Local craftsman creates furniture from recycled wood, brick and metal

Originally Published in May 2017

Regalia produces furniture and floors from recycled wood, bricks and metal. Handmade pieces are built by local craftsmen using materials recovered from buildings destined for demolition. Stylistically, Regalia produces furniture according to traditional designs, where simplicity and nature create a unique, authentic effect. In addition to made-to-order furniture, Regalia also crafts interior elements such as tops, window sills, frames and doors using wood that is between 80 and 200 years old. The company’s creations are built on the belief that “old is beautiful” and emphasize the importance of preserving forests by repurposing wood. Wojciech Sobieraski never intended to start a big business, but after launching Regalia in 2007, his furniture company gained popularity through word of mouth. Now he is filling orders for restaurants, hotels and shops around Poland and abroad.

Regalia offers a unique “Unicorn” collection, featuring one-of-a-kind furniture from coffee tables to consoles made using old wood, as well as repurposed iron and metal from railroads, sewing machines and wheels. Since the pieces are only composed of salvaged antique materials, no two are alike. One of these “unicorns” can be found at Thaisty Restaurant in Warsaw. The base of the solid wood table is an 80-year-old cast-iron agricultural machine. Another example is an oak table combined with original old metal parts and wheels that were carefully cleaned by hand.

The company offers pieces for every room in the home, from tables and benches, libraries and shelves, to beds and side tables. On request, Regalia also designs practical interior elements such as stairs, frames for mirrors of paintings, wooden beams for ceilings, and kitchen tabletops. Regalia also obtains original bricks from the Warmia and Mazury region, which are then cleaned and can be used for walls, fences, fireplaces and other purposes. Regalia is the only furniture company in Poland that only uses recycled metal found in junkyards, demolition sites, barns and warehouses.

Regalia crafts interior elements such as tables, chairs, window sills, frames and doors using recycled wood that is between 80 and 200 years old.

The story of Regalia began a year before its launch, when Sobieraski purchased a 150-year-old house in Warmia, Poland. It was his dream home—located in the hills, surrounded by a forest, with a porch and brick walls. Unfortunately, the house was crumbling and needed to be dismantled and rebuilt. During reconstruction, any materials such as wood, tiles or bricks that were salvaged from the demolition were reused. However, not enough materials were saved to finish the rebuilding. Fortunately, he discovered excess building materials in his neighbor’s yard and found additional bricks, stones and planks from old residential buildings, barns and warehouses. By building his own home, Sobieraski learned how to identify the origin and quality of old bricks, tiles and wood, and also gained experience in naturally purifying and conserving such materials. Once the project was finished, he built on his philosophy for using old, authentic materials by establishing Regalia.

From design and acquisition of materials, to production and completion, every step is undertaken by a local craftsman to ensure the customer receives a handmade, quality product, rather than something mass-produced. Regalia’s furniture and designs are crafted in a small production facility and various stages of production are assigned to a specific, specialized craftsman. Materials are obtained manually from buildings set to be demolished to preserve as much of the wood and brick as possible. Regalia prides itself on reusing old materials, rather than freshly-cut wood, so as not to contribute to deforestation. Regalia does not use aging techniques on new wood—that would go against their beliefs about using recycled materials.