London Store 1016 Harrow Road, London, NW10 5NS, UK
- The design studio applies the Retrouvius ethos to interior and architectural projects.
- Salvaged stock items range from tropical hardwoods, architectural elements, to rugs and lighting.
- Expert advice on how to re-use specific materials in varied project.
1016 Harrow Road
WHAT WE LOVE
Founded in 1993 by partners Adam Hills and Maria Speake whilst studying architecture in Glasgow. Retrouvius is a Design Studio and Shop, based across two buildings in London's Kensal Green, that specializes in using salvaged, reclaimed and vintage materials. Retrouvius began as a way to help conserve the Victorian tenement buildings in Glasgow’s reinvigorated West End.
"My first eureka moment was when I realised that, because the West End of Glasgow is very homogenous architecturally, you could remove the doors and shutters and fireplaces from a building that Glasgow University was demolishing and re-use them in a building two or three streets away and they would fit… physically and historically!"
The scope of the company rapidly grew… from salvaged oddments from Victorian tenements, through selling church pews to pubs and stained-glass windows to Japanese wedding chapels, to a more generalized interest in materials and reuse.
Adam Hills & Maria Speake, shopkeepers at Retrouvius
The Retrouvius Design Studio, led by Maria, has since gained recognition in the UK, Europe and further afield. With over 30 years of experience, Maria was recognized as House & Garden’s Interior Designer of the Year in 2019 and has been featured on the Elle Decor A-List, AD100 and House & Garden Top 100 year upon year.
The Design Studio’s projects serve as inspiration for how to use the stock in the Retrouvius shop. Here you’ll find reclaimed tropical hardwoods and architectural salvage elements, eye-catching one-offs, vintage rugs, lighting and more. At the heart of Retrouvius is the belief that good materials and well-made things are precious. Whether quarried stone or a piece of expert joinery, these objects were hard won and have an intrinsic value that argues for them to be reconditioned and intelligently reused.
There is an undeniable feel-good factor in reuse: something unloved becomes valuable again. It is a process that celebrates age as a visceral narrative - a counterbalance to the blandness of newness. Patina, scars and wrinkles communicate the texture of time and use.
"Reused materials have a tactile personality and an emotional quota that is grounding and unique. Much of the materials we work with might otherwise have ended up in landfill or as bonfire fuel; but, as our Design Studio’s projects demonstrate, good salvaged materials can yield astonishing results if treated with care, style and an adventurous spirit."