Designers Flock to the Dinner Table

For more than 250 years, the name Wedgwood has been synonymous with the highest standards of quality, craftsmanship and innovate design in the world of tableware.  Isabel Tapp, CEO of tappintomalta meets with Peter Taylor, Export Sales Manager of the Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton Group during his visit to Malta, to find out what’s new in the world of tableware.

IT:  Peter, can you tell us what is on trend for Summer and Autumn 2015?

PT : Well, in the Wedgwood Collections, there are two strong contenders; Jasper Conran’s brand new Tisbury range, which was the success of this year’s international trade show in Frankfurt.  A cream fluted range, Jasper Conran’s signature aesthetic mixes classic British style and elegance to create a striking contemporary range to suit any occasion.

The range poised to take Autumn/Winter 2015/6 by storm, is the ARRIS range, a traditional bone china pattern in black and gold, accessorized with a great range of pieces such as matching glasses, vases, bowls, candle holders, picture frames; all ideal for gifting.  ARRIS will be launched in September; its bold black and gold colour palette perfect for the winter and Festive Season.

IT :  You have been collaborating with big designers such as Jasper Conran and Vera Wang; do you have any plans to work with any other designers? 

PT :  With the Wedgwood ranges, not at present, as these two designers are very successful both in  Europe and the USA. However, at  Royal Doulton, we have been working with Gordon Ramsey and have just stated a collaboration with Charlene Mullen, the homewares London designer; having had a very successful launch last year, we are now adding extra pieces to the Collection.  Charlene’s range is very chic and very London.

We have also commissioned Barber & Osgerby, the design team responsible for the design of the 2012 London Olympic torch,  to look specifically at the 200th Anniversary of Royal Doulton which is this year.  They chose to celebrate this event by creating the Pipe Vase. The pair drew their inspiration from the shape of the salt-glazed stoneware pipes that were some of the most significant products to be manufactured in the early days of Royal Doulton.  The Pipe Vase is crafted in matt black stoneware with a gloss glaze interior, and is as practical as it  is beautiful; this vase is set to become a design classic!

Barber & Osgerby have also added the OLIO Collection to the Royal Doulton range; an earthenware tableware range in a retro style reminiscent of the Royal Doulton style of the 60’s and very popular in Northern Europe, particularly in Scandinavia and Iceland.  The OLIO style is particularly popular with the younger, more trend conscious customer; it is also more accessible from a price point of view to Wedgwood, therefore appealing to a younger market.

IT : How do you differentiate between Wedgwood and Royal Doulton markets?

PT:  Wedgwood is the more traditional; very popular with the bridal market offering timeless, classic styles that do not go out of fashion, whilst with Royal Doulton, we have made a conscious decision to develop more casual tableware in trending, retro styles and colours at a more affordable price point and therefore more accessible to a younger consumer.

IT :  Do you have an particular Collections that are aimed at the Mediterranean market?

PT:  The Royal Doulton design team launched PACIFIC in February; a casual, on trend look in a strong deep blue; perfect for the Mediterranean outdoor and yachting summer lifestyle and also very successful in Australia. A second ideal Collection for the Mediterranean is the HEMINGWAY Design, a collection of contemporary accessories for decoration as well as for everyday use, developed through a collaboration between Royal Doulton and HemingwayDesign, which sees the Hemingway family working directly with the Royal Doulton designers, bringing together years of experience and combining their distinctive style with the Royal Doulton brand heritage.  The result : a right-on-trend range of accessories in bright retro colours.

IT:  How did the partnership between Royal Albert and Miranda Kerr come about?

PT:  Miranda, who as you know built a career as a model and entrepreneur, fell in love with the Royal Albert design, which is the very traditional old country rose design and best seller of Royal Albert.  We sent our design team to Australia to meet with Miranda and together they designed a new pattern reflecting the history of Royal Albert, but also more contemporary, incorporating her love of peonies and butterflies into a fun and floral tea and gift range, with all items being gift boxed. It is the biggest new pattern launch that Wedgwood has had as a group for 10 years.  It has been on the market for only 18 months and has been a fantastic success in the UK, Europe, USA and Australia.  In Australia alone, the range sold 1.9Million Australian Dollars in the first year, which is unprecedented. It is aimed at young women in their 20’s and 30’s, a much younger market than the traditional Royal Albert customer.  Miranda is currently working on extensions to this range and a new pattern which will launch in 2016.

Wedgwood, Royal Doulton and Royal Albert Collections can be found at The House Shop, Ta’ Xbiex. Various items can be found in stock, alternatively full collections can be ordered with a 2–10 weeks delivery to Malta. 




Unlimited Rug Editions

Isabel Tapp had the pleasure of meeting Nicholas Verschueren, Export Manager for Belgian rug company, Limited Edition, during his flying visit to Malta over Easter weekend.  The company specializes in producing handmade rugs of any colour and design imaginable.  They supply rugs to designer brands Hugo Boss, Burberry and Ralf Lauren amongst others.

IT :  Nicholas, can you tell me about Limited Edition, how did it all start?

N :  It all started with “boarders”.  25 years ago, the trend in Northern Europe was for wall-to-wall fitted carpets.  The founder of the company, Katia Dewitte, who was at the time working for a carpet company, came up with the idea of producing a rug with a finished border that could be laid under a dining table or coffee table.  Her boss at the time was not really interested in the new concept and told her that there was no market for such a rug.  So she decided to quit, bought a sewing machine and started making her own boarders, specifically for rugs.  Carpet manufacturers eagerly bought the borders and the rug as we know it today, came onto the market.

Eventually, she began to design her own rugs, in entirety, bought a weaving mill and started weaving flat woven rugs.

Her brother, James Dewitte,  joined the business, bringing with him economic and business expertise, and thus Limited Edition was born.

IT:  What is Limited Edition today?

N:  Today, Limited Edition employs 150 people and produces an enormous range of rugs, from leather rugs to hand woven and hand tufted rugs, ranging in price from 70 Euros per square metre to 700 Euros per square metre, catering to every need a customer may have. 

IT : What makes Limited Edition unique?

N:  Limited Edition have their own dye and yarn factory, which means that together with the skills and knowledge which have been accumulated over the years, we are able to produce a rug in the exact colour, size, pattern and border that the client wishes. We dye the yarns and produce the rugs to the highest quality 100% in Belgium.  No aspect of the production is out-sourced.

IT : Nicholas, I can see dozens of beautiful samples here of tufts in different lengths and a vast range of colours.  It looks a little daunting to the amateur interior designer:  Where does a customer start in designing a rug?

N:  We have designers on hand to help the customers design their rug, alternatively they may bring their own designer or architect into LOFT to assist them.

IT:  An interesting Limited Edition product for customers living in Malta is the outdoor or patio rug; this must surely be a new market for a rug company?

N:  We are finding that customers are spending more time in their homes, relaxing and entertaining friends, and for those with outdoor space, that space is viewed as an extension of their dining room or lounge.  Limited Edition has developed a range of rugs designed specifically for the outdoors.  UV and weather proof, the patio rugs are made of 100% polypropylene and are easy to clean.  Just use a hose to wash down the rug and leave to dry outdoors; they are also non-shrink and the colour will not fade.  Pool side rugs are also made from PVC yarns and customers can add a stripe in any colour, co-ordinating with outdoor furniture.

We are also seeing a trend where these outdoor rugs are being used indoors, for example under dining tables; the benefit of this is that if anything is spilt on the rug, it can be very easily cleaned.

Nicholas assured me that the colour of outdoor patio and poolside rugs will not fade even under the fierce Maltese sunshine!  An innovative, modern concept, yet extremely practical particularly for the coming summer months when we will all be spending the majority of our time outdoors.

Standard size and bespoke Limited Edition rugs are available in Malta exclusively at LOFT, Naxxar. Delivery time to Malta is approximately 6 weeks.




This is the final article in our three-part series and in it we shall be examining various property types and localities where foreigners can purchase properties in Malta.  As discussed previously in the June issue, purchasers of any nationality are exempt from obtaining an AIP (Acquisition of Immovable property permit) if buying within Special Designated Areas.

Currently Portomaso, Tigne Point, Fort Cambridge, Pender Place and the Metropolis are the SDAs located in the Sliema/St. Julian's area.  Whilst Madliena Village is situated on the outskirts of this area, overlooking the picturesque Wied Id-Dis valley and close to the village of Gharghur.  To the south of the island,  we find the Cottonera Development on the waterfront of Vittoriosa, Smart City not far from Kalkara and Ta'Monita Residence located in Marsascala.  Ta'Monita is, undoubtedly, a development that anyone wishing to purchase a SDA property in the south of the island should view.  It overlooks Marsascala bay, a seaside resort which attracts both locals and ex-pats alike, and is close to all amenities including nightlife.  There are currently still a wide selection of apartments to choose from at varying prices.  To the north of the island there is the Tas-Sellum Residence in Mellieha and Fort Chambray and the Kempinski Residences in Gozo.  These properties are all upmarket as they have been especially developed to provide amenities such as restaurants, supermarkets, spas and marinas within the same area.  Moreover, there are no restrictions on purchasers of SDAs leasing their property out and enjoying a rental yield when away from the island.  Obviously as there are only a few SDAs on the island, property within these developments tends to be rather expensive.

Although properties within the SDAs are costly, if one is not restricted to buying within such an area, one can actually find well-priced properties of all types all over the island.  However, one needs to consider various factors when purchasing a property as it might then be difficult to re-sell.  Whilst this might not pose so much of a problem for locals, for foreigners wishing to leave the island it could be a major issue.  The suburbs around Sliema and St Julian's such as San Gwann, The Village, Swieqi, Ibrag, Pembroke and Madliena are highly sought after areas and tend to be more expensive than properties, for example, in Central areas such as Naxxar, Mosta, Attard, Balzan and Lija.  Although more expensive, they also rent out for approximately double the amount one would pay in central areas for a similar property.  Other popular areas favoured by ex-pats include Qawra and the St Paul's Bay area located in the north of the island.  However, although there are some excellent properties in Mgarr, Manikata and Mellieha,  I personally would not suggest purchasing in these areas if you foresee that in the future you would require a quick sale to leave the island.  The reason for this is that these areas are in less demand, unless prospective buyers hail from these areas themselves.  Thus, selling would definitely be a slower process.

Anyone interested in purchasing property locally should consult a reputable, internationally known estate agency for advice and guidance, as they will be able to steer you clear of any pitfalls when buying property in the Maltese Islands and will also ensure that you buy property at the market price and not at an artificially inflated price.

Residence Schemes


As promised in my previous article, this month we will be discussing and taking a closer look at some of the main schemes open to foreigners wishing to purchase property in Malta and Gozo,


Non- residents who opt to buy property in the Maltese Islands require a permit issued under the Acquisition of Immovable Property Act (AIP). However, E.U. And Maltese citizens who have resided in Malta for a minimum of five years prior to acquiring a property are exempt from AIP conditions and have the right to purchase an unlimited amount of properties. Maltese and E.U. Citizens who have not resided in Malta for the time mentioned previously, are only exempt if the property is being purchased to serve as a primary residence. Should the residence be intended as a holiday home or for secondary living purposes, an AIP permit is required.


Non-E.U. Citizens must obtain an AIP permit and there is a minimum acceptable value stipulated for the property being purchased. Buying property in Special Designated Areas (SDAs) allows non-Maltese purchasers to buy property with the same rights as Maltese citizens, thus not requiring an AIP permit from the Maltese Government.


The current Special Designated Areas are Portomaso, Cottonera Development, Tigne Point, Tas-Sellum Residence, Madliena Village, Smart City, Fort Cambridge, Ta' Monita Residence, Pender Place, Metropolis Plaza in Malta and Fort Chambray and Kempinski Residences in Gozo. The main advantages of buying property located in an SDA is that the property can be used as a secondary residence, a holiday home or can be rented out. Another advantage is that one is not restricted to buying one property but can purchase multiple properties within these developments.


The Ordinary Residence Scheme


To be eligible for this scheme applicants must be covered by a local or international health insurance policy. They must purchase or rent property that serves as their primary residence and are subject to Malta's tax rates. It is important to note that no tax is paid on income not remitted to Malta or foreign source capital gains. This scheme is intended for individuals who have the financial means to support themselves and who will physically be residing in Malta.



Global Residence Programme


This scheme will appeal to individuals who are not ordinary residents. Under the GRP, a flat rate of 15% is applicable on income declared in Malta and beneficiaries will need to pay a minimum annual tax of 15,000 euro. The 15% only applies to income generated overseas and declared in Malta, other income will be taxed at a flat rate of 35%. To qualify the applicant must buy or rent a property as their principal residence worldwide.


Citizenship by Investment


This grants naturalisation by investment to foreign individuals and their dependents. Applicants must be people of good repute and over eighteen years of age. They are required to make a monetary contribution to the economic development of Malta. The main applicant must purchase an immovable property locally worth 350,000 euro or lease a property with an annual rental value of 16,000 euro. The main applicant is also expected to invest 150,000 in Malta and have resided here for a period of at least 12 months before the certificate of naturalisation is issued.


The above are the main schemes available, however, it would be best to seek expert legal advice locally from an authorised registered mandatory before applying for any of the schemes, as they would be in a position to advise you which scheme would be most advantageous.


Next month we will be taking a closer look at the Special Designated Areas mentioned in this article.

Most Expats Are Making this Investment Mistake

At the recent Le Tour de Finance, the first time Europe’s leading expat finance seminar has visited Malta, I gave a presentation explaining the 3 most common financial mistakes that expats make in Malta. For those who were unable to attend the event, the first mistake is explained below.

You are almost certainly paying too much tax

We meet with new clients on a regular basis. The first part of our process is a no obligation meeting to establish how clients are currently managing their money and establishing how things can be improved. You may be surprised to learn that more than 80% of the people we meet are paying more tax on their investments and savings than they need to! Highlighted in red below are the savings and investments that most people hold – all of which pay unnecessary tax.

The equivalent of a tax efficient UK ISA, by far and away the biggest savings tax break you have in Malta is that:

“Capital investments in tax neutral countries, such as the Isle of Man, are free of tax even when gains are remitted to Malta”

If you are not making the most of this, it makes no sense to ignore your options– I am more than happy to help with some good advice. 

For Advice About Your Circumstances: 


Call Michael Lavin on 2131 6298 or email

Hollingsworth International Financial Services Ltd is licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority to provide investment services under the Investment Services Act, 1994. Enrolled Insurance Broker under article 13 of the Insurance Intermediaries Act, (Cap. 487). Registration Number C32457



The Advantages of buying property when relocating to Malta 

Since time immemorial Malta has had the knack of attracting visitors from far and wide, many of whom eventually take up permanent residence.  Those who move to the Maltese Islands, do so because they literally fall in love with the warm-hearted inhabitants, who often might appear rather boisterous but who ultimately have hearts of gold.  Thus, people settling on the island are buying into a lifestyle that is difficult to beat. 


Malta has a relatively relaxed way of living, is blessed with an excellent climate, an affordable cost of living, low crime rate and a packed calendar of cultural and social events that will keep you occupied throughout the year.


Obviously,  relocating to a new country can be traumatic and looking for a new home to buy or rent, is definitely the most important decision ex-pats will have to make.  In this article we shall be discussing the advantages of buying property rather than renting, although initially it makes sense to rent for a few months until you become accustomed to the various residential areas and can decide objectively where you would like to reside long term.

Buying  a home is a major decision which should not be taken lightly but when faced with rising rent, it makes economic sense to do precisely this – especially as it can later be used to fund retirement.  One interesting point that readers might not be aware of, is that in Malta prices of property remain pretty stable thus providing an excellent investment opportunity with a good potential of capital appreciation if bought at the right price.  If you buy a home and choose to leave it, or leave the island altogether, you can rent it out rather than sell it and generate enough income to pay off your monthly payments.  Thus, it pays to choose a home that will also make a good rental property in the future.


If you are considering buying a home, your first step should be to meet your bank manager to determine whether you qualify for a home loan, should you require one.  Your ability to qualify depends on your income but you will also need to have the savings to pay the ten per cent deposit normally due when signing the Promise of sale.  Never presume that you qualify, until you have been given the green light by the bank.


Having ascertained your monthly repayments and how much the bank will lend you, you are now ready to start searching for your dream home in the sun.  You will save valuable time and be more efficient in your search, if you make use of the services of an estate agent you feel you can trust.  This is particularly important when buying property in a foreign country as properly trained sales associates from reputable international companies are extremely knowledgeable about the properties on their database.  They can, for example, help you to avoid buying property which has not been built in conformity with local building laws and will also help you to steer clear of overpriced and unsuitable properties.


The advantages of owning a home are evident to many.  You can pay the same monthly amount when paying off your loan, as you would on rent.  However, the advantage is that eventually the home is yours.  Moreover, monthly payments on a loan are relatively steady if your loan has a fixed interest rate, whilst your landlord can increase the rent, so you are really at his mercy.  Furthermore, owning a home means more security as it provides a permanent place where your family can live and grow and you can carry out alterations or decorate the house to create your dream home,  safe in the knowledge that you will not be evicted.


In the coming months we will be discussing the various legalities and implications when buying property in Malta and taking a look at developments, areas and property types most suited for foreigners.