Interior-design firm Design Hub Malta is making opportunities for the island’s creatives to showcase their innovative, client-approved work to the world
Sean Cassar is a man with vision. His drive for success may stem from his entrepreneurial Maltese ancestry. Both his grandfathers built successful businesses: on one side of his family, he was brought up in the wine and beverage industry, while being exposed to the health and tourism industries from the other side.
After studying in the UK, Sean returned to Malta to work for a boutique interior-architecture firm, before deciding he would have more freedom in interior design. Combining his business skills and creativity, in 2014 he founded Design Hub Malta, a studio that creates striking and intelligent interiors for residential and commercial properties. But this is just one element of his plan to transform design across the island. “With interior design, nobody controls what you do, except the client. So we have the freedom of a blank canvas. We are also selective about our clients so we can give them our best work. And because we do so many types of design concepts, we don’t get bored.”
Sean enjoys influencing all aspects of projects to ensure functional elements can be incorporated into the design, creating a smart, seamless feel. “If we have control over more elements, we can integrate beautiful solutions into our designs rather than simply making them functional,” he explains. “We think about how people can use their space, what elements or materials can create a unique design expression and customise it around our client’s needs. We also think about the psychological effect on the senses of our work. We try to understand our clients and their lifestyle and what they need and enjoy. Everybody’s needs are different, but so many houses or office spaces are the same.”
Businesses are responding positively to the studio’s bespoke, flexible approach. “The newer companies opening locally love to invest in their staff and in the aesthetic and functionality of their offices, so we have the opportunity to design bespoke games rooms, meeting rooms, canteens and break-out rooms,” he says. “We are proud to be one of the leading design and fit-out companies to enable firms to give their staff a functional yet fun space, as well as convey their brand identity to Malta and the world.”
Another arm of the business is the new Design Hub Store in Birkirkara.“It’s not a showroom; it’s an office with architects, designers and a library of our materials that other designers and architects can use,” says Sean. “We give advice and support to clients and help the younger generation of architects and designers by providing a place where they can bring clients, be inspired, choose materials and experience excellent service.”
Design Hub Ventures is the third aspect of Design Hub, in which the studio can experiment with new ideas in converting homes and elevating their aesthetic value. Time-poor clients who enjoy Sean’s aesthetic vision can opt to purchase a ready-made project, without needing to get involved in the detail of design decisions.
The next stage of this focused but constantly evolving empire will see Design Hub Malta provide an umbrella for other practices and design studios. “We are interested in architects and designers who feel they have nowhere to go in their current company,” says Sean. “We want to give them an opportunity to build their team with our support. This will give clients the chance to choose between different designers within our studio. My passion is for the company to have a range of artistic ideas that different designers can offer, with a palette of materials and installations at the tips of their fingers.”