Hope Street 'Upcycling'

Line Daems and Pernilla Frazier started Kreatelier in 2007. Their European backgrounds, shared aesthetics and entrepreneurial creativity found a place on Hope Street, where a bright red awning welcomes visitors.

Whether restoring a consignment tea chair or creating a mobile of whimsical fabric birds, Line and Pernilla ensure reuse and recycling are common threads, knitted together by their philosophy: Everything is fabric. Everything is used, re-used, or passed forward.

These chairs were custom upholstered in 100% cotton, washable fabric by Clarke & Clarke.

These chairs were custom upholstered in 100% cotton, washable fabric by Clarke & Clarke.

ALL THINGS USEFUL AND FUNCTIONAL

Line and Pernilla encourage employees to continuously find useful ways to create with fabric, such as daintily stitched flag banners and custom-made dolls.

Though the colorful shop is loaded with new items created with fabric, even the actual fixtures in the shop also come from recycled pieces, shutdown daycares and roadside furniture, such as an old butcher block, and even bike wheels that now spin hand-sewn bird mobiles.

Colorful and festive cotton flag banners brighten up any decor or occasion.

Colorful and festive cotton flag banners brighten up any decor or occasion.

Flag banners, fluttering handmade triangles of colors found hanging from a stark, white-gnarled tree branch salvaged after Hurricane Sandy, are one of their best sellers. “It’s a European thing,” says Pernilla. “Every time someone has a birthday, they hang the banners.”

In addition to their selection of recycled finds, Kreatelier holds a plethora of newly made local and American textile artists, from handmade tea towels to organic, non-toxic baby clothing. If customers want to try their hands at textile arts themselves, sewing project classes are offered for adults, children, and also for special events like birthday parties. Every class-goer walks out with a finished piece.

‘UPCYCLING’ FURNITURE: UPHOLSTERY AND WINDOW TREATMENTS

With a specialty in custom upholstery, Line and Pernilla consistently prove they can take something old and turn it into something really modern. The pair notes that while there’s a trend toward modern furniture, they can easily create a modern effect with a less expensive Victorian piece using the right balance of fabrics.

They blend modern touches with antiqued articles. One project might involve upholstering a consigned settee, while another might be helping a couple design drapes out of well-preserved heirloom linens. “We also have a philosophy of less is better,” says Pernilla. “With small changes we can make a tremendous difference.”

In the store there are always examples of what they can do. Recently Kreatelier displayed Victorian dining chairs upholstered in different fabrics – colorful, textural – at the front of the shop. While the two sets of chairs are identical, the use of fabrics has made them look vastly different. “It’s to inspire customers,” they both agree.

SHOPPING, DESIGNING AND LIVING VALUES

“It’s hard for us to convey our values, but that’s why we create this atmosphere,” Line says as Pernilla nods, holding a swatch of fabric. Pernilla and Line do the installation work themselves, always attempting an active role in everything being made and designed from their shop and for their clients.

Same chairs two different treatments.

Same chairs two different treatments.

“It’s endless. We never run out of ideas. What you can do with fabric and with fabric leftovers, “ shares Line. The inspiration sits, lays, stands, and hangs all around Kreatelier. Next time you’re at a consignment shop or find yourself staring at that old chair, stop into 804 Hope Street in Providence. You’ll be surprised at how a little fabric can make a big improvement.

Photography by Amber Jane Barricman

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