Carley Summers launched her namesake full service interior design studio out of the belief, and first-hand experience, that the home has the potential to inspire healing, safety and growth.  The spaces she designs are rooted in the stories and individual identities of her clients and use an abundance of vintage textiles. Carley has recently released the wonderful book “Sacred Spaces” which is a gorgeous collection of photographs featuring profiles of everyday people and their beautiful homes, which they created out of their trials, healing and victories. It’s an absolute must read and will leave you desperate to create your very own ‘sacred space.’


How do you go about incorporating vintage textiles into your work?
In any way I can! I have vintage textiles all over my home, whether it’s upholstery, pillows, or tapestries; they are everywhere! Another way to start using vintage textiles is to incorporate them with a rug. I think having a vintage rug can make a space come to life and you can find them easily on websites such as Etsy and eBay.

How best to display them?
If you’re lucky enough to find more than 4 yards of vintage fabric then I think using them to recover a chair is one of the most exhilarating ways to use the fabric.  However, the obvious answer would be to incorporate them with pillows as it’s such a simple way to display them and asthetically pleasing.

Where to start when using vintage textiles? Can they inspire a whole scheme? 
When using vintage textiles, which are typically combined with new prints, I try to make sure that there are undertone colour schemes that will go throughout the space. 100% vintage textiles can inspire an entire scheme, even a whole room, I have definitely done that before! One piece of fabric has just stolen my heart and I’ve had to design an entire room around it!

Unique creative ways of working with vintage textiles? 
Something I want to do that I have not done yet, is use a vintage textile on a lampshade and create a pleated lampshade with it. It will create an effect that you can't buy in shops and will be a real 'pat on the the back' to me if I finally get round to doing it.

Why do you love working with vintage textiles?
It makes my home feel like I am stepping back in time, plus most of my textiles are sourced from unique places that you can't buy on 'trade' - this creates an atmosphere and feeling in the home that is hard to replicate.

Why would you recommend for others to work with vintage textiles? 
Firstly, it creates a space that is totally unique, no one will have the same kind of look or feel to a space and that is a wonderful feeling.  Secondly, I feel it’s so important to incorporate a bit of history into a space.

What would your top 3 tips be for anyone looking to start using vintage textiles?
I think sourcing vintage textiles on Etsy is going to be your best bet! There are so many incredible vendors that sell vintage pieces which can be remade and used for so many different things.  Find a person in your area that makes pillows, have a couple made, then start playing with them in your home.  You can always go to a good antique or thrift store and find vintage textiles and start getting creative with them. 

How has the fabric and textile industry evolved since you became a part of it and what do you see and hope for the future of it?
When I first started eight years ago there was a huge African influence with mud cloth etc, which still has a beautiful presence and design but now florals are making a huge debut and I think that they are here to stay! They have been used for hundreds and hundreds of years and create a whimsical and timeless look.