Michael Roberts and his wife Maria talk about running their hotel business and collecting vintage furniture for their Obsolete store in Valldemossa.
Portfolio of Obsolete Store
AddressPlaça de la Verge del Miracle,
2, Palma +34 648 150 300
About Obsolete Store
There’s a lot wrapped up in the intriguing name of the furniture and interior design business, Obsolete. It suggests unwanted, irrelevant, and archaic. But like the reclaimed wood that goes into much of the furniture, owner Michael Roberts has reclaimed the word and imbued it with something altogether more positive and meaningful.
“It’s all about our appreciation of items that were right on the edge of becoming obsolete, and we’ve brought them back from the brink, back to life,” Michael explains. Much of the pieces that end up in the Obsolete collection are sourced from derelict houses and estates, unused for years, but saved and returned to use. It’s the ultimate model of sustainability. But it’s obviously a lot more than that, too.
“We believe that obsolescence lends objects a certain beauty and inspiration,” he continues. All types and styles of furniture, from bedside to dining tables, from stools to sideboards, are rescued and given a new lease of life.
Imperfections and signs of former use are not hidden but celebrated, in adherence to the wabi-sabi philosophy that underpins the company’s aesthetic.
Unique pieces, sourced both locally and as far as the Orient, are reworked and rejuvenated to rediscover their essence and their story.
While Obsolete has two showrooms where anyone can wander in and browse – one in Valldemossa and the other Palma’s Santa Catalina – the business is largely aimed at interior design professionals, architects and even other furniture stores. Pieces can be modified in the Obsolete workshop to adapt them to the brief of design projects, or one-off vintage pieces or limited editions can be reproduced on request.
Michael is also available as a consultant for hotels and restaurants looking to create new spaces or reinvent old ones. His own hotel, Son Viscos, is to become Obsolete’s third showroom on the island, where everything in the hotel will be for sale and where designers can come for inspiration. “Even just one of our pieces can give a space some soul, and create an interior conversation. Modern and monochrome spaces need this more than traditional homes, but our aged natural colours and textures add warmth, humanity and history anywhere.”