Luxury Recycling: How a husband and wife team repurposes vintage linen to create one of a kind home decor pieces.

Luxury Recycling: How a husband and wife team repurposes vintage linen to create one of a kind home decor pieces.

In the sun-drenched streets of Mallorca, Spain, you’ll find a beautiful adobe house that has been lovingly restored to its original form by the husband and wife artisan team of espanyolet. Melissa and Thomas started their design journey with the desire to work with their hands. That desire brought them from New York to Bali to learn ceramics, batik, and natural dyeing. They fell in love with the island of Mallorca and settled there with their sweet and loyal dog Lola.

The Mediterranean design aesthetic they loved was supremely well represented there, with its white adobe buildings, blue ocean, and lime washed walls. This Mediterranean look is reflected in their design work and the home decor pieces they create. 

Thomas and Melissa started with sourcing vintage fabric, primarily from Eastern Europe. They initially discovered the linen they use in flea markets and immediately fell in love with the texture of the fabric and the tiny imperfections that make them unique. Stitching and small patchwork infuse the throws and throw pillows with character and history.

But the real magic happens when Thomas and Melissa hand paint the fabric. They use natural dyes and pigments that they developed themselves after a lot of research and experimentation. Each piece of fabric is laid out and Thomas and Melissa use large paintbrushes to paint on the dye. This creates a beautiful ombre effect and ensures that each pillow or throw is unique and un-reproduceable. 

Some of the vintage linen gets dip dyed, which is a process where the fabric is dipped into dye in stages, creating an ombre effect through the process of capillary action. This process can be done with one dye color with repeated dipping increasing the intensity of color, or with several complementary dye colors. 

The dyed or painted linen is then cut and sewn into linen pillows, throws, upholstery, artwork, or sometimes curtains. During the pandemic, sourcing vintage linen became more difficult and Melissa and Thomas decided to focus on their interior design business. However, they still make small batches of throw pillows, and Atacama Home is proud to be one of the few places in the US that stocks these luxury pieces. Shop our linen pillow collection here.