By Appointment: Francis Sultana

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The Maltese-born interiors and furniture designer shares the special pieces he surrounds himself with, the piece he can’t part with and the importance of fresh towels.

Osanna Visconti

Alga Hand-Cast Bronze Candle Holder

€3,410
Osanna Visconti - Alga Hand-Cast Bronze Candle Holder - Metallics - ABASK

Osanna Visconti

€3,410

Carlo Moretti

Hand-Blown Murano Glass Monolith

€4,050
Carlo Moretti - Hand-Blown Murano Glass Monolith - Green - ABASK -

Carlo Moretti

€4,050

NasonMoretti

Aliseo Hand-Blown Murano Glass Water Tumbler

€108
NasonMoretti - Aliseo Hand-Blown Murano Glass Water Tumbler - Gold - ABASK

NasonMoretti

€108
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Geoffrey Parker

Leather Cluedo Set

€6,885
Geoffrey Parker - Leather Cluedo Set -  - ABASK

Geoffrey Parker

€6,885

Angela Wickstead

Embroidered Linen Cocktail Napkins (Set of 6)

€310
Sold out
Angela Wickstead - Embroidered Linen Cocktail Napkins (Set of 6) - Blue - ABASK

Angela Wickstead

€310
Sold out

Ifuji

Italian Hand-Carved Wood Medium Tray

€136
Ifuji - Italian Hand-Carved Wood Medium Tray - Black - ABASK

Ifuji

€136

Laboratorio Paravicini

Serpi Ceramic Dinner Plates (Set of 6)

€600
Laboratorio Paravicini - Serpi Ceramic Dinner Plates (Set of 6) - Multiple - ABASK

Laboratorio Paravicini

€600

Brandimarte

Hammered Sterling Silver Jug

€1,455
Brandimarte - Hammered Sterling Silver Jug - Silver - ABASK

Brandimarte

€1,455

Christofle

Nomade Stainless Steel Round Tray

€595
Christofle - Nomade Stainless Steel Round Tray - Silver - ABASK

Christofle

€595

Osanna Visconti

Alga Hand-Cast Bronze Candle Holder

€910
Osanna Visconti - Alga Hand-Cast Bronze Candle Holder - Metallics - ABASK

Osanna Visconti

€910

Linley

Marquetry Wood Playing Cards Set

€615
Linley - Marquetry Wood Playing Cards Set - Multiple - ABASK

Linley

€615
What role does craft and design play in your life?

Design for me is the more critical of the two, but it’s through craft that methods of making great design are important. It’s a part of my journey as a designer to understand how craft can make a big difference in creating good designs.

How would you describe your interiors style?

My style has developed over the years. In my twenties, I was very into contemporary design, which, in a way, was cutting-edge design. As I get older, I embrace more historical interiors as I look at the past and find ways of conserving and restoring it. I’m always developing and that’s a good thing, because I get bored very fast.

What is the best craft or design gift you’ve ever received?

Sometimes the simplest of things have a very big impact. A friend recently bought me a dish-cum-phone charger by Hermès Home, which is something I would never have bought myself but it is chic and also very useful!

Osanna Visconti

Alga Hand-Cast Bronze Candle Holder

€1,245
Osanna Visconti - Alga Bronze Candle Holder - Metallics - ABASK

Osanna Visconti

€1,245

Royal Crown Derby

Riviera Dream Hand-Painted Bone China Teacup and Saucer

€220
Royal Crown Derby - Riviera Dream Hand-Painted Bone China Teacup and Saucer -  - ABASK -

Royal Crown Derby

€220
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Royal Crown Derby

Riviera Dream Hand-Painted Bone China Dinner Plate

€174
Royal Crown Derby - Riviera Dream Hand-Painted Bone China Dinner Plate -  - ABASK

Royal Crown Derby

€174
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Venini

Fazzoletto Hand-Blown Murano Glass Small Vase

€425
Venini - Fazzoletto Hand-Blown Murano Glass Small Vase - Yellow - ABASK

Venini

€425

Astier de Villatte

Cendrillon Teapot

€525
Astier de Villatte - Cendrillon Teapot -  - ABASK

Astier de Villatte

€525

Astier de Villatte

Alexandre Teacup

€126
Astier de Villatte - Alexandre Teacup -  - ABASK -

Astier de Villatte

€126

Bollenglass

Hand-Blown Glass Highball

€100
Bollenglass - Hand-Blown Glass Highball -  - ABASK

Bollenglass

€100

Osanna Visconti

Melted Hand-Cast Bronze Candle Holder

€1,585
Osanna Visconti - Melted Hand-Cast Bronze Candle Holder - Metallics - ABASK

Osanna Visconti

€1,585

Feldspar

Hand-Painted 24ct Gold and Bone China Espresso Mugs (Set of 4)

€168
Feldspar - Hand-Painted 24ct Gold and Bone China Espresso Mugs (Set of 4) - White - ABASK

Feldspar

€168
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Mun Deluxe Brand Venezia

Hand-Blown Glass Lantern

€525
Coming soon
Mun Deluxe Brand Venezia - Hand-Blown Glass Lantern -  - ABASK -

Mun Deluxe Brand Venezia

€525
Coming soon
Where in your home do you do your best thinking?

I put my desk in the grandest room of my London apartment so that I get to enjoy it every day. It’s a blue salon with the original William Chambers ceiling and it looks out onto the London landscape. There’s no computer as I can’t have digital things around me when I need to think; rather, books are my joy. I always tell my clients to use your nicest room where you entertain people as a room you go into yourself, otherwise you can shut the door and never go in.

What is the first and last item you bought for your home?

The first thing I ordered before moving was fresh bed linen and towels. You can’t move home, in my view, without replenishing that; it’s always the nicest thing. The last thing was new flatware. I’ve been meaning to order a simpler set of cutlery because I’m doing a new home in the countryside and there is some rejigging that I’m putting in there and leaving here.

Which item in your home brings you the most joy?

Sometimes a room brings me the most joy because I walk in and it makes me happy and secure. I think that’s the key to anyone’s home - that, and to be in love with it. Your home is something that you create around you and really is never finished; it's always about layering and making your life relative to where you are today.

What do you – or what would you like to – collect?

I’ve recently come across antiquities. It appeals to me now – Greek and Roman antiquities and especially if you juxtapose antiquities next to something contemporary. I’m fascinated by them but I know very little. I want to learn about it first, educate myself and then start collecting.

What item in your home can’t you bear to part with?

I have a chair that was designed by Emilio Terry in the late 1920s for Carlos de Beistegui’s very famous penthouse designed by Le Corbusier on the Champs Elysées. It’s profound because this was the apartment that put baroque and classical things in a minimalist setting and when I was dreaming of becoming an interior designer in my teens, seeing this apartment changed my mind completely! The chair was an obsession of mine and one day by accident it was in a shop window in Paris. When the antique dealer came back from lunch, I bought it! It’s like it was meant to come to me and it’s one of my prized possessions – not because of its value but what it means to me. I never could have believed I would stumble across it in that way.

What’s the greatest heirloom you’re most proud to pass on?

I would like to think the furniture that I have commissioned and designed with wonderful designers, including André Dubreuil and Claude Lalanne, will leave a legacy. I continue to work with artists and designers to make pieces for the homes I’m doing and my wish is that they become historically significant.

What is your go-to gift for a host?

For the people who have everything, I have to get them a good book or a small object that has to be thoughtful and useful. I love giving dishes, pairs of candlesticks, or a very chic teapot, as I enjoy giving tea paraphernalia. I always say: as long as I would live with it myself, I will give it.