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HOMEWORKS

Welcome to

HOMEWORKS 13 edition. th

Scientists and building designers have talked for decades about the virtues of light from our nearest star. Countless studies show that access to natural light lessens human stress and betters visual acuity and production. For the most part, Malta is blessed with an abundance of natural light, perhaps attributing to the Maltese being the amicable and friendly lot that they are. Architect Godwin Vella and Architectural Designer Mark Pace show us how sunlight can be the entire basis of a design (page 18) and likewise with a small Gozitan getaway by Architect Willie Debatistta (page 30). Jean Claude and Strana Muscat (page 48) show us the positive effect natural light has on their family and how it never seems to be too much. Although sunlight can keep the lighting bill down, it can also increase the air conditioning costs. Paul Camilleri of Camilleri Paris Mode offers advice and tips on how to diffuse too much of a good thing and reach that sweet spot (page 40). Readers’ Response is taken to the next level this issue with Henry Borg Barthet’s solution to reader Joe Soler’s suggestion by taking us through a step-by-step transformation of a room, illustrating how to do it yourself with the style of an interior designer. Check out Pippa Mattei’s new kitchen (page 58) and find a very enamoured couple in an innovative room full of sunshine. Read this issue of Homeworks in the sun, synthesize some Vitamin D, increase your energy and improve your state of mind…. Enjoy!

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LIGHT DIFFUSION BY PAUL CAMILLERI

030 HARD EARNED LIGHT BY ELIZABETH CARDONA

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HOMEWORKS

015, 017, 057, 067, 075, 077 079, 89 HOMEIDEAS - GREAT GIFT IDEAS

068 LIGHT BITES BY CHEF JOE VELLA

048 LIGHT CHARACTER BY LISA BORAIN

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THE SPACE & LIGHT BEYOND BY GODWIN VELLA & MARK PACE

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PIPPA'S NEW ROOM BY LISA BORAIN

007 HOMEWINNERS 009 HOMENEWS 018 The Space and Light Beyond 030 Hard Earned Light

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ORIGINAL LIGHT BY PETER CALAMATTA

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040 Light Diffusion 048 Light Character 058 Pippa's New Room 068 Light Bites 081 Original Light 091 Readers Answered 100 Advertorials 101 HOMEWORKS A to Z of SUPPLIERS

READERS ANSWERED BY HENRY BORG BARTHET 003

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HOMEWORKS

OUR READERS WRITE ON ISSUE 12

Issue 13.05

Every ISSUE we invite our readers to send us their comments and opinions on what they like or would like to see in HOMEWORKS

HOMEWORKS is a bimonthly publication inserted in The Sunday Times and is published by:

This Edition: Editor Design

Lisa Borain MAS Communications

Art direction

David Sciberras Marc Spiteri

Designer

David Sciberras

Photography

MAS Studio Kurt Arrigo Jonathan Beacom

Contributors Henry Borg Barthet Peter Calamatta Paul Camilleri Elizabeth Cardona Willie Debattista Pippa Mattei Jean Claude Muscat Mark Pace Godwin Vella Advertisement Sales

(2133 9999)

Alberto E Serra Pre-press and Printing Progress Press Postal Address / E-mail WriteOn Ltd. P. O. Box 48 Msida, Malta info@writeon.com.mt

HOMEWORKS is a registered trademark of WriteOn Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the Publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. Dates, information and prices quoted are believed to be correct at time of going to press but are subject to change and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. Neither the editor no publisher accept responsibility for any material submitted, whether photographic or otherwise. While we endeavour to ensure that firms and organisations mentioned are reputable, the editor can give no guarantee that they will fulfil their obligations under all circumstances.

“I would like to see a feature published on antiques. Nowadays, a lot of houses are being converted into places of character and these should be filled with antique furniture, especially Maltese furniture. I feel that an antique feature is a must in every home décor magazine.” Raphael Stafrace “Well done for the new issue and the articles featured. I really loved reading the interview with Pauline Attard. Well-done Pauline! It is important that Homeworks keeps on promoting local artists and the passion for creative arts. Since many of us readers and home enthusiasts would love to have some antique objects at home, I thought it would be nice if you could feature articles about how to evaluate antiques as well as how to take care them.” Cristabelle Cristina Tabone

I think it would be a good idea if you were to introduce a section whereby you offered hints and ideas on the actual planning of the house from the early foundation stages. This way, it will then be easier for the readers to understand and adapt their interior designing and furniture according to the interior designers’ recommendations. Joe Soler

HOMEWINNERS 12TH EDITION… HOMECOMPETITION Congratulations to Chantal Bartolo – our twelfth Homeworks reader suggestion winner. Chantal has won the Royal Worcester Bone China Square Tray Amazon, courtesy of Gio Batta Delia. Chantal wrote: “I would like to thank you for the bright and fresh ideas that you give us with every issue. My suggestion would be to feature an article about paint techniques, as it would be great to give that special effect to your wall.” Chantal Bartolo HOMEWORKS invites readers to send their comments, opinions and suggestions for what they would like to see and read in future issues.

ISSUE 13 PRIZE

WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK Please forward your ideas outlining what you would like to see published within HOMEWORKS. THE PERSON SUBMITTING THE MOST INTERESTING IDEA/CONCEPT WILL RECEIVE A 'DISH DOCTOR' DESIGNED BY MARC NEWSON FROM THE KITCHEN STORE [TKS] MEMBER OF STUDIO MODA GROUP NAXXAR ROAD, SAN GWANN.

VALUE: LM30.00

Send your ideas to: HOMEWORKS Feedback, P. O. Box 48 Msida, Malta. or email: info@writeon.com.mt

HOMEWORKS needs you! HOMEWORKS READERS are invited to submit interesting photographs and a brief description of their homes which may be distinct in their architectural design. Of particular interest are homes that offer outstanding elements of living spaces both interior and exterior. HOMEWORKS will select the best submissions for future features. Send a photo and information to the attention of The Editor, Writeon Ltd., P. O. Box 48, Msida, Malta or info@writeon.com.mt (photos will not be returned)

© 2005 007

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HOMENEWS WALNUT IS BACK

THE LATEST INDUSTRY HAPPENINGS

Dark woods have a more exclusive look to them. Their rich colours work to soften the simple, strict lines of the furniture design, and help to create an extremely modern, elegant look. At BoConcept, Wenge-coloured veneers have long been a permanent part of their range and now another dark colour is being made available. An old favourite, Walnut is making a comeback. Elegant, classic Walnut is being given a modern, updated makeover when used together with white, black, steel and concrete. In 2005-2006, both Wenge and Walnut will play an even more prominent role as part of a wealth of new items at BoConcept. View their new Walnut Collection at BoConcept, Vjal Ir- Rihan, San Gwann.

INCREDIBLE DEALS AT SINGWAYS Singways is celebrating its first successful year. "Over the last twelve months we have introduced a new concept in home furnishing at prices people can afford. Whether it’s a modest apartment or a luxurious open space, Singways' contemporary styling integrates seamlessly through the use of superior materials." For the occasion Singways are offering incredible deals on their ultimate Wenge collection. Singways, Valley Road, Birkirkara.

DONEO NEW SHOWROOM Doneo, distributors and retailers of consumer electronics and smart home technology and Pro-AV contractors, have opened a new, stateof-the-art concept showroom in Hamrun. “When people buy our systems they are making a handsome investment and they cannot be expected to buy blindfolded. They need to try the systems and see for themselves if they work for them, how easy they are to use and their versatility.” Doneo, Danny Cremona Street Hamrun.

NEW KERAMIT BATHROOM CENTRE SHOWROOM Keramit Bathroom Centre has now opened a new showroom in Swatar in collaboration with Orienta Plus. One can find a spacious showroom where a vast selection of the latest bathrooms and wall and floor tiles are displayed with all the other related accessories, helping clients make the best choice available. With experienced staff on hand all day, one can be assured to get the best advice and suggestions for the clients' requirements. Keramit Tower Street Swatar.

SPACE SAVERS With homes becoming more compact, intelligent use of the limited space available is important. Bond’s have just introduced a vast range of space-saving children’s bedrooms, available in 16 different colours. This composition offers 6 drawers, 2 extractable desks and 2 beds (the bottom one being totally extractable, able to move anywhere). Bond’s, Notabile Road, Attard.

CLASSY GLASS Bring colour and light into your home with the new range of tableware, lamp work and blown-glass items from Mdina Glass. How about a meal served on fusion glass plates with matching bowls and tumblers? Why stop at a mirror when you can surround it with colourful glass patchwork that will add sparkle to your reflections? Glass clocks, decorative glass bowls, colour-glass tabletops...the kaleidoscope of glass home ware is limitless. The handcrafts and artworks of Mdina Glass can be seen at the Ta’ Qali factory or at their shop on Merchants Street, Valletta. 009

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HOMENEWS NEW RANGE OF SOFAS At The Kitchen Court it’s not just stylish kitchens...but also sofas and parquet flooring. An extensive range of real leather sofas in a variety of colours is now available, ideal to complete the living room or TV area with a style that matches your taste. We also supply heavy-traffic parquet in around 10 different colours with easy installation, ideal for DIY enthusiasts. The Kitchen Court, Psaila Street, B'Kara.

NEW RANGE OF FINE MIRRORS The new, modern 'chic collection' of fine mirrors at Home Space is by Deknudt Decora. Modern Trends of today and tomorrow are reflected in this modern collection. Experiments with shapes and materials lead to designs that reflect and anticipate trends in contemporary interior design. 'Chic' stands for mirrors with a luxurious appearance and taut lines as their watchword. No reference to a particular time period but greatness of style is the leitmotif here: sizes are frequently generous and figurative too, with effect of high lustre, silver and gold set off to their best advantage. Home Space, 122, Misrah Il-Barrieri, St Venera.

'SPOT ON' NOW OPEN Spot On, the new light shop is now open in Paola. A selection of light fittings vary from modern to rustic with lights manufactured by German and Italian designers for domestic and commercial use at very competitive prices. Also under the same roof you will find a large selection of false ceiling down lighters. Spot On, 92 Palm Street Paola.

THE NEW NEON LIGHT REFLECTORS SOLUTION New RSK reflectors are specifically designed for fluorescent tubes of 2’, 4’, 5’ in length. They are fitted to the neon tube itself, thus making it user friendly. These reflectors can help you save costs in various ways: Double light output from the same tube, increase the light without having to change the fittings and RSK reflectors are suitable for all types of fluorescent tube units. For a free demo, visit VCT Ltd., Ponsomby Street, Mosta (opposite St. Monica School).

WECO MODERN VARIANTA SOFAS JDS has just launched WECO modern varianta sofas. These sofas have a functional planning system. With a function behind each seat, a WECO sofa adapts to anyone's preferred setting: a relax back seat here, a retractable bed sofa function there... even watching television is simply more fun with varianta. With WECO you can create your individual upholstered sofa according to your personal requirements. JDS Furniture Ltd., Main Street, Mellieha.

ANTI-TOBACCO ODOUR NEUTRALISER Now available from Comtec is the new Neutralle X-BAC. Unpleasant smells such as tobacco smoke can be a real problem in homes, offices and public areas. Most people do not enjoy occupying a room that smells of smoke or indeed any bad odour. XBAC has been independently proven to neutralise a wide range of malodours and in particular tobacco odours. Apply Neutralle X-BAC for immediate results. Available from Comtec – Corradino, Paola.

Do you have HOMENEWS? We want your feedback. Please forward any news items that you would like to see published within HOMEWORKS and we’ll

tell the rest of Malta! Send in your news to:

HOMEWORKS News, P. O. Box 48, Msida, Malta. e:mail info@writeon.com.mt 011

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HOMEIDEAS

Montana’s range of wine decanters Starting from Lm7.35. Exclusively available at Junction 66 Tower Road, Sliema Tel : 2133 4451, Arkadia Gozo and Velmor Paola.

The Spode Blue Room Collection These 26cm Wall plates have become more popular than ever. Four different collections all reproduced from old original Spode patterns. New price Lm7.90 each. 12 different mini plates from the same collection also available at Lm3.25 each. Exclusively at Gio.Batta Delia. Valletta. Tel: 21 233 618 or customerservice@giobattadelia.com

Kitchen gadgets All sorts of kitchen gadgets from brulee torches to chocolate moulds at Ambiente San Gwann Tel: 2137 6481

A modern collection of hand made glassware shown with modern white, chrome and frosted glass lighting. Freshen your house for summer with this collection. From a selection at Tanti Interiors, 52 Mrabat St, Sliema T: 2133 0094.

The new Henry Watson Range has just arrived in stock. The Original Suffolk Collection in Terracotta is characterised by a timeless colour and texture. The range includes storage jars, oven ware, tableware, kitchen clocks and candle lamps. Also new to the range are the ovenware in striking two-tone modern colours as well as tableware and storage accessories from its sister line Charlotte Watson. Prices start from Lm4 and are available at Ok Limited, @240 Shopping Complex, Level 1, Fgura, Naxxar Road, San Gwann and at the Arkadia Complex, Gozo.

Beautiful ceramic salad/fruit bowls and plates all made in Northern Italy and all hand painted individually. These come in a range of stylish shapes and different sizes in matching patterns and colours which represent the Italian cuisine. Prices from Lm6.95. View the complete range of Homeware items at any of the OK Limited outlets in Fgura, San Gwann and Arkadia in Gozo.

Leonardo serving bowls and platters in vibrant colours to liven up your Summer entertaining. Available from Junction 66 Tower Road Sliema Tel: 2133 4451 and Arkadia Gozo.

GLASSY IDEAS 015

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HOMEIDEAS

Arzberg Loop Monis The subtle grey of the stripes of Arzberg Loop Monis harmonises perfectly with the gentle lines of the shape and the distinguished white of the porcelain for the elegant dinner table. Whether it’s sushi or pasta, vegetarian or sumptuos, or just a cup of tea....Loop offers accessories to suit every taste. Available from Divo, 31 Labour Avenue, Naxxar. Tel 2143 7908.

Retro Revolution Be individual, be different, be original but above all else ... be part of the revolution! Retro Revolution, the last word in individuality and design. Each piece boasts unique features, detail and character. Make a style statement with Typhoon’s best selling kitchen classics and capture your imagination with this inspiring range. Remember, be part of our retro revolution, not a bystander! Available from Living Interiors, Luqa Briffa Street, Gzira Tel: 2134 1166.

Bormioli Rocco Now that summer is starting and entertaining outdoors is on everybody’s mind, one can find a complete bar set from party glasses for wine, cocktails, martini's and shakes all from Bormioli Rocco as well as all the bar equipment needed - shakers, measuring cups, stirers, tongs, ice-buckets & coolers. All in 18/10 stainless steel from Grunwerg range. Bar set prices from Lm15; Glasses begin at Lm1.50 (setx2). Ok Limited, @240 Shopping Complex, Level 1, Fgura, Naxxar Road, San Gwann and at the Arkadia Complex, Gozo.

Salt & pepper set in 18/10 stainless steel from the Grunwerg range. Simple yet attractive design with functionality. Perfect for everyday use & easy to wipe clean. One can choose from a large range of sets & other items to complement your table. Prices start from: Lm1.50. Available from Ok Limited, @240 Shopping Complex, Level 1, Fgura, Naxxar Road, San Gwann and at the Arkadia Complex, Gozo.

New stock just arrived at Perfect Match, including a large selection of kitchenware, cushions and covers and a whole new range of giftware. Perfect Match, Ta’ L-Ibragg Rd., Ta’ L-Ibragg Tel: 2138 0743.

Typhoon asian accessories In a delicate soft blue porcelain enamel and striking matt black contrast, this stunning range is designed to coordinate with Typhoon Asian accessories. A collection of the finest cooking accessories for Asian and international cooking. Each piece has its unique personality and features for the ultimate in practical and inspired cooking. Available from Living Interiors, Luqa Briffa Street, Gzira Tel: 2134 1166.

Tefal’s new colours for this year’s collection are available to view at OK limited. Once again Tefal guarantees the quality of its non-stick (teflon) surface and uses its famous trademark “Thermo-Spot” which allows one to know that the pan is ready to start cooking without even a hint of oil. The ranges vary according to the heat source available - from gas to halogen to induction. Prices start from: Lm5.75. Ok Limited, @240 Shopping Complex, Level 1, Fgura, Naxxar Road, San Gwann and at the Arkadia Complex, Gozo.

KITCHEN IDEAS 017

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The Space & Light Beyond

IN TODAY’S WORLD A SENSE OF SPATIAL HARMONY AND GOOD DESIGN DETAIL ARE THE ULTIMATE DOMESTIC LUXURY. GODWIN VELLA OF ARCHITECT'S STUDIO AND MARK PACE HAVE DONE IT; CREATED A PENTHOUSE THAT PLAYS WITH LIGHT AND SPACE PURELY FROM ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN. GODWIN VELLA EXPLAINS HOW.

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PHOTOS: KURT ARRIGO

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HOMEWORKS

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HOMEWORKS

Light is all around

One is always aware of the space and light beyond

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HOMEWORKS

Internal light effects during dawn, day and night

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HOMEWORKS

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n a country where apartment block construction continues unabated, spacious living has become a high priority, making penthouses the new luxury. More and more people are becoming design conscious with higher expectations and the fact that the term “penthouse” itself includes the word “house”, leads a prospective owner to expect more than a mere flat. In many ways these expectations are also true from an architectural and design perspective. Apart from the obvious advantages regarding privacy and security of having one’s property at the very top of an apartment block, a penthouse offers certain design considerations that are particular to this building type. The elevated nature of the property usually allows abundant natural light and clear views of the surroundings. Furthermore, like a house, the penthouse commands the airspace above it, a voluminous expanse of sky that can be imaginatively integrated with the interior space. In this respect a penthouse can be conceived in design terms as a ‘house’ suspended between the earth and the sky.

Ensuite bathroom glass cubicle. Sand blasted glass creates a partition without interrupting light and space.

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HOMEWORKS

Minimalist detail and consistency of refined, well chosen materials are consistent in all areas of the penthouse

Natural light

Fills the internal spaces profusely

The design of two adjacent penthouses at Xemxija Heights offers a subtle blend of space and light that is achieved by the units’ distinctive location. Lying on top of a series of apartment blocks designed by Godwin, the two residential units overlook the panoramic prospect of St Paul’s Bay on one end, and the lush green valley of Mistra and Selmun Castle on the other. This north-south axis is important as the internal layout of both penthouses is neatly divided into two, a public and private area, with each part focused on its own external space and the views beyond. In fact, access to each unit is through a central hallway that separates these two zones and incorporates a 'lightwell' that fills this part of the penthouse with abundant natural light. To enhance the sense of space and light, the rectilinear volume of each unit is internally divided with independent elements made up of free-standing walls, glass partitions and wooden storage cupboards. The designated uses of the space that are normally associated with a residential unit, such as cooking, bathing, sleeping, relaxing and dining are thus carefully placed within these clearly articulated spaces, independent of the overall penthouse volume.

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HOMEWORKS

The designated uses of space (cooking and bathing) are clearly articulated within the overall volume.

While these activity zones are set against a background of white walls, ceilings and floors, they are invariably defined by the use of sandblasted glass (sometimes opaque, other times clear or translucent), spare wooden floors, partitions and suspended gypsum soffits.

THE CAREFUL CHOICE OF FORMS AND MATERIALS MEANS THAT THE DESIRED TRANSPARENCY AND CONTINUITY ARE ACHIEVED WITHOUT ABANDONING PRIVACY AND ENCLOSURE. In this way, throughout the various parts of the penthouse one is always aware of the space and light beyond. For example, what seems to be a solid cube of sandblasted glass reveals on closer inspection to include thin strips of clear glass through which one can glimpse the external terraces. Natural light fills the internal spaces profusely by the placement of skylights and lightwells in strategic areas. Slivers of sunlight cut through the glass partitions into windowless bathrooms seemingly out of thin air. Light is all around, its effects changing the mood with time of day. This sense of the theatrical is further reinforced at nighttime, when luminance is used in a variety of ways to remodel new forms and spaces. The cubic glass monolith of the bathrooms emits a soft glow of bluish green light that fills the internal spaces with a sensuous iridescence. Similarly the recessed fluorescent lights hidden behind the gypsum forms impart a floating ethereal quality to these elements. Thus the sharp, solid contours of the materials at daytime melt at nighttime into a fluid fusion of forms and spaces. These penthouses are designed as a private sanctuary from the ever-increasing chaos of the public realm. Their design creates a domestic container of calm space within a secure and comfortable environment. In today’s world a sense of spatial harmony and good design detail are the ultimate domestic luxury. HW

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THIS PHOTO: KURT ARRIGO 030

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H ard

Earned Light

THIS PHOTO: KURT ARRIGO

ONE OF MALTA’S MOST PROMINENT ARCHITECTS, WILFRID DE BATTISTA, ILLUSTRATES HOW LIGHT CAN BE INTRODUCED WITHIN A SMALL PLACE THROUGH THE RIGHT USE OF MATERIALS.

WORDS: ELIZABETH CARDONA PHOTOS: MAS

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HOMEWORKS

Main Bedroom. Aperture, in part with sandblasted glass obscures the internal space from the adjacent public alley yet allowing maximum light to flood in. Materials such as glass side-tables increase the reflectivity of light within the space.

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HOMEWORKS

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ilfrid De Battista’s Gozo getaway is an unconventional one. Due to the space’s original lack of size and light, it was no easy task to combine aesthetics and function. Willie managed to achieve the difficult and what’s more, went brave with the extended use of the colour red.

Red is an alarming colour. It’s a primary colour that I love. It also fits in with the dark furniture and floors. I wanted it to stand out, to create a contrast - especially since I was introducing so much light. 033

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HOMEWORKS It’s not incidental that a space that was in peril of being dark and hot turned out to be so well lit and airy. The staircase is probably the most prominent feature of the house. Not only is it very appealing aesthetically, but it also serves the purpose of ventilation. Willie opted for glass due to the abundance of light that filters through (there is no backyard or courtyard, so the staircase had to carry the task of bringing in most of the light), as well as for the spaces in between each step, that allow air to flow through them. The glass structure on the top floor was built for the purpose of creating a “hot room”, so that the air throughout the rest of the house would rise. It had to create enough heat to allow a convection currant, therefore keeping the place as cool as possible. The shafts were also created to give off light and ventilation. Willie could not create windows facing out to the alley for two reasons; it would have decreased privacy and it would only have been a matter of time before the surrounding houses started blocking the light. The main shaft next to the stairs was done purposely, to affect the asymmetry on the facade. Although black floor tiles were used for the intermediate, first and top floor, the ground floor was done in white to reflect the light.

Contrasting material and colour

View from the stairs going up to the roof level

View from the stairs going up to the intermediate level

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View from intermediate to lower level

View from groundfloor to kitchen

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HOMEWORKS

Being a summer house, the furniture brought in was minimal, with storage space wherever possible. The house is full of contrasts – stone walls, glass, steel, American Walnut wood, black stained wood. Some areas, such as the kitchen, were done with lighter wood due to the light intensity downstairs. Even the pebbles underneath the staircase create a contrast of material as well as to help avoid a dead space. Willie had the property for thirteen years before doing anything to it.

“Four years ago a client bought an old house over here and I decided it was a good time to do mine as well.” This was his first time dealing with such limited space. “I'm

Dark tiles neutralise an otherwise bright space; these bright conditions are ideal to highlight the patterns of the dark tiles. The shower cubicle is consistent with the bedroom in the use of Sand blasted glass.

Lightwell from intermediate level

Glass stairs down to the intermediate level

used to working with mediumsized flats and old houses. It was a challenge in this regard. I’m usually very conscious about light though. It’s something I have to deal with quite a lot and it’s extremely important in architectural design. It wasn’t easy – I had done about three other alternatives before I executed the final proposal. I even had one plan that included a spiral staircase in the middle of the house. The plan I finally chose was the one that gave me the most utilisation of space and light.” HW

American Walnut sliding door - a nice contrast to the red wall and dark floor tiles 037

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NL Light Diffusion PAUL CAMILLERI GIVES SOME SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO UTILISE NATURAL LIGHT TO ITS BEST.

WORDS: PAUL CAMILLERI, CPM PHOTOS: KURT ARRIGO 041

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Nat

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NL HOMEWORKS

Natural light makes us feel better physically and emotionally.

U

sually, without even realising it, we enjoy the changing conditions of light as each day and each season unfolds. For our sense of well-being and happiness it is in our best interest to bring as much natural light into our homes as possible. Appropriate window treatments help to light a room in a way that is practical, functional and in keeping with the general deco of the room. Windows are an integral element of interior design and the challenge is to balance fashion and function to meet your needs of privacy, light control, and energy efficiency as well as ease of maintenance. Fabrics can considerably affect the way a room looks and feels; the correct choice of colours, patterns, weaves, together with the style; curtains, blinds, panels and skylight blinds will determine the overall feel of the room. It is important to be able to control the amount of light entering, keeping in mind the main functions of the room. For example, in a living area with a video projector, a dim-out or blackout treatment will be required; if a flat screen is being used, a glare reducing fabric is recommended; if the room has parquet flooring or fine antique furniture, a UV filtering fabric could be used and if the room has a view one should maximise it, rather than block it. Technical & certain natural fabrics can be utilised to control the amount of direct sunlight, indirect sunlight, glare, solar heat and even UV entering the room.

Natural jute material for Roman blinds on south facing openings

Automated sky light blinds are recommended for large and hard to reach skylights.

Sheer linen Roman blinds. 043

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HOMEWORKS

Pure linen sheer Roman blinds allow natural light to enter whilst reducing UV rays.

Technical fabrics Technical fabrics are made using innovative weaving techniques and raw materials such as PVA, fibreglass and aluminium. Silent Gliss, for example, a world leader in window treatment systems offer a range of over 35 technical fabrics, each fabric designed and woven to perform a series of filtering functions. Since these fabrics reduce pre-determined percentages of sunlight, UV, glare or heat, they are ideal to protect furniture from direct sunlight and UV, reduce the heat transmitted into the room and most importantly are seethrough fabrics, allowing full views of the exterior.

Natural fabrics The amount of light can also be controlled by natural fabrics and weaves. For example, pure linen sheers offer a natural solution for reducing direct sunlight and UV. Heavier linen and cotton will block out more sun, still allowing a controlled amount of light into the room. Not only can these natural fabrics withstand our strong sun but are also aesthetically appealing. Certain natural fibres will not resist a long exposure to direct sunlight so it is important to seek professional advise with regards to the composition of the fabric and its characteristics.

Choose an appropriate style Panel glides in heavy and sheer fabrics

Hard fold Roman blinds

After choosing how much, as well as how you would like to control the amount of light, it is also important to choose an appropriate style and colour that fits your home and whether the fabrics should create an impact or just complement the rest of the deco. There are various styles to choose from; it is always best to opt for a professional bespoke service, be it a more contemporary look with hard fold roman and roller blinds or panel glides or a more traditional look with curtains.

Colour or Neutrals?

WaveTM curtains

Although neutrals are always a safe buy, colour is back in fashion. All major European fabric houses have launched very colourful and vibrant collections for 2005, with a comeback of large floral & abstract patterns as well as geometrical designs with a strong retro feel. The use of new materials like stainless steel, raffia and paper woven into the fabrics like linen, cottons, wools and velvets have given a fresh and interesting look to this years’ collections, allowing new, previously unachievable styles of curtains to be created. HW 045

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HOMEWORKS

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HOMEWORKS

haracter STRANA AND JEAN CLAUDE MUSCAT HAVE ACHIEVED WHAT MANY STRIVE FOR – THE LUXURY OF LIGHT AND SPACE, IN SPITE OF THE RESTRICTIONS A HOUSE OF CHARACTER POSES. WORDS: LISA BORAIN PHOTOS: MAS 049

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HOMEWORKS

The Most important thing to us was the land

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he brightness and freshness that light and space bring has Strana Muscat smitten. It may seem like an oxymoron – a bright and airy house of character, but the Muscats have gone and done it with taste.

Strana with their new born, Matt

“I dislike the fact that a lot of old houses of character tend to be dark and sometimes restrictive. I wanted to have as much light as possible, hence our choice of materials and colour. Glass and white maximise this effect,” Strana says. Space and light they have achieved. After two years of searching for the right property, they bought the Marsascala place in 2001. An old farmhouse practically in shambles, it was nowhere near the space it is now.

“We were terrified. Everyone thought we were mad. We had just purchased two tumuli of land with a questionable excuse of a building and had no planning permission. The most important thing to us at that point was the land.” The Muscats’ first step was to contact architect Conrad Thake for construction. From there, they were referred to architect Ivan Coleiro of Steel Shape. Together with Mr. Coleiro, they brainstormed on how to create a space with space. “We had a lot of restrictions – we weren’t allowed to touch the old structure, just restore it. If we wanted a new structure, we weren’t allowed to use old stone but a choice of steel or timber. We also weren’t allowed to cover in the front door. Jean Claude and I came up with the idea to

build an extension from steel and then cover it with timber. We decided that tempered glass would be perfect to let light in as well as to add a contemporary feel.” Due to the demands of Jean Claude’s work (he’s one of the Directors of St. James Hospital), the execution of the plans was left up to pregnant Strana. “I used to fight with positively everyone because I wanted it to be done perfectly. It worked though, because now I do feel like it’s perfect.” The Muscat family is a big one and growing. With three children, aged five, six and the newborn, Strana and Jean Claude needed a large living space. “When we first saw the frame to the addition, we were wondering what we had done. It was first erected without a roof and it was close to impossible to imagine it coming together. People thought we were mad. Actually, we thought we were mad. It was all worth it, though. The children come out and play in the living room. We enjoy it even when it’s a stormy day. We use this room for everything and literally live in it. It’s like the whole family gravitates towards the light. To me, it’s a work of art. Every day I look at it and love it.”

The farmhouse when they purchased it

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HOMEWORKS

The newly converted facade

Custom made 'Country kitchen'

“WOOD CAN SOMETIMES REALLY MAKE A ROOM LOOK DARK. I LIKE THE FRESHNESS OF WHITE AND TRY TO PAINT ANYTHING THAT CAN BE PAINTED. EVEN THE APERTURES ARE WHITE!”

While other families are taking the convenient route and downsizing, Strana prefers larger houses of character, despite the maintenance. She had different ideas and found that for the same price as a new flat, they could afford a house with land. “Although some are beautiful, I find that flats can be slightly characterless. When I walk into an old house I feel inspired. Flats can be amazing to look at, but they’re just not me.” Her parents had bought an old house 17 years ago with a lot of land and she got used to the space and way of life. Unable to bring herself to move to a flat when they got married, she managed to convince Jean Claude that purchasing a house of character in Kirkop would be the best way to go. Although it worked for them, they wanted a garden but it couldn’t be made possible, leading them to the decision to move to a place where they could have a lot of land.

Glass provides a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors and vice-versa

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HOMEWORKS “I will live in the countryside forever. Jean Claude never liked old houses but I think he’s coming around. Like me, he loves it here.” White is the dominant colour throughout the space. “Wood can sometimes really make a room look dark. I like the freshness of white and try to paint anything that can be painted. Even the apertures are white!” Also white is the gorgeous en-suite bathroom from Josie’s, but the units were custom-made. Strana showed a carpenter a picture of what she wanted and he copied it. All the apertures were also custom-made.

“You can’t buy for an old house from a shop. A house of character has its own character, so it has to have its own style and some things simply have to be custommade. You have to conserve the old look as much as possible without it looking too old. This is the hard part.” Strana didn’t like any of the kitchens in the shops and wanted freestanding furniture. “This way I can change it whenever I like. I love to move things around and change the look and feel of a room. This is why I like things to be somewhat minimalist and free standing. Some rooms can’t accommodate the traditional look.” If she could change anything? “If I could change anything it would have to be the front door. Everyone thinks it’s a garage!” HW All rooms overlook bright courtyard

Light marble flooring reflects light giving the illusion of space. It is also easy to maintain.

Charming old features which were 'off limits' on reconstruction.

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HOMEIDEAS

Leonardo’s Roll Vases Dress up these designer lead vases with our range of flowers and coloured raindrops to suit any colour scheme. Prices starting from Lm10.00 Exclusively available at Junction 66 Tower Road Sliema tel 21334451, Arkadia Gozo, Velmor Paola and Leonardo B’buga. Beaded Curtains A new consignment of handmade modern beaded curtains are now exclusively available at Esencial, Valletta. Many different models and bright colours are available such as silver, black, red, yellow, violet, pink, orange, turquoise and more. Brighten your doorway with these exclusive beaded curtains. For more info visit Esencial, 45 Ordnance Street. Valletta. Tel: 2125 5280 or emai: info@esencial.com.mt.

Perfect Match has just received a new selection of giftware from India, perfect for any occasion, including frames, lamp stands & home ornaments. Also just in, a large selection of glass vases, artificial flowers & candles. Perfect Match, Ta’ L-Ibragg Rd., Ta’ L-Ibragg Tel: 2138 0743.

Bormioli Rocco leading glass manufacturers in Europe have done it again by combining Italian design with the love of ice-cream to create this fresh look. Usable also for fruit salad or prawn cocktail, the innovative design makes it beautiful to look at as well as retaining its functionality. Prices start from Lm1.20 each. Available from Ok Limited, @240 Shopping Complex, Level 1, Fgura, Naxxar Road, San Gwann and at the Arkadia Complex, Gozo.

Foppapedretti Trolleys The distinctive quality of materials and particular attention to every detail is what makes Foppapedretti trolleys unique and elegant. Designed to make every occasion to either serve at table or work in the kitchen as comfortable as possible. All the trolleys are adapted with wheels. Exclusively available from Living Interiors, Luqa Briffa Street, Gzira Tel: 21 34 11 66.

More for your home” is now in Malta too! This range of exciting decorative gifts, frames, vases and more, is exclusively distributed by MUSKA of Balzan. The “More” range is a cutting edge style of contemporary hand crafted ceramic products that offer quality at a price that’s right for you! See them at MUSKA, 24, Main Street, Balzan. Tel: 2144 5556.

Imagine the source of a natural spring....fresh water flowing...fresh water pouring out of your bathroom fittings... Waterblade...a concept designed by Peter Jamieson for Ritmonio. Waterblade brings a basic natural element to you in high design form. Ritmonio fittings may be purchased from Tile Deco. For enquiries please call on 21 378985/21 381064.

MUST HAVE IDEAS 057

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Pippa’s New Room PIPPA MATTEI, RENOWNED FOR HER FONDNESS OF TRADITIONAL MALTESE DISHES AND AUTHOR OF ‘25 YEARS IN A MALTESE KITCHEN’, SPEAKS TO HOMEWORKS ABOUT HER NEW KITCHEN – “THE SOUL OF THE HOUSE”. 058

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In short, everything about Pippa Mattei’s new kitchen is fabulous. It’s magic to be in this room with the Mattei’s...the music is flowing, the food is cooking and the breeze wafts in with the sunlight.

WORDS: LISA BORAIN PHOTOS: MAS

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Pippa space into an the kit

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Her self-penned book always on hand,the kitchen and the garden merge into one another

Pippa chose to have her cooking space on an island so she can look into and be more integrated with the kitchen

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he idea of changing the kitchen stemmed from the book Pippa published in the Christmas of 2003. (It’s currently doing very well and has received a lot of interest in Scandinavia, the UK, Australia, the U.S. and Canada.) Due to the abundance of work the popularity of the book brought on, Pippa decided it was time to go for a more professional approach especially since she was now holding cooking classes in her home. The main concept was to merge the garden and kitchen. One wall of the room was transformed and was reconstructed out of glass with large sliding wooden doors that open out onto the patio. The main feature of the room became the garden itself, with a huge Jacaranda tree that blossoms lovely purple flowers in the summer time. The second half of the garden is the kitchen garden, where the appointed head gardener (Pippa’s husband, John Mattei) grows a wide variety of herbs and vegetables. Pippa measured the room and considered various dimensions for a while before approving the plans. “John and I played around with a piece of paper and a ruler for ages. It helped to have 25 years of experience in the kitchen as this gave me a pretty good idea of how much room I needed

Veneer oak table from BSL

for specific things. “Every corner is optimised with ample storage space and little features everywhere. With Architecture Project's Ruben Formosa and Jens Bruenslow’s outstanding design, my specifications and Oxford House’s kitchen department, it all came together quite well.” There are roughly seven electrical outlets strategically placed throughout and there is an area of the kitchen used for everything – the veneer Oak BSL dining table accommodates up to

Space is neatly conserved for all odds and ends

ten students, the island is for preparations, there is the mixing area (where all the really seriously big appliances are), the cleaning up area and the office area. “I wanted to be able to teach from the island, have the pupils watch and then later eat from the dining table close by. I also wanted to have the washing up area further away and my little office area even further. This space is for my computer and I do my writing for books and magazines here.” 061

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HOMEWORKS

Every corner is optimised with ample storage space and little features everywhere...

Pippa, the aspiring 'Tesla' girl (A name given to appliance models in the '50s)

Pippa's 'corner' office

Pippa seems to achieve supreme organisation by having a place for everything. There is ample storage space for pots and pans, a special tray cupboard, a specific drawer for cutlery, another one for crockery. Wine glasses have their own area and even biscuits have their own special box. There are specific sections for oils and another for spices. There is a designated, thought-out space for everything that could belong in a kitchen. Avoiding clutter and mess seems to be somewhat crucial, especially when giving cooking classes.

While the kitchen was being assembled, the Mattei family washed the dishes in a makeshift sink in the garden, cooked in the garage and ate in the TV room. “My advice to anyone who wants to transform their kitchen: rent a flat for the duration of it and then come and check on the progress daily. Don’t attempt to make do without a kitchen.” Pippa had always enjoyed cooking and came from a family of keen cooks, but John’s family were the truly avid chefs. She is especially interested in Maltese cuisine and feels that it wasn’t appreciated or promoted enough in the past. “Visitors to Malta love to know what the Maltese eat. This is a way of finding out about a culture. There is more awareness now and this has probably been brought on by the visitors asking so much about it.” HW

She just couldn't stop modelling

What she’s doing next:

“I am currently researching traditional festive Maltese dishes. I have a few cookbooks that are over a hundred years old and it is all very interesting.” Meanwhile, Pippa continues to give cooking classes and prepare Maltese meals for overseas visitors. She promotes good Maltese products and continuously tries to perfect Maltese dishes. She also shares her passion by writing for various publications.

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HOMEIDEAS

Lanterns A variety of garden lanterns ideal for summer entertainment starting at Lm1.55 from Ambiente San Gwann Tel: 2137 6481.

Yankee Candles® famous for fragrancesTM The Best Selection, The Highest Quality, The Finest Ingredients. Nowhere else will you find so many fragrances and colours from which to choose. We literally do have something to please anyone and everyone. Makes the ideal gift. We use NO lead core wicks in any of our candles. Available from all leading retail oulets in Malta and at Arkadia Shopping Complex in Gozo. Trade enquires The Lawn Company Limited. Tel: 21 380639, 9947 0926.

Decorative candles An assortment of candles in all colours, shapes and sizes at Ambiente San Gwann Tel: 2137 6481.

Candlesticks Pretty white candlesticks to dress up any table or room. Single candlestick Lm6.95 from Ambiente San Gwann Tel: 2137 6481. At Esencial we believe that candles are more than just functional, they are design accessories in their own right, which is why we have selected these beautiful handmade unique candles. Each of these candles are hand crafted, meaning each one is unique in texture and colour, giving a truly personal touch. Available at Esencial 45, Ordnance Street. Valletta. Tel: 2125 5280 or email: info@esencial.com.mt

Leonardo hurricane lamps Ideal for outdoor entertaining, exclusively available at Junction 66, Tower Road, Sliema Tel: 2133 4451, Arkadia Gozo, Velmor Paola, and Leonardo B’Buga.

The “Danube” lamp. These bases come in a choice of strikingly stylish “brilliant metal faiences porcelain “ finishes. Each Faience piece is uniquely moulded, fired and glazed with a formulated stannite enamel. As a result these bases come in a choice of various colours, finishes shapes and sizes, all initialed by the decorator who realizes the piece. The large shades come in a smart range of silk Taffetas also available in different shapes, size and colours. Available from Design House Sir Adrian Dingli Str. Sliema Tel: 2134 6474.

These handmade candles are ideal to embellish the home. They also give a great atmosphere in places such as bars, hotels and restaurants. These hollow wax candles in different colours and patterns are also economical as only the tea light placed inside is used up so the actual wax shell can be used over and over again. The wax shell also protects the flame from blowing out in the wind, so are very effective for outdoors. Specific design and colour could be ordered on request. Esencial, 45 Ordinance Street. Valletta. www.esencial.com.mt or email: info@esencial.com.mt

LIGHT IDEAS 067

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Carpaccio of Monkfish with an Avocado Lime, Ginger Olive Oil Dressing

Light Bites

EXECUTIVE CHEF, JOE VELLA OF HILTON MALTA SHOWS US HOW TO PREPARE A VARIETY OF CARPACCIOS AND A NICE LIGHT SALAD NICOISE FOR THE BEGINNING OF THE SUMMER SEASON.

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Carpaccio of Beef Mediterranean PHOTOS: MAS JONATHAN BEACOM 069

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HOMEWORKS Carpaccio of Salmon

Carpaccio of Monkfish

with Avocado, Lemon and Fresh Coriander Dressing

with an Avocado Lime, Ginger Olive Oil Dressing

Ingredients: 150g 4 120ml 30g 1 50g 1 1 Salt and pepper

Fresh monkfish Small lemons; juice of Extra Virgin olive oil Fresh ginger liquidized and filtered through muslin Finely chopped red chilli Chopped coriander Diced avocado Diced tomato

Method: Trim the monkfish fillets and form into the shape of tournedos, wrap in cling film and place in the freezer for 1 hour. This will facilitate slicing. Mix the lime juice and extra virgin olive oil together with the ginger juice, chilli, salt and pepper and coriander. Peel and dice the avocado, add the diced tomato and add it to the dressing. When the monkfish is semi-frozen, slice it very Recommended Wine thinly with a meat slicer straight Delicata onto the plate. Cover with dressing Gran Cavalier and serve. A marinated rocket leaf Sauvignon Blanc can be used as garnish and placed in the centre.

Carpaccio of Beef Mediterranean Ingredients: 400g 10g 15g 15g 10g 10g 10g 5g 2 2 1 Balsamic Vinegar

Ingredients: 275g 100ml 1 1 2

Fillet of beef Sage Rosemary Thyme Rock salt Crusted peppercorns Rocket leaves Oven dried tomatoes Chopped basil leaves Teaspoons Extra Virgin olive oil Crostini

Method: Mix together the sage, rosemary, thyme, rock salt and peppercorns. When the mixture is ready, place it on a chopping board and roll the beef on the herbs. Sear the beef from all sides for 3 minutes and then leave aside to cool. Roll the beef with cling film and put in the refrigerator to set. Slice the beef and place round the plate. Place some marinated rocket in the centre of the plate, drizzle the beef with some Balsamic vinegar and olive oil and serve with some Parmesan shavings on top.

1â „ 2

2 tablespoons 2 tablespoons

Recommended Wine Delicata Medina Vineyards Malta Grown Syrah, Grenache & Carignan

Fresh salmon Fresh lemon juice Fresh red chilli Small onion, finely chopped Plum tomatoes – skinned and diced Ripe avocado, finely diced Extra Virgin olive oil Chopped fresh coriander

Method: Trim the salmon of any brown meat and check for bones, which should be removed with tweezers or small pliers. Using a long knife cut the salmon into 12 thin slices. Arrange the slices completely flat on four plates. Reserving one tablespoon of the lemon juice, whisk the remainder with the zest and 1 teaspoon of salt, then add the chilli and chopped onions. Divide this lemon mixture between the four plates, spreading it evenly over the salmon. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes. When you are ready to serve, season the diced tomatoes and avocado with a little salt and pepper and toss in the retained lemon juice together with some olive oil. Divide between the four plates, sprinkle with the Recommended Wine chopped coriander and serve Delicata Medina immediately. Vineyards RosĂŠ Always serve with marinated Malta Grown rocket salad in the middle of the Grenache plate. 071

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HOMEWORKS Marinated Herb Artichoke Wrapped with Parma Ham

Ingredients: 6 Fresh artichokes 1 Lemon juice 3 Garlic cloves 1 Bunch of parsley 15g Butter 3 tablespoons Olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Method: Cover the artichoke hearts with lemon juice until needed to stop them from discolouring. Press the garlic, wash the parsley and chop finely. Heat the butter and olive oil and gently fry the garlic and parsley in it. Then add the artichoke hearts. Pour in about 1â „2 cup of water and cook the vegetable for approximately 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap the artichoke with slices of Parma ham and serve with a marinated roquette salad leaves and balsamic reduction.

Recommended Wine Delicata Fior del Mondo Girgentina

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HOMEIDEAS

Paintings Oleographs on canvas or panel. Come and see a large variety at Ambiente San Gwann Tel: 2137 6481.

Table & Chairs Ok Limited in Rue D’Argens, Gzira offers a wide range of hard wood garden furniture suitable for outdoor use with a superior quality design and at very competitive prices. The wood used is from legal cuttings and official bodies and all wood is subject to quality control prior to being certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This means that this particular wood comes from well managed forests for premium quality. Of particular mention are a rectangular table seating six persons at Lm50.00 and a 3m oval table which seats 12 persons available at Lm240.00. A selection of chairs is also available and prices start from Lm29.50. For more information, please visit our showroom or call on 21 343 865 or 21 343 866.

Glazed Ceramic Pots A striking range of plain-coloured glazed ceramic pots suitable for both outdoor and indoor use. These pots come in four different sizes and are available in three colours (blue, yellow & green) - as well as dual colour combinations. Come and see them at Cosas, 7, St. Paul Street, Naxxar (opposite Maltacom Antenna). Tel: 2142 1110. Charboil gas barbeques from the United States that come in a variety of stylish models and sizes. Accessories and tools to complement these barbeques are also available. Barbeques that are easy to use and easy to clean. Visit our showroom Ok Limited in Rue D’Argens, Gzira to view the complete range. Call us on 21 343 865 or 21 343 866 for more information.

Table “Fold-Me -Down” (75x125x85) has a powder coated metal leg and stainless steel arm mechanisms supporting a tempered 10mm clear glass. Great for small spaces. The nest of three tables come in 8mm acrylic in colours such as tourquoise, red and transparent.Measurements are respectively 40x40x33, 35x37x33,and 30x34x33. Available from Design House Sir Adrian Dingli Str. Sliema Tel: 2134 6474.

Door Mats Smart and colourful door mats. Lm8.95 Ambiente San Gwann Tel: 2137 6481.

Teak Trolley High quality teak trolleys combining function and style. These are the ideal accompaniment to the range of outdoor teak furniture available at OK. Drop into the OK Limited showroom in Rue D’Argens for more details or call on 21 343 865 or 21 343 866.

Bean Bags Truly the ultimate justification of relaxation! Besides adding colour to your favourite room, these locally handmade Bean Bags add comfort and character to your lifestyle! Owning a Beanie, the “in thing” of the 60s is now back and available in three sizes: Papa (L), Mama (M) and Baba (S). Further sizes and shapes can be ordered on request. Found exclusively at Bemania, 201, Constitution Street, Mosta Tel: 2141 9580 - Trade Enquiries: 9923 1535.

ESSENTIAL EXTRAS 075

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HOMEIDEAS

Airconditioners. The new McQuay 'G' Wall Mounted Series Air Conditioner: reliable, durable, high in energy saving and extremely silent. It has achieved the highest energy rating of A, in a scale of A to G, based on the Energy Rating Efficiency Ratio (EER). McQuay AC's come with a 5 year warrantee and are backed up by the experience and service guarantee that only Tekno can offer. Tekno Air Conditioning University Roundabout Msida Tel 2132 2553/4 Tekno Electronics, Constitution Street, Mosta Tel 2141 0331.

Rowena Reclining chair The ideal armchair for your total control and comfort at a touch of a button. This armchair offers a full reclining position electronically and is available in Beige and Black buffalo top grade leather at the incredible price of Lm325. Manual versions are also available at Lm190 for the armchair, 2 seater Lm300 and 3 seater Lm360. Available in black, blue, burgundy, beige and green leather. Value Direct, No 180.St Paul’s Street, St.Paul’s bay. (Veccja Area).Tel 2157 8597 2131 2611 9949 9337.

Panasonic Plasma TH42PA50 From Audio featuring the latest plasma with G8 Plasma Panel - 8.6 million colors - Sub pixel control, 4000:1 contrast - Viera 3D Colour Management System- Ambience 3D Sound System- Table Top Stand or wall bracket. Lm1190.00 inc vat & Eco Tax. Available from Audio Shop and Panasonic Authorised Dealers Malta & Gozo Tel: 2131 4111.

De Giovanni Recliners New additions to the recliners on offer are very affordable and ideal for your well deserved relaxation. Some models include a real feel deep massage. Available in beige, burgundy, green, blue, black, yellow and cow leather as well as a selection of micro fibre fabrics. Prices start from as little as Lm150 for the armchair and footstool. Value Direct no 180, St.Paul’s Street, St.Paul’s Bay. (Veccja Area) Tel 2157 8597 2131 2611 9949 9337.

L Shaped Anthony The ultimate sofa you've long dreamed of at a special price of Lm699 in beige cow top leather! Other models in leather and suede are also available at discounted prices. Value Direct, No 180.St Paul’s Street, St.Paul’s bay. (Veccja Area).Tel 2157 8597 2131 2611 9949 9337.

Panasonic Digital Cam Corder NVGS17 from Audio 24 x Optical Zoom, One-Touch Navigation and Joystick Control, 2.5” LCD Monitor, 1.3 sec. QuickstartSoft Skin Detail, Super night Colour mode. Lm199.00 inc vat. Available from Audio Shops and Panasonic Authorised Dealers in Malta & Gozo Tel: 2131 4111.

Leisure Accessories In addition to supplying high quality garden furniture, OK Limited offers a vast range of accessories and soft furnishings to complete any garden set. Matching garden furniture, cushions and parasols help create a co-ordinated colour concept. From the Hartman collection, OK Limited offers an extensive selection of leisure furniture in resin and aluminum made of durable materials for carefree garden enjoyment. Call OK Limited on 21 343 865 or 21 343 866.

IDEAS FOR LEISURE 077

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HOMEIDEAS

Classic style from Tanti Interiors with this Victorian mahogany headboard, Viennese hand painted music box, Victorian mahogany table and bronze hand painted classical lamp. From a selection at Tanti Interiors, 52 Mrabat St, Sliema T: 2133 0094.

Aluminium relaxing lightweight chairs With the warm weather here, these aluminium, relaxing, lightweight chairs make an eyecatching and stylish statement about your establishment or home and they’re especially attractive around a pool. Made from top quality durable materials they offer a high degree of comfort at a cost effective price.....and they stack well too! See these and other models at PM Hobby Centre, S. Zerafa Street, Marsa, telephone 21242688.

Multirack “Kyron”( 46x58x39) and Chair “Kyron” measuring 73x70x65 comes in natural bentwood birch or in birch with coffee brown lacquer finish. Prices starting from Lm25.00. Available from Design House Sir Adrian Dingli Str. Sliema Tel: 2134 6474.

Metra Tables and Chairs Metra Design has over 40 years of experience in manufacturing and world-wide distribution of aluminium furniture for outdoor and indoor use. Furniture from Metra stands out over time because of its quality. Put simple Metra Furniture ages beautifully. Exclusively available from Living Interiors, Luqa Briffa Street, Gzira Tel: 21 34 11 66.

A range of furnishings including many single items at very affordable prices ranging from armchairs, dining tables, cabinets to TV tables. See the full range at Value Direct, No 180.St Paul’s Street, St.Paul’s bay. (Veccja Area).Tel 2157 8597 2131 2611 9949 9337.

Change your photos into art The concept is simple. All you have to do is provide us with a digital image or print of you and your family, or your friends and we’ll change your standard photo into stunning wallart. The look is great. After having applied some graphic styles to your image/s we will show you a number of visuals. Once the visual is confirmed, we will print your manipulated image on canvas and stretch it over a wooden stretcher, giving the canvas a designer’s edge. 60cm x 60cm canvas print costs Lm32.00. Prices are available on demand. For more info call Wallart on 7991 4306 or 2141 9820. e-mail:ed@keyworld.net.

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Original Light PETER V. CALAMATTA POINTS OUT THAT CONTRARY TO COMMON PERCEPTION, OUTDOOR LOCATION DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN PERFECTLY ABUNDANT NATURAL LIGHT.

PHOTOS: MAS 081

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HOMEWORKS

Reflective light from pool surface creates movement and brings greenery to life

T

hink back to your school days and the first lesson you had on light. Do you still remember that natural light is the combination of all the colour spectrums? We used to remember the colours by citing the anagram

Richard Of York Gave Britain Victory (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet). Perhaps the perfect example of the breaking up of the light spectrum into colours is the exceptional sight of a rainbow. In laboratory conditions, passing light through glass prisms creates the same effect. We would do well to revive these school day lessons when planning how to make use of and accentuate natural light. It is also very advisable to learn how the colour wheel functions when we come to plan over perennial flowering shrubs and trees. Light is also one of the main ingredients in

the magic formula that creates photosynthesis. In simple language, light combines with water (H2O) and oxygen (02) from the air to produce the green chlorophyll in plants. Maltese architecture took a sharp change in conceptual design after the war. In particular, the boom of the sixties unfortunately produced some badly planned houses and poor quality work. However, it did help bring an end to the old age principle that "out is out and in is in". Gone were the double shutters that clouded off the daylight, turning houses into dull and dismal habitats. Large windows and floor-to-ceiling glass doors meant that outside light was invited in and inside light was projected towards the outside. It was at this point in time that gardens began to be considered ‘outside’ rooms and that designers began to plan open spaces as projections of inside rooms. Natural light is an ingredient that is also dominantly required in gardens. One might argue that a garden is never in short supply of natural light just because it is outside. Unfortunately, this is not so. As a result of poor long term planning

and a bad choice of plant materials, there are many gardens that contain dark, overly shady places that are certainly not welcoming and do not encourage their owners to value them as part of their lifestyle. One has to appreciate that most of the light that our eyes encounter each day is reflected light. This type of light can be pleasant or unpleasant irrespective of the case. For example, light reflected from a clear stone wall can be very irritating, but light bouncing up from a stretch of green grass can be very soothing. Studies show that a view of bush greenery can actually promote healing. It has been proven that we can grow good green healthy turf in Malta and whatever our inclinations, this is far more pleasant than stretches of concrete or ‘ciangatura’ flagstones. Gardens need to be opened up in order to balance up and reflect natural light. For this purpose, we have to create focal points and brush up with plants and solid features such as walls, thus creating shade features and refracted light.

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HOMEWORKS

Paved areas are effective in bouncing light to planted beds.

When light is too strong the use of trellises and slatted roofs is a very good compromise. The space between membranes of a slatted roof creates an illusion of movement as the sun moves through the day. They also kill the glare that can make our eyes water unless we wear sunglasses. This is also of importance when we are looking at the outdoors from inside. Indoor light is more mellow and the effect of looking at the reflected light from outside can be very soothing. In countries where light is as intense as it is in Malta, the use of coloured walls to break up the reflected light is expertly applied. In places such as Mexico, California and South Africa, it is not uncommon to experience facades of houses, particularly on the side of living spaces and gardens, in bright oranges and blues, depending on the effect required and the orientation of the walls. The wise use and planning of swimming pools is another source of reflected natural light. In Malta, most pools are painted an unattractive bright blue colour. This is a big mistake. Pools should reflect the colour of the sky, which is permanently a bright blue in Malta. When reflected from the surface of a pool, this can give off a very pleasant and calming feeling. On the other hand, the bright blue colour that is often used is jarring to the eyes and makes looking at the pool almost unbearable. A further enhancement to this theme is when pools are designed to have a horizon edge. This gives a

feeling of infinity and the light emanating from the surface can carry our imagination towards that elusive ‘peace’ element. Yet another way of connecting indoors with outdoors is by using floor surfaces which attract reflected light from the outside. For this purpose, modern wooden floors (parquet) serve a double purpose. Wood and gardens are so easily connected in the mutual frame and also light rising from wooden floors is not invasive. Natural light also needs to be considered in relation to the plants in our gardens. Plants are unlike monuments; they are not frozen in time. They evolve, move and grow. They change even in the short frame of one day. One factor that enhances this continuous change is natural light. Because the light source and the earth itself are in continuous rotation and movement, light hits our plants at a changing angle every minute of the day. This creates visual movement. It creates shade effect and different reflections and refractions of light, thus the ever-changing scene and almost poetic effect of natural light. Whenever we give ourselves a few moments of relaxation or meditation, it is this hardly decipherable but it's the continuous change that gives us the serenity that we seek from our gardens. These moods are even more pronounced at the break of day and at sunset when rapid changes in the effect of natural light are widest from one minute to the next.

It can be easily understood that light is a living thing which can be used to our advantage, not only from an aesthetic point of view but also in relation to our stressful times; Light can be the perfect remedy. HW

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HOMEIDEAS

Beautifully designed original lamps from Lustrarte. Come and see the full range of the finest quality light fittings for your home. All the lamps come in different finishes of brass to suit different tastes. Visit our show room at Bezzina Trading Yard in Racecourse Street, Marsa Tel: 2124 2526 / 7924 2525 Email: bty@maltanet.net

Light fitting A new range of spotlights and light fittings in matt chrome finish has just arrived. Come and view the whole range at VCT Ltd Light & Design, Ponsomby Street,Mosta Tel: 21432571 / 21436186 www.vct. com.mt

Floor lamp “Sansibar” square ( 190x30x30) made of Mahogany, rattan, metal and cotton comes with matching Table lamp “Sansibar”.(31x31x31) starting at Lm39.70. Also comes in larger shapes and sizes. This unusual ethnic pendant Lamp “Coconut Nest”(30x45x45) is made up of nylon, wire and coconut paring. Available from Design House Sir Adrian Dingli Str. Sliema Tel: 2134 6474.

Switches & Sockets The new Merchant Range of Stainless Steel Switches and Sockets at very reasonable prices - now available on stock. Available at VCT Ltd, Light & Design, Ponsomby Street,Mosta Tel: 21 432571 / 21 436186 www.vct.com.mt

Chrome light modern Modern, high quality chrome plated light fittings available at Degabriele Gift Shop. Also available to complete the whole range – table lamps, floor lamps, wall lights and single suspended light. Degabriele Gift Shop Ltd of Zabbar Road Paola or the Trade Fair Grounds Naxxar. Tel: 2169 6945.

The art of wrought iron and ceramics is expressed in many forms and solutions, capable of harmonizing with many different styles of interiors. See the extensive range of light fittings at GEMCO LTD, Msida Valley Road, B’Kara. Tel: 2148 8919.

Classical chandelier Degabriele Gift Shop Ltd are proud to present one of their latest news arrivals from a large variety of light fittings. This classic design chandelier can be viewed at our showroom of Zabbar Road Paola or in the Italian Pavilion at the Trade Fair Grounds Naxxar. Tel: 2169 6945.

BRIGHT IDEAS 089

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Readers

Readers Answered

HOMEWORKS

Answered INTERIOR DESIGNER HENRY BORG BARTHET TAKES US THROUGH A STEP-BY-STEP TRANSFORMATION OF A ROOM, ILLUSTRATING HOW TO DO IT YOURSELF WITH THE STYLE OF AN INTERIOR DESIGNER. eaders have been forwarding their ideas on what they would like to see published within Homeworks from the first issue. By knowing what the readers want, it helps the Homeworks team produce a magazine that inspires improvement and style. Readers Answered is a new section whereby readers’ feedback is answered directly through an in-depth feature. A lot of readers have been requesting advise and tips on how to be their own interior designers, working within a budget. For this issue, Joe Soler suggested: “I think it would be a good idea if you were to introduce a section whereby you offered hints and ideas on the actual planning of the house from the early foundation stages. This way, it will then be easier for the readers to understand and adapt their interior designing and furniture according to the interior designers’ recommendations.”

T

he idea behind this transformation is to show the practical end of decorating your home through design. We will be showing the transformation step-by-step, starting from a bare room to a professionally finished interior. This room is a large one, intended for a lounge dining area in an older flat. The style chosen for the room is typical of many homes - while the client likes and can afford modern furniture, they possess some antique family heirlooms and are reluctant to part with them. We will highlight how to combine both antique and modern styles within the space confines of a flat.

The style chosen takes the middle of the road approach not too modern and certainly not too traditional. The 4 x 6 metre room was divided into a hall, dining alcove and sitting area, created to be just comfortable and practical enough for everyday living, but also elegant enough to entertain guests The colours are based on those from the Victorian era but in a modern context. The soft furnishings are modern, the curtains are made of taffeta and the flooring is mahogany laminate. Simple mouldings are used to define height in a room built in the 60’s when ceilings were not quite built straight and finishes were basic.

PHOTOS: MAS SHOOT LOCATION: STUDIO 02 091

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Readers Answered

HOMEWORKS

Building of Partitions

A. The partition is laid out

and the top and bottom rail of the metal structure are installed as layout. Metal studs are placed at 60 cm centers, each one fixed vertically to the top and bottom channel.

B. The door lintel is formed out of a metal stud and fixed at the right height to form the doorway.

C,D. 12mm gypsum board is screwed on to the metal studs. E,F,G. Joints between the gypsum boards are taped and joint filler is applied, when dry, the filler is sanded and another coat of filler is applied to fill areas that were missed on the first application. The joints will be sanded again when the filler is dry.

A

B H

H. The gypsum molding is cut to size and mitered (45ยบ) where required. I. Glue (Impact adhesive) is applied J. The molding is fixed at a predetermined height. Joints are filled and sanded.

C

I

D

J

Painting E

The paint was chosen from the colour swatch. The walls in the living and dining area are Light Capuccino (Dulux 80YR 59/089). The hall is in a Dark Capuccino (Dulux 80YR 40/148) with Off-White trims (Dulux 30RR 83/005). The ceiling and areas above the trim are in a pure white.

A. Walls are sanded and wiped

F

A

B

down

B. Paint is applied by roller in vertical bands (Dilute the paint with not more than 5% clean water) C. Trims and edges are painted by brush

G

LIGHT CAPUCC IN (DULUX 80YR O 59/089)

DARK CAPUCC IN (DULUX 80YR O 40/148)

WHITE (DULUX 30RR 83/005)

C 093

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Readers Answered

HOMEWORKS

Laying of Parquet Laminate flooring A. When laying parquet a gap is left around the perimeter of the room, this allows for expansion and shrinkage. This gap will be covered by the skirting.

B

B. Glue is applied to the skirting board. C. The skirting board is applied to the wall covering the gap that was left.

C

A

Furniture & Accessories

A. Pictures and mirrors should be hung (general rule) with your eye level with

the centre of the picture, this rule changes with the size of the picture and as regards to mirrors the height of the person. Special fixings are available to use on gypsum boards. B. Do not crowd the tables and other surfaces with too many accessories, keep it simple, accessories should complement the furniture wall hangings and the room in general.

A

B

Electrical Installation A. A hole is cut in the gypsum board to the size of the electrical box.

C

B. Special boxes for gypsum

C. Wires are pulled trough into the box D. Modular switches are

BB

A

board installation are available, these are easily clipped on without the need of screws

D

wired. (Make sure that a licensed electrician has been consulted)

E. After the switches, socket outlets etc. have been wired and clipped into the box, an appropriate trim is chosen to complement the room deco.

E

Curtains A. Always choose the fabric before choosing the paint, it is easier to match the paint to the fabric than the other way round. Decide on the style of the curtain before choosing the rail or rod. In this case the curtains were installed in a recess, three layers of fabric were used, the header tape for pencil pleats was chosen, therefore a triple heavy duty rail with straight ends was used.

A 095

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Readers Answered

HOMEWORKS

Voila!

097

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HOMEWORKS PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

TRENDY OUTDOOR SETTINGS WITH

When it comes to the outdoors, Home Direct offers the greatest selection of resin, wicker, aluminium & wooden furniture. A selection of outdoor Tables, chairs, sun beds, benches, awnings, trolley’s, charcoal, gas & stone BBQ’s and surely the widest range of garden accessories such as fencing, trellises, wooden tiles, turf, wooden borders & so much more. With Home Direct, the key words are pristine quality and trendy designs, of these two distinctive characteristics, centre the success of Home Direct that is always rich in solutions and innovative products in both form and function. Garden furniture that is comfortable and solid in structure, whilst being ideal to enrich the beauty and originality of any outdoor setting. The various styles and designs

available will compliment the outdoor surroundings in perfect harmony. Without doubt, the name Home Direct has become one of the most spoken about outlets with the widest selection of outdoor furniture & accessories on the island. The reason for this is very good quality products, great after sales support, and good value. Home Direct Outlets are found in the Industrial Estate, San Gwann Tel: 21445654 & High street, Hamrun. Tel: 21246827 email: info@homedirect.com.mt website: www.homedirect.com.mt

H

EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE WITH SANYO AIR CONDITIONERS

Whether you are looking for a wall mounted compact air conditioners, or a DC inverter Multi Split System, or a VRF system, Sanyo brings you a practical solution to all your air conditioning requirements. The new Sanyo wall mounted air conditioner is extremely silent, low in consumption and high in energy saving. It comes with a new sleek designed remote controller with many innovative features such as the built-In Temperature sensor. If you are looking for a complete home solution, Sanyo offers the new DC-Inverter Multi split system. High in efficiency and energy saving, it allows for up to 4 different indoor units to be operated by using a single outdoor unit. On average, with a daily use of

the 4 units for 5 hours, you will save over Lm 300 per annum, when compared to normal split-type systems. Your investment therefore, will be FULLY PAID BACK in around 5 years. For those who want a larger scale air conditioning system, the Sanyo Eco Multi Series VRF offers a compact, expandable and flexible system that allows up to 13 indoor units to be connected to one outdoor VRF unit. It is a high-performance multi system with excellent energy savings and work execution characteristics for buildings. A variety of indoor unit options are available to choose from. Sanyo Air conditioners are available at Tekno Air Conditioning in Msida. With over 15 years of experience, Tekno offers a guaranteed after sales service that only an industry leader can offer. Tekno Air Conditioning University Roundabout Msida Tel 21322553/4

0100

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HOMEWORKS

PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

CASA BLANCA

FURNISH WITH STYLE: WITEX LAMINATE AND PARQUET FLOORING No matter how well traveled you are, you’ve only arrived when you reach a place where you feel completely, beautifully at home. We do whatever it takes to get you there. Just consider our range of decors with Wenge from Africa, Mahagony from Asia and Classical Oak from Europe. Witex brings home the big wide world, so now you can travel in style within your own four walls. Witex wide range

of laminate and parquet flooring offer you stylish decors that allow you to capture your individual sense of style while bringing home the practicality and warmness of laminate flooring and its renouned German quality. You are welcome to view the complete range of laminate and parquet flooring at the WITEX PARQUET WAREHOUSE 230, 21st September Avenue Naxxar or phone 9949 6475, 7949 5575.

This is a tile that captures a natural texture in exterior spaces. With its 33x33 cm tiles in pink, beige and crimson colours Casablanca series is the preference of those who wish to make a difference in their garden, pool deck area, terrace and any other outdoor space. While this product offers an elegant look its antislip characteristic contributes for a comfortable and convenient area. This tile is exclusively available from: The Tile, Bella Vista Str, San Gwann. Tel :21 371891 Email: info@the-tile.com Website: www.the-tile.com

AIR CONDITIONING

HOMEWORKS A to Z of SUPPLIERS

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AIR CONDITIONING

AIR CONDITIONING

HOMEWORKS A to Z of SUPPLIERS

0102

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BATHROOMS

AQUARIUMS & ACCESSORIES

HOMEWORKS A to Z of SUPPLIERS

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BATHROOMS

BATHROOMS

HOMEWORKS A to Z of SUPPLIERS

0104

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FURNITURE

HOME ENTERTAINMENT

HOMEWORKS A to Z of SUPPLIERS

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HOME SECURITY

HOME SECURITY

GARAGE DOORS

HOMEWORKS A to Z of SUPPLIERS

0106

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INTERIORS & ACCESSORIES

INTERIORS

HOME SECURITY

HOMEWORKS A to Z of SUPPLIERS

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LIGHTING

INTERIORS

HOMEWORKS A to Z of SUPPLIERS

0108

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POTTERY

PAINTS

PEST CONTROL

HOMEWORKS A to Z of SUPPLIERS

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RESTORATION

PVC APERTURES

HOMEWORKS A to Z of SUPPLIERS

0110

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TILES

SOLAR ENERGY EQUIPMENT

HOMEWORKS A to Z of SUPPLIERS

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WATER TREATMENT

TILES

HOMEWORKS A to Z of SUPPLIERS

0112

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HOMEWORKS 13  

Scientists and building designers have talkedfor decades about the virtues of light from ournearest star. Countless studies show that access...

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