior design transformed this 16th-century palazzo into a stunning retreat.
“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. ”
Fo this design, Sultana decided to bring the 16th Palace 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. 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.
“I wanted to get the right balance of traditional—as in original—and contemporary in both the refurbishing and decorating,” Sultana explains.
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