All images courtesy of Retrouvius. Photo (c) Debi Trelour.
In our current issue (Issue 93 Rethink) Grace Warde-Aldam interviews Maria Speak from the architectural salvage and interior design company Retrouvius. Here we include an extract of the article, with a reminder that you can win a rug from Retrouvius in our current competitions, link to enter below.
‘Textiles are emotional,’ Speake of Retrouvius tells me, ‘We’re all sophisticated in judging materials – we know what makes us feel comfortable when we see and touch it’. While we may all have the ability to discern the materials that do and do not speak to us, the ability to make the most of them is another thing entirely. Maria established the architectural salvage and interior design company Retrouvius with her husband Adam Hills in 1993 after meeting as architecture students in Glasgow.
Photo (c) Tom Fallon.
Retrouvius projects span from renovating the interior of a medieval priory, through shop interiors, to designing the apartment of designer Bella Freud in the former BBC television centre. Regardless of the project, the first thing Maria will go through with a client is the textiles, giving them samples to handle and seeing how they react to them. ‘I’ll always try to see which fabrics make you comfortable, which others make you squirm,’.
In fact, because of Retrouvius’ dedication to only using salvaged materials the design process is almost in complete reverse to many design studios with the fabric for the bed’s headboard often confirmed before even the planning permission has been granted. It is the textiles that set the mood of a Retrouvius room and bring it together as an interior. Re-working or combining textiles to adapt and preserve them in a modern home is, for Maria, as much about appreciating textiles and giving them new, for example, a beautiful antique panel has been ‘life– proofed’ and reimagined into a draft-excluding curtain by adding a cotton border around it.
The book, Reclaiming Style: Using Salvaged materials to create an elegant home by Maria Speake & Adam Hills of Retrouvius is available from www.retrouvius.com