NATURE’S R Federica Minozzi, CEO of Iris Ceramica Group, considers a top trend for 20

Interiors stylists, designers and architects all over are responding to the growing climate crisis by reframing our relationship with nature. As we’ve shifted towards a widespread interest in nurturing the environment and connecting with nature, we’re also seeing an exciting period of disruption where brands are creating new products that cautiously and respectfully utilise the earth’s resources.

In the design world, this has led to nature becoming a key aesthetic in commercial spaces, workplaces and the public sector. It’s no secret that being in nature has the potential to reduce our overall stress levels and provide us with tranquil environments. However, while we have typically always retreated to natural surroundings, be it a lunchtime park walk or a weekend trip to the countryside, more and more we are seeing that people want to bring elements of nature inside to have a calming and happier effect.

While it might seem purely aesthetic, at the heart of this is a shift in preference


towards brands with purpose. Specifiers and consumers are increasingly making conscious choices across the board, with a closer eye on how their choices affect wider industries, climate and environment. Not only are they demanding more sustainable choices, but they are also scrutinising the details, asking questions and pushing for more transparency around things like supply chains and waste.

It’s no surprise then that creative design has evolved towards connecting clients back to nature and the resurgence of natural materials. We’re seeing an increased popularity in rare marbles like amazonite and agate and beautiful, rich wood and bark to create amazing displays, for example.

In our world, the use of large format porcelain panels, inspired by nature, not only provide original colours, but can also act as statement surfaces within any space. We introduced a range of products that reinterpret natural surfaces in order to create the illusion of transparency and volume along with

a bright colour palette enhancing the depth of textures. We also used a unique structure of quartz and the crystallization of salt to create sophisticated 3D patterns and effects, perfectly reflecting nature throughout, which have become increasingly popular.

Despite being eye-catching as a standalone feature, nature-inspired ceramic surfaces also lend themselves to blending in with extravagant and colourful interiors as well as subtle and neutral ones in equal measure. They are the perfect way to introduce character and texture to an otherwise simple room design. This trend is not just exclusive to coverings; it’s also being featured in furniture and product designs such as tables and crockery.

In the coming years sustainable businesses will emerge as a distinctive driver of competitiveness amongst the design industry – in fact, we’re already seeing this come to play currently with PriestmanGoode’s complete overhaul of throwaway in-flight meal trays, made using coffee beans and rice husk.

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