When Eva Fekete isn’t touring private Maltese gardens with her camera, you’ll find her and her partner in crime Erik Valter busy building, upcycling and restoring furniture pieces. We have made our love for DIY and furniture upcycling clear before so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to feature the duo’s shop, Purple Sun Design.
This article contains the second part of an interview we’ve had with Eva. For the first article, which focuses on her photography, read here.
First question, how did you and Erik start upcycling furniture in Malta?
It started with a pallet furniture which we made for our rooftop terrace. And when our friends saw them, they liked them and started ordering their own. These are quite massive benches and tables so restaurants can keep them on their terraces when they are closed or the guests can dance on them if you have a club with wild Saturday nights. 😊 But anyway with the proper paints the weather can’t harm them, and the pattern, the colour, the size and all the little details are custom-made. So these are pretty popular.
Then we opened for the old furniture upcycling. We love wandering around the island and we use to see furnitures in fairly good condition but abandoned. Or we found these furnitures in my favourite bazaars. It’s understandable if someone wants to refresh her or his home from time to time but it doesn’t mean necessarily that one have to throw them away. I’m sure that usually enough to redesign them. There are far more possibilities in a better quality furniture then one can imagine! You can change them according to the present fashion or your own taste with new colours and textiles, you can mix the old shapes with modern patterns. At the end of the day you’ve got a unique, custom-made cupboard or chair or table without adding to the hills of Maghtab.
So we started to collect, repair and redesign these furnitures.
Do you people’s attitude towards upcycled or repurposed furniture is changing?
Yes, I think the idea of upcycling things instead of throw them away starts to be a trend. It gives you a cheaper, unique furniture, which fit with one’s own taste and doesn’t mean harm to the environment.
Do you two like to work on other projects separately or together?
Oh, we are terribly glued together! We love to work together on every single project! 😊 But of course we’ve got our own businesses as well: he is a waterpolo coach and there’s the photography for me.
You’ve lived in Malta for five years. What has changed in five years, and what hasn’t?
So many thing has changed here and so quickly! Some of them in a really bad direction – road widening instead of a good public transport system or the demolition of old buildings and cities instead of the conservation and modernization of them… It’s hard to watch how all this beauty just disappearing. But with the committed work of NGOs and the louder and louder public I’m sure this tendency will change!
And what hasn’t changed is the kindness of Maltese people and the chit-chat way of living – and I’m happy with that!
What aspects do you feel Malta & Hungary share – and in which areas do you feel they are most different?
On the political level there are too many similarities: money based thinking instead of the value based one and with all the corruption scandals. But Hungary went far more on that way than Malta. And because the mentality of the Maltese people is so different, I believe that Malta will never reach that level.
If you were the prime minister for a day, what’s one thing you would change?
Only one thing??? Ok, let me see. I’d make all the authorities independent from the current government and PM, and assign only experts of their field and NGOs to the respective committees, all with no conflict of interests. And as a main guideline I would put sustainability and environmental friendly way of thinking into the centre of all of these authorities’ work.