Restoring Antique Furniture Featured

Marthese Vella joined the Information Technology team at Azure in January 2016 as Chief Information Officer.

She has worked in IT for over 23 years. Marthese is an electrical engineer by profession, and her first job after graduating in 1992 was with the newly set up IT Department at Air Malta. After 7 years of working for the national carrier, she decided to pursue further studies. So she took a year’s sabbatical, packed her bags, and headed to Lancaster in the UK where she completed a Master’s Degree in Information Management. Shortly after her return to Malta she was recruited by Island Hotels Group, where Marthese was responsible for setting up and eventually heading the Information Technology Department.

Information Technology is a field that is constantly evolving, so you have to keep up with new technology. That is, I would say, the number one reason why I love this profession. Never a boring moment!

There is always room to do things better, quicker or smarter through the use of IT, she says.

And when it comes to Marthese’s hobbies, she enjoys gardening and restoring old furniture in her free time. She picked up furniture restoration just over 2 years ago. She always had a keen interest in antique furniture, but never had the opportunity to actually have a go at restoration. When she started refurbishing her home – a town house – 3 years ago, Marthese and her husband wanted to retain as many of the house’s original features as possible. The internal doors, balcony and staircase handrail – all of which were made of wood – were in a sorry state and needed work to restore them back to their former glory. At this point, Marthese decided to work on the handrail herself since it was the perfect first job. That was the start, and at the moment she is already on her sixth restoration project!

restoring furniture project 1

Marthese finds it oddly relaxing to do manual work, turning something that is in a damaged state into a beautiful end product. There is a sense of achievement in witnessing this transformation taking place.

She scouts around for old furniture, and has a couple of favourite sites like and the Malta Bargain Antiques group on Facebook that she accesses regularly. Usually Marthese starts a new project by looking for a furniture piece that she needs. She is currently working on restoring an antique hallway cupboard, which she managed to find after a few months of searching for the right size, shape and material of the unit she required.

restoring furniture project 2

Having always been interested in arts and crafts, Marthese actually has an artistic family background. Her grandfather was a carpenter, and she always found his work fascinating as a little girl. This probably played a part in her choice of hobby later on in her life.

So is there a dream antique piece of furniture she would like to restore?

Yes! I’m hoping that I perfect my skills to one day be able to restore and own a Trumeau Mirror. I already have the perfect place for it, and I’ve been on the lookout for a good one for some time now, but they are hard to come by.

Thank you very much for your time Marthese, and good luck with your wonderful hobby!

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