From two to three: Mark and Krista Hyzler
Young couple Mark and Krista Hyzler tell Jo Caruana how they are gradually transforming their modern apartment into a stylish family home.
It’s only a year-and-a-half since Mark and Krista Hyzler tied the knot in a beautiful summertime ceremony, and slightly less since they moved into their sizable three-bedroom apartment in Tal-Ibragg. But already it has become home.
Chosen because it is brilliantly located just a short distance from both their families, as well as because it is substantially larger than most of the other properties they saw, the couple quickly started turning it into a chic and comfortable space where they could enjoy the start of their marriage.
Krista explains that, having lived in a house for most of her life, she was a little worried about moving into an apartment. “I was concerned I would feel closed in,” she says. “But I felt completely the opposite when we found this one. It’s a lovely large space and it felt like we would get to enjoy the best of both worlds – the convenience of an apartment and the openness of a house.”
As Mark and Krista both work quite long hours as lawyers, they had to consider the fact that they didn’t want somewhere that would require a lot of maintenance. But they also knew that they wanted to raise a family, so they needed a space that was suitable.
As it turned out, they didn’t have to wait long to see if they’d made the right decision, as little Sophie was born just 11 months into their marriage! “Although all the baby things have taken over one of our bedrooms, Sophie hasn’t yet started crawling, so her things are still contained. I imagine that will change quite a lot over the next few months, so the house will have to change with her,” Mark smiles.
However, before they knew they were expecting, the couple had already designed most of the elements in their home. Once they bought the property, they engaged the services of Nine Yards' interior director Luisa Diacono, who worked to combine Mark and Krista’s differing styles.
“Mark was keen on having an ultra-modern home whereas I wanted something a little softer and more eclectic,” explains Krista. “Mark actually suggested a very limited colour palette to begin with – blue, silver, grey, white and ‘mirror’ – so Luisa had a very challenging task ahead of her! Thankfully, she was with us every step of the way and provided us with excellent 3D renders that guided us as to what the final look would be like. She also managed to find really interesting ways of extending that palette a little, while also ensuring Mark was happy with the results.”
Looking around the house today, Krista cites the main room – a large open-plan space with a façade-wide window and balcony – as her favourite. “We entertain a lot, so it was important to me that we had enough space to have people over without having to worry about where they would go. There are lots of elements here I love – the marble dining table that is juxtaposed with clear modern chairs, the blue sofa that adds a pleasing pop of colour, and the carpet, which I feel have made it really homely.
“The kitchen island has also proved to be really useful. Our guests tend to gather round it while we’re preparing drinks or food, so it adds a pleasing informality to the room. It’s very communal.”
Mark, meanwhile, really likes the floor, which is made of micro cement and stretches across the entirety of the open-plan area. “I hate having lines on the floor so this was the perfect option,” he says, adding that it really complements the rest of their décor. “The process took a long time to perfect but it was worth it, as the results are durable and hygienic as it doesn’t collect dirt which is fantastic, especially when you consider Sophie will soon be crawling on it. I think the look it creates really adds to the space; it sets the tone for the whole apartment.”
As for the particular items they feel really stand out, Krista picks the smart blue chest in the dining room. “The challenge of an open-plan space is that it can look a bit soulless,” she says. “But I think it helps to create unique areas within it. This chest really brings this part of the room together, and works well with the vases that Mark chose, as well as with the wallpaper, which helps to separate this area from the kitchen.”
It’s also turned into Mark’s whiskey corner, as the young dad has become something of a collector. “That said, I’m just as good at drinking it as I am at appreciating it,” he says with a grin.
Now, the couple is working on completing the rest of the house – most of which has been reserved for Sophie! One of the rooms will be her bedroom, and the other a playroom,” Krista says, explaining that she hopes to keep the living and dining room more ‘adult’. “We’re currently discussing ideas with Luisa, and hope to create something really cute and practical that she will enjoy as she gets older.”
Meanwhile, the apartment is evolving as a whole, quickly transforming into the family home the Hyzlers have long dreamt about. “We’re constantly changing things – finding new items we love, adding pieces to our collection and making it increasingly child-friendly,” Krista continues. “My family and I moved quite a lot as a child, so it’s nice to think of this as a ‘forever’ home and to be able to invest in making it look and feel exactly the way we want it to. It certainly turned out to be the perfect space for the two of us – and now for the three of us!”