30 Aug 2019

Going back to nature

Gary Walters, Managing Director of Stone Age, a luxury stoneware and porcelain company, and Darren Hopkins, Showroom Manager of Stone Age and Founder of new sustainable artisan wood flooring brand Root, discuss the latest material trends.

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“Marble is definitely enjoying its moment in the limelight. All bathrooms that we see being planned has some form of marble in it”, says Darren.

“It is a beautiful natural material which comes in a wide variety of colourings, markings and veinings. One can never find two pieces the same which of course greatly adds to its appeal. Although ‘book-matching’ and ‘vein-matching’ is still popular in high-end properties, particularly for those who want something unique,” he continues.

“In general, people are being far more adventurous with marble presently than in the past incorporating greens, blues, yellows – basically anything a bit out of the ordinary to make their own mark.” 

“Another out of the ordinary trend is Terrazzo,” adds Gary. “A newer breed of composite stone, made up of natural materials – typically marble, granite and quartzite mixed with cement and water to form attractive tiles.”

It is fully customisable which means that the optimum colour can be found for a particular project and large quantities produced for big renovation projects.

As a result, Gary believes that this will become really sought after. Paler colours are completely water and stain resistant with the special treatment that the stone undergoes in manufacturing, which is ideal for kitchen counters and worktops. It comes in sheet format which can also be installed as dressing table or vanity top as well as used as tiling in floors and bathroom walls.

“Those really looking to make a statement however,” Gary says, “can opt for worktops and or splashbacks created from slivers of agate crystal bonded together for a really visual, art-like effect.”

Colours range from red, to blue to green and purple and can be combined in a row for a larger property behind a sink and co-ordinate with other colours schemes in a bathroom or kitchen.

Gary also predicts that Brazilian Quartzite with its ultra-durable properties and an amazing spectrum of colour will rise to the fore with its eye-catching aesthetic.

In addition, he thinks that we will see more interesting Quartz designs in classic tones like grey which is perennially popular as well as more striking hues such as deep green. Indeed, green is already a growing trend colour in interiors with increased demand across both bathrooms and kitchen worktops with marbles and granites.

From pale green marbling to bright onyxes and right through to strong deeper emerald marble, there is something for everyone wanting to tap into the trend. Examples of these are Green Onyx and Ledmore marbles both beautiful but completely different looks. But olive tones are also on the rise with stones like limestone such as the ‘Bourgos’ colourway as a flooring option.

“Speaking of ‘green’,” Darren explains, “part of the reason why wood is so making such a comeback is because of its sustainable quality, not just in interiors, but across all industries. Sustainability is at the forefront of businesses and, as a result, has been one of the key trends of 2019 which will be snowballing into 2020. Indeed, it’s not just a trend, but a mega-trend as it has affected and will continue to affect the world of business for decades.”

Being sustainable and eco-aware helps to protect the environment for future of the human race, and any company worth their salt, will want to ensure that they are as sustainable as possible. This includes luxury brands who need to be seen to be making strides in this area.

“It goes without saying that wood, although a classic choice, has seen a remarkable revival this past year,” continues Darren.

“Doors and furniture which had been painted white or shades of neutral are now exposed in all their glory. And the same goes for flooring, whilst certain colours stains are still popular, those who want to go back to nature, are now choosing more ‘bare wood’ options for flooring such as oak parquet or wide planks where you can really see the true colour of the tree coming through. Indeed, some are even mixing the two in different rooms throughout the house.”

That said, in terms of flooring, grey is perennially popular choice which is also echoed in walls and various paint tones. Darren thinks it represents “modern” flooring, so this won’t die down any time soon. He says: “Grey and warm beige limestones are the go-to stones for kitchens and ground floors. This also facilitates the outside-inside look which can often be achieved with limestones.  However, white is also gaining appeal for those wanting a more country look at home or a softer feel for floors. Whilst on the other end of the spectrum, darks – chocolate and black makes a statement and form the basis for a heavier style.”

Whatever one’s style, it’s clear that whether or not we are looking back to nature for inspiration, we like to declare our home our own and make a statement with our interiors. People are choosing colours, textures and materials that reflect their personality and create a space in which they like to relax.

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