Sustainable Interiors:  Reused, redesigned and upcycled

Client:  Oscar Fredriks Kyrka – Fellowship Hall

Location:  Gothenburg, Sweden

Create an updated, welcoming, inspirational and sustainable interior design for several spaces within the church’s fellowship hall.

Our finished interior includes:
– Custom hanging heart sculpture designed with reclaimed slate tiles from the church’s renovated rooftop
– A Bolia sofa and floor lamp, sourced on the private secondhand market
– Offect office lounge chairs purchased from a private company
– Custom designed ‘Amoeba’ coffee table redesigned from an old desktop plus reclaimed table legs
– Custom designed wall art, created with reclaimed wood, foam waste, end-of-bolt fabric waste and thriftshop-sourced embroideries
– Pillows made from thriftshop-sourced embroideries and end-of-bolt fabrics
– Swedese Happy lounge chairs purchased from RP, one of Sweden’s quality used office furniture resellers
– Custom wall sculpture redesigned with deconstructed piano parts
– Upcycled frames for personnel photos
– Custom entry bench made with reclaimed wood and end-of-bolt fabric waste

Behind the scene:
Find behind-the-scene photos for this project on our blog 

This sustainable reuse interior project was particularly inspiring for us as it included the opportunity to redesign several pieces of custom art and furniture.

While the church itself was built in the 1890s, the fellowship hall is distinctly mid-century architecture. As many of the finishings including flooring, cabinetry, trim, etc., are such a distinct part of the building’s heritage, we were challenged and tasked to work within finite parameters of the existing spaces in order to preserve the original architectural details.

Our choice of new-but-used office furniture gives a nod to the clean design of the 50s and 60s with furniture that is characteristically lower to the ground. We updated the color scheme with a pop of green that bounces off the fellowship hall’s existing green seating chairs, located in the same room.

One particularly challenging redesign with this project was the upcycling of the small fellowship hall’s wall of cabinets. The client requested an update of the cabinets that included maintaining the wood frame surface. We chose the trustworthy and multi-functional Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to paint the fabric-covered panels on each cabinet door… 72 total. That was a LOT of painting, given that each panel had to be painted 2, and sometimes 3 times!

As sometimes happens, a project gets underway without having every single detail worked out. In this case, we knew that we needed an art piece for the entry alcove, and it was included in the budget, but we didn’t have a clear vision of what it would be before we started the interior project. Well, as often happens, the answer evolved during the redesign process. The main church is undergoing an extensive interior and exterior restoration. On one of our visits at the fellowship hall, we noticed a container outside that was being loaded with broken slate tiles from the roof of the church. After getting confirmation from the church staff that we could take whatever slate pieces we wanted, we knew right away that the final art sculpture vision was beginning to form. It is our version of a trifecta: 1) reused materials, 2) sourced directly from the client, and 3) redesigned for reintroduction back into the client’s interior. And that’s how the hanging slate heart sculpture in the entry was born!

One more fun find were the original drawings for the church’s stained glass windows. Their original frame was thin and simple. We knew we wanted to share these original drawings so that the entire church membership could enjoy them, but they needed to be upcycled without compromising the existing frames or drawings. Our solution? Hang them as they were, and then create expanded frames around them on the wall. When you look closely, you’ll see that we mixed and matched frame parts and used a single color of paint to unify them. The result is a focal point of the three original drawings that welcomes visitors at the fellowship hall entry doors.

Sustainable reuse interiors in action!

See how we made the bench with wood scraps!