Phil Reed: Going Green

Article by Phil Reed, independent design and trend consultant for a broad range of design studios and fashion companies.

I have always had a passion for surface pattern and design.  The surface of an object, whether natural or manmade, is always the first thing that appeals to me. Maybe it is a consequence of being a child of the 70’s and 80’s, when pattern was used to the max!  At that time every surface at home was covered in designs; the wallpaper, the curtains, even the carpet.
20 years ago I completed a degree in fashion and textiles and since then I have been lucky enough to work as a design and trend consultant for a broad range of design studios and fashion companies. From high-street retailers to designer catwalk collections, the variety of clients and the constantly changing design work that I have been involved with has made me the versatile and flexible designer that I am today.
For me design is a visual evolution with factors such as changing lifestyles, politics and environmental issues all having a huge impact on emerging trends.  I am constantly soaking up visual stimulus, often without being conscious of it at the time.  It is important that I recognise all kinds of newness and reinvention, wherever it occurs, as this is the key to delivering successful designs and products, at the right time, to the right client.
A year ago Gerald Culliford approached me with a view to working in a new and completely unfamiliar industry.  However, after visiting the company and seeing the wide variety of beautiful and fascinating stones that GC stocks, I was really excited to be involved.  Fashion and interior trends have always been heavily influenced by one another and nowadays they have become inseparable, especially when it comes to colour and pattern.
Trend: Going Green

It is clear that natural stones have become the material of choice for many interior designers and product designers over the last few years. As the desire to use marble, granite, onyx and other natural stones has increased, so has public confidence to introduce ever more colourful and boldly patterned stones into their homes.
For several years there has been an evolving trend for bringing interior and exterior spaces together to blur the boundaries of inside and out. Glass walls and bi-fold doors now create a seamless transition to the garden and with the recent trend for houseplants in the home, there is no longer a clear division between the house and the garden.
With this in mind green is the dominant colour that transcends the two spaces and because of this it has become a major trend across fashion and interiors. 

Green in its many shades and hues can be calm and tranquil with tones of sage and mint refreshing and cleansing the home. They combine perfectly with dusky tones of pink and with soft pastel colours and white to create light and airy spaces.  Gerald Culliford stocks the perfect stones to create and enhance this look: Marinace Verde is a beautiful granite with variant shades of green, pink and grey, pebble-shaped patterning.  
Verde Luana marble feels completely luxurious with soft swathes of pale green, white and grey ripples.  And with an entirely different, yet equally calming feel, the Green Onyx features clouds of botanical greens with ivory and subtle grey to white misty tones.

At the opposite end of the green spectrum you have the richer, darker, heritage tones. These greens help to create luxurious, modern interiors, frequently complimented by brass metal finishes and velvet soft furnishings, clearly inspired by the Art Deco period.  They are striking, opulent and confident:  Stones at Gerald Culliford, which demonstrate this look perfectly, are Verde St. Denis with its light to dark green tones, verging on black in parts, which is lifted by its white, naturally-crackled markings. Rainforest Green is also a stunning marble originating from India, which has a mix of heavy and light veining in shades of white, ivory and rust.
Green is the colour of nature, wellbeing and tranquillity.  Stones with a green hue are in high demand this season, but they are also timeless and extremely versatile.