Alykhan Velji – Designer Salvage Furniture Collection

How long have you been doing interior design?

It’s been close to 12 years. I’ve been doing interior design here in Calgary and had my own business now for about seven years.

You’ve had some experience on TV as well.

Yeah that’s right. I’ve done a show called Designer Superstar Challenge on HGTV and another show called The Style Dept . Then I did two seasons of another show called My Rona Home on City TV. Now I do regular appearances on Breakfast Television here in Calgary and Shaw TV CTV. But I’m also a regular on The Marilyn Denis Show .

What do you do in your practice? Are you more residential or commercial or all over?

We definitely do both residential and commercial.

Do you have a particular style or does the client rule?

We definitely let our clients guide us in the direction that we’re going to go. Especially for homes and residential design we love to have our clients’ personalities shine through the designs that we do. But we’re kind of just there to guide them in the right direction.

I guess they come to you for a reason they like your aesthetic.


Now you’re doing this Salvage Furniture Collection that’s in partnership with Reclaimed Trading Company.

That’s right. I’ve known Kelly from Reclaimed for quite some time now. And when I found out that he was doing this new venture called Reclaimed — because he used to be a contractor before I started using him to make custom barn doors for our clients — we got to talking and we’re like “We should design a line of furniture together and use this beautiful 60- to 100-year-old wood to make furniture out of it.” We got to planning and me and my team designed quite a few pieces and he had some prototypes made and here we are today.

Where does the wood come from? Does Kelly run all over B.C. and Alberta looking for it?

He does. He and his team go out and they find old barns. What he specializes in too when he goes into these barns he finds the most amazing rustic old… whether it’s tin cans or watering cans or mechanical pieces that you can use in interiors. The whole industrial vibe is huge in design right now so we just kind of wanted to jump on that bandwagon and see what we could do with these pieces. But yeah it’s definitely Kelly and his team that are going out and tearing these barns apart. There’s such an art to tearing barns apart so that you don’t hurt the wood.

So how does it work? You’ve got these pieces designed and people can go online or to the retail store have a look and order their own version?

Exactly. And the nice thing about it too is that on a few pieces they can pick their finishes. So there’s a grey wash or a whitewash or something that’s just done with teak oil so it’s kept very natural. The turnaround time is about three to four weeks which is pretty spectacular.

These things look heavy.

They are. They are solid wood. That’s another thing — it’s great to have one of those pieces in our homes that is that solid wood that’s quality material that’s handcrafted. So many of us are used to going to a big-box store and just grabbing whatever it is that we need. But I think having a conversation piece like a dining room table or a headboard or a couple of side tables really makes a space come together nicely.

Will Salvage and the retail space in Ramsay be open to the public on Friday?

Yes that’s right.

So people can stop in and peruse the wares?

Absolutely. The furniture will be there there’s also a lot of other pieces that Kelly has there’s old signs and it’s just a great space to even just come and check out because it’s so different. There’s nothing like this in Calgary.

Will there be more added to the collection?

Absolutely. We’re going to see how the first launch goes and if there’s higher demand I already have those designs done but we started with a few of these selections first. The more interest we get the more we’ll put out there.