The new salvage chic
Love the idea of using old things, but not sure how? Follow the advice of the original reclamation experts
How to do reclamation right
IF ANYONE CAN PROVE the adage that one person’s trash is another’s treasure, it is Maria Speake and Adam Hills of the architectural-salvage and interior-design company Retrouvius (retrouvius.com). Since they went into business just over 25 years ago, they have scoured demolition sites and salvage yards for reclaimed materials that they recondition for sale, or craft into beautiful interior schemes.
At a time when upcycling discarded materials and buying vintage furniture is on trend, their policy of reusing whatever they can seems particularly relevant; but for the average person, it can be hard to imagine achieving anything stylish with the piles of scratched, splintery wood and dusty chipped stone that you might find at a salvage yard. As Hills notes, ‘Anyone who doesn’t know will look at a pile of reclaimed wood and think it’s a bonfire.’ But with the right know-how and expertise, salvage can yield unique, elegant interiors that are packed with character, history and soul. Follow these tips from Speake and Hills to learn how to work it into your home. Reclaimed Style: Using Salvaged Materials To Create an Elegant Home, by Maria Speake and Adam Hills (words by Hettie Judah, photographs by Debi Treloar), is published by Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99