Altea uses only the highest quality materials in repurposing their antiques, and the upholstery is an exemplary example of this. We have used a lot of feathers as we needed the fabric to respond well, and we wanted to give these pieces a very distinct linen look that was extremely relaxed with understated luxury. We have a pre-established palette of very neutral tones that include greys, browns, charcoals, and COMs (customer’s own materials), all of which are from ROMO, a designer fabrics and wallcoverings company based in the UK – we chose them because their offerings were on point with what we’re doing. We wanted a linen look and feel but without the huge disadvantages of linen, such as wrinkles, stains and stretches, so we opted for fabrics that look like linen with all the benefits.

We also wanted to choose fabrics that were photogenic in that by looking at the piece you can see and understand its comfort level. These materials follow the natural typography of the feathers, and by looking at the photos, clients will be invited to “jump” right in. Antiques by nature are very rigid and uncomfortable, and they were designed in a time when fashion and etiquette were different – now we lounge on a Sunday afternoon in jeans and running shoes, so fashion dictates the structure of furniture. We are in an age where things are more relaxed but we also don’t want to sacrifice on luxury, so we had to decipher this contrast of creating comfortable upholstery within a hard rigid frame and without eliminating the elegance of the natural shape of the couch. These pieces hit a lot of contrasting notes that expands throughout the entire collection – everything is very neutral and digestible with just a few punches of colour to truly inspire the end-user.


Wood plays an integral part in these antique pieces, and we used hard wood specifically. Then, we were able to apply varying techniques to the wood to differentiate them, from sandblasting and stains to fine acrylic finishes. We turned to wood varieties such as Madagascar ebony, which is very high-end and has rich caramel lines running through it, along with regular ebony in its striking pure black state. We are also excited about using eucalyptus and palm on several of our new pieces. Antiques that have a veneer are either in walnut or oak, and it can be stained in any colour we want, and when it comes to hard woods, they are either walnut (which we strip down and add a wax finish so that it doesn’t stain and it also encourages its natural patina over time), mahogany (which is usually solid, and we can do two things to it: either stain it white and then scratch the edges for a lovely distressed look, or we add a high-gloss finish), or oak (when it comes to this material, we can virtually do anything we want with it – often we sandblast it because that’s when it looks the best and that way, we can control the degree of sandblasting, we can stain it any colour including a custom colour, or we can leave it in its natural state). A new hardwood that we are working with his beechwood with an acrylic finish – very dashing!

Metal and Stone Furniture

When it came to Altea’s metal and stone furniture, we try to give them an aged look and, in so doing, create a line that married the old and the new well. Some of our new pieces are very shiny while others have a more smokey look, and the collection is very interesting and pristine. All of the other finishes have a patina or have been worn and distressed (such as our end tables that are cubes and have a copper and pewter finish around them).

When it comes to our stone pieces, they are made out of marble and come in three unique finishes: polished (which is traditional), honed (which is smooth without shine), and leather (where they use very strong steel brushes that brush the marble and give it the same finish as when you sandblast wood – a semi-gloss finish that’s extremely smooth to the touch and, because the veinage pops out, it gives it a leather feel that is very unique. It is available in white and grey, with more colours to come in the future.

We usually use metal hardware and detailing, remove them, polish them, and then put them back on as a finishing touch.