A Little Piece of Heaven
Architects Lucienne and Matthew Cachia Caruana have spent years crafting the home of their dreams in Attard.
It is instantly clear that Lucienne and Matthew Cachia Caruana’s pretty Attard home has been a labour of love for the couple, who bought it in 2009.
“It was a complete coincidence,” Lucienne explains. “A friend of ours had come to view it but, in the interim, had bought a different house. Weeks later the price on this one was reduced and he suggested we come to see it. We’d actually stopped looking because we were, literally, about to move to London for a year; but we instantly recognised its potential and went for it. We signed the promise of sale one day, and moved abroad the next!”
The couple were both in London to complete their Masters in architecture, but still found time to work on the house. “Our time there inspired us a lot as we started to get all sorts of ideas for the interiors.”
London provided plenty of motivation for their future home. “We lived near Portobello Road and that whole area is buzzy with design ideas,” says Lucienne. “The shabby chic trend was emerging at the time and I started to collect items and ideas related to that, but I also liked the boho style that dominates the more ethnic part of that area too.”
In fact, the master bedroom is completely shabby chic – with light coloured wallpaper, white accessories and distressed wooden furniture. Downstairs, the large, rectangle-shaped living room is a definite focus, and it exudes more of a boho style. “We were told this room was originally built around 300 years ago, so we wanted to highlight its history while blending it with more modern elements,” Matthew explains. “We left the old walls exposed – which actually blends really well with the colour scheme we opted for. The sofa is brightly coloured in purple and orange hues, while other colourful elements are dotted around in the accessories.”
Another key feature is a brick fireplace, which Matthew and his brother built themselves. “We ummed and ahhed over what to craft the fireplace out of, and considered concrete and local stone to begin with. “But, one day we were out in London and saw a brick fireplace and suddenly it was the perfect fit.”
However, of all the spaces, Lucienne is adamant about which are her absolute favourites. “The kitchen and dining room,” she beams, standing by the large oak table that regularly welcomes their large group of friends or family over for a meal. “I love to cook and entertain, so they mean the world to me.”
The kitchen was actually a project that started back when Lucienne was still at University. “I was touring showrooms and spotted that red Smeg fridge and really loved it. I knew I wanted to make it the focus of our future kitchen. When we started work it really inspired the retro style of this room.”
The courtyard, which is just beyond the kitchen, is also a space the couple make good use of. “We’re out here all the time as soon as the sun is out,” Matthew says.
“The character of the house continues to evolve as we do. We pick up paintings, change photos and find pieces of furniture we love. As architects, we love projects of this sort so we know we’ll never be ‘done’, but we do love the house as it is. It’s everything we’ve always wanted in our family home and a perfect reflection of all the things we enjoy.”