A new life: Repurposing old fabrics for your interiors

The climate crisis has increased our awareness of how important it is to reuse, reduce & recycle. Not surprising then, that more and more of my client projects involve repurposing old fabrics. 

Even better, it’s not just environmentally friendly but also a great way to preserve beautiful vintage fabrics, old garments and hand-me-downs. Whether you want to turn a coat into cushion covers or curtains into blinds, read on to find out more. 

Creating bespoke interior design, window treatments and soft furnishings is a lot about having the vision, willingness and flexibility to turn my clients’ ideas into reality. Especially in these cases, where my clients were looking to give existing fabric items a new life by repurposing them.

From curtains to blinds

With five windows in her living room, my client from this project with The Original Chair Company felt that the room was ‘over-curtained’. It especially blocked out a lot of daylight from the smaller side windows.

But the fabric used for the curtains was a beautiful vintage Ralph Lauren linen and in very good condition, too. Needless to say, it was an easy decision to repurpose one pair of curtains into two roman blinds for the side windows.

Thankfully, there was enough fabric after unpicking the curtains to make sure we can show off the beautiful pattern at its best. And my client was delighted with the result!

What the client says

The blinds let a lot more light into the room. And there’s a better balance in the room as you now notice the fabric’s pattern, rather than how much fabric there is at the windows!

ms, Stirlingshire

A new life for silk blinds

Vintage silk roman blind repair reuse recycle Fife
Repaired silk curtains

This project was not so much about repurposing as it was about giving much-cherished blinds a new lease of life. 15 years ago, my client had lovely bespoke Roman blinds made from silk. But over the years, the bottom edge of the blinds has rotted due to exposure to light.

This is a common problem with silk window treatments. And as much as I love the look and feel of it, it’s also very fragile. It deteriorates quickly when exposed to daylight and direct sunlight – even in Scotland.

My client really loved these blinds and thankfully, they were otherwise in good condition. So, I suggested adding a contrast border to the bottom edge of the blinds to hide the damage and protect the fabric from further deterioration. We chose a strong turquoise to complement the main fabric and the client loved them!

Vintage silk roman blind alterations repair Fife
As good as new

What the client says

We are so happy with the blinds – it has made the world of difference and we are absolutely delighted!

CM, Fife

From swags and tails to pelmets

This project involved finding a way to reuse 30-year old swags and tails. My client wanted to achieve a simpler, less formal look for their windows while reusing existing fabric and trimmings. And pelmets were the perfect solution for that.

Wanting to “keep them soft looking and like they’ve been there forever”, I made sure the pelmets didn’t look too tailored or perfect. And it turned out to be quite a transformation!

What the client says

The pelmets are beautiful, exactly what I wanted!

VK, Fife

From coat to cushions

You know I love a challenge and this project was particularly fun as it was about repurposing a bespoke Harris tweed coat with velvet panels. Having never really felt that the coat was “her”, my client asked me to unpick the coat and turn it into cushions for her living room.

I really enjoyed finding ways to reuse the tweed, velvet and bespoke buttons and my client was very happy with the result. Have a look at the gallery below to see the results!

What the client says

Fabulous, I love the cushions whereas I never felt comfortable wearing that coat.

CT, St Andrews