Transforming old into new: sustainability in interior design

As an interior designer, I have always been fascinated by the relationship between old and new, classic and modern, between well-worn and newly created. Those who are familiar with my work know that preserving old traditions while at the same time infusing them with current trends is something near and dear to my heart.


The topic of sustainability plays an important role for me when it comes to interior design and my interior design projects. I have many opportunities to reuse old materials and incorporate elements rich in tradition in modern projects.


Old lamps with a new luster

As part of one of my current projects, I am working on the modernization of a hotel steeped in tradition. This hotel possesses an enormous amount of furnishings. It would be a shame simply to switch everything out with replacements and throw away all the numerous, costly lighting fixtures. My colleagues and I therefore made it our task to update them and thereby create new lamps that still reflect their history and tradition. Using sandblasting and varnish, the lamps were given a makeover. By redesigning the lampshades, modern lines and forms were combined with their original, antique design. We were therefore able to preserve old values and allow them to shine in a new way. We technically equipped the lamps to the extent that they were in no way inferior to brand-new lamps.

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Sustainability through new design

Many of my clients are thrilled to hear that a piece of furniture or accessory item will increase in value instead of being discarded. Sometimes all it takes is another color, a new lampshade or a modern material to make an outdated object appear completely new.

Another option is to remove the original function of the item and allow it to take on an entirely novel purpose. An old door becomes a stylish table. Wine cartons are turned into shelves. Or milk jugs into lamps. Anything is possible.


Tommy Hilbert: unique lamps from collector’s items

Upcycling-LampeI enjoy working on projects such as these with an artist who transforms old objects into lamps. Tommy Hilbert ( creates unique lamps with their own history from collector’s items. While designing his lamps, he connects his passion for light, functional art and collector’s items. After completing his studies in business, Tommy Hilbert first worked as an investment banker. Eight years ago, he left the profession to train as a yoga instructor in India. He enjoyed having more time again and finally having space to explore his creativity. One day, he asked himself whether he really wanted to spend 8,000 euros on a designer lamp or whether he would not rather create something that would be valuable to him in a different way. After designing his first lamps, he quickly realized that friends and acquaintances were impressed by them as well. At his first exhibition, all of his lamps sold rapidly. He used the money he earned to purchase new collector’s items…. Since then, he has created, in addition to his One Of A Kind lamps, Custom Made lamps out of items desired by his clients. He has already turned special wine bottles, perfume flasks or hundred year-old fire extinguishers into lamps. The result is a light with charm, patina and history.

Tommy Hilbert is someone who loves traveling and possesses an incredible attention to detail, which is reflected in his work. If you browse through his website and take a look at the various lamps, you will see what I mean.


Individual lamps as decorative objects

Lampe-aus-Milchkanne-2While updating an old farmhouse, I was once again struck by the importance of not tossing out and replacing traditional elements. I wanted to reuse everyday items and create a suitable stylistic memory of the past, without allowing the style to appear old-fashioned, of course. I brought Tommy Hilbert on board, since I know that he understands me as an interior designer. We exchanged ideas about the overall plan, the materials and colors, and then I knew that Tommy would apply his creativity to my style. We both had a lot of fun allowing new to grow out of the old.

Today, at that farmhouse, cast-iron milk jugs as lamps provide atmospheric lighting, which perfectly reflects the theme of modernization.


Individual lamps with their own personal history are created for each project. Is there anything nicer than to turn on the light every evening with the very wine bottle which reminds you of a special day? Or with a Coco Chanel flask that was designed in the 1930s and is so timelessly beautiful that it still looks impressive today? These are also available as lamp stands.


Lampe-aus-Weinflasche_bThe lamps are both decorative objects and pieces of history. They are often the heart of the room. You don’t technically need them: as Tommy Hilbert puts it, you can buy lamps at the home improvement store. But once you have them, you can’t stop looking at them. They remind you of wonderful moments, old traditions, beloved individuals or faraway places.


Has your interest been piqued in a new interior design? In giving beloved objects a remake? Feel free to contact me! I look forward to hearing from you and learning about your favorite things…