CEL­E­BRA­TION OF WORLDS WITH IN­TE­RIOR DE­SIGNER FRAN­CIS SUL­TANA

Tak­ing De­sign to New Heights

World Travel Magazine - - Design & Architecture -

Sul­tana’s in­spi­ra­tions span the space be­tween his Mal­tese her­itage, 1920s Paris, and cur­rent dream projects in Hong Kong and New York City where it’s all about the height.

In­spi­ra­tion from Malta, my home­land...

Malta was my foun­da­tion in my in­spi­ra­tions even when I looked else­where, both glob­ally and his­tor­i­cally. I still find my in­spi­ra­tions take me back to Malta, the Rock. There is so much to in­spire me there––the ar­chi­tec­ture, the cli­mate, Malta’s unique ge­og­ra­phy and coast­line, and of course the is­land’s in­cred­i­ble his­tory and re­silience.

My mu­si­cal muses…

Mu­sic helps my mood, and where I want to go cre­atively. As I write, I am lis­ten­ing to George Michael. Madonna was a favourite in my youth, yet I also love the emo­tional jour­ney in the op­eras of Bellini and the mu­sic of Satie.

De­sign­ers that have made the big­gest dif­fer­ence to my aes­thetic…

It was the early 20th-cen­tury de­sign­ers like J.M Frank, Ruhlmann and Rateau who were the most sig­nif­i­cant in­flu­ences. I be­came in­spired by the way they com­bined their roles as spa­tial, in­te­rior and fur­ni­ture de­signer – they cre­ated the en­tire mood and aes­thetic in ev­ery space they worked within and also showed a love of ma­te­ri­als which is also very cen­tral to my work.

My dream project these days...

It’s all about height for me at the mo­ment! I am work­ing on a very spe­cial home, high up in Hong Kong which is spec­tac­u­lar. I am also work­ing on a project over­look­ing the city sky­line in New York – both are very dif­fer­ent, yet al­low me to play with amaz­ing views and won­der­ful light on ei­ther side of the world.

Paris of the 1920s ...

I dream of this time, the way so­ci­ety op­er­ated in that life­time be­tween the two wars and the sense of mod­ernism that helped my aes­thetic. It was such an amaz­ing mo­ment in his­tory cre­atively and in terms of style.

Search­ing for ar­ti­sans to craft my cre­ations…

Most of the ar­ti­sans I work with come from the UK, Italy and France. Now that I am work­ing in China, I hope that I might find some amaz­ing crafts and tech­niques over there as well.

Coco Chanel, José Marîa Sert and the ex­trav­a­gant In­dian Ma­hara­jas…

These are all the in­flu­ences that in­spired my lat­est col­lec­tion of fur­ni­ture called Narmina. All three, to me, em­body the root that is art deco. For me, it is my favourite pe­riod of dec­o­ra­tion and the most in­spired by na­ture.

An item on my bucket list…

To go camp­ing in the depths of Kenya look­ing at the wildlife and be­ing in­spired by na­ture.

My favourite city…

I have two - Lon­don, and Val­letta, I love them both and they just make me happy. First of all, I have friends there, but also the ar­chi­tec­ture and the lifestyle that both of­fer – while very dif­fer­ent parts of me are equally im­por­tant. In Lon­don, I have my busi­ness, but in Malta, I have just been in­vited to be an Am­bas­sador of Cul­ture which is such an in­cred­i­ble honour and I am de­lighted that we will be start­ing work on a new cul­tural space called MICAS in Val­letta which will open in 2021. There will be a won­der­ful gala week­end in Oc­to­ber 12-13 to cel­e­brate the launch with lots of ex­hi­bi­tions and panel dis­cus­sions.

My top 5 favourite ho­tels...

Clar­idges, Lon­don - just chic, Car­lyle, NYC - my NYC home, Cipri­ani, Venice - be­cause I love the ro­mance, Costes, Paris - my Paris home, San Pi­etro, Posi­tano - for la dolce vita

Hid­den gems in my home cities…

In Lon­don, my rec­om­men­da­tions in­clude the Ser­pen­tine, V&A, De­sign Mu­seum and of course David Gill Gallery of which I am Artis­tic Di­rec­tor. My favourite restau­rant dur­ing the week is prob­a­bly Sake no Hana and my favourite of the mem­bers’ clubs is 5 Hert­ford Street.

In Val­letta, I would rec­om­mend St Johns Co Cathe­dral, Up­per Bar­rakka Gar­dens and the fab­u­lous Il Kantra restau­rant over­look­ing the sea on Gozo.

Palazzo Val­letta, Malta

Fran­cis Sul­tana’s Narmina - Coco side ta­ble

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