Designer Q&A: Gemma Stockberger, Versital

daniel Parker, Photography, corporate, product, food, food photography, photographs, branding, portrait, stock, abstract, Press, PR, construction

“The marble ‘look’ is coming back stronger than ever and is currently one of the most on-trend finishes in design, across a number of industries”

Design Insider caught up with BCFA members Versital’s Gemma Stockberger to discuss their latest faux marble range and trends within the hospitality industry.

Can you tell us how you got into design?

I have always had an interest in Interior Design; in particular, the impact that personal space and environment have on our daily lives. I strongly believe that the design, functionality and layout of a space, be it at home, work or in a place of leisure, play an important role in our wellbeing. Materials, textures and colour are also essential aspects when considering interior design, and I was drawn to the idea of creating new and innovative designs, colours and finishes to inspire and invigorate not only the home, but commercial and luxurious spaces, like restaurants and hotels too. These elements help to keep the Versital brand fresh and relevant to today’s market and designers. Design never stands still!

Where do you find your inspiration?

As a team, we are very much led by trends. An important part of our work is attending interior design and hospitality events to keep in the know and see where the demand is, and how we can meet that.

Our products are so versatile due to their bespoke nature, so we always start with colour as a point of inspiration. Our range currently stands at over 90 different colours and finishes, and we are consistently working to develop and expand our collection. Our clients, both designers and the end user, are also a source of inspiration. We pride ourselves on having a very organic process in that clients can discuss their vision and we can help bring it to life. It’s a very exciting and fulfilling role.

What is your favourite part of the design process?

The constant evolution of our product; marrying a high quality product design that will impress clients whilst providing them with something new and inspiring is a highlight for me. Colours and trend are in constant flux, and it’s so exciting to keep moving with that. We love to take on our individual client’s vision and help bring it to life.

Daniel Parker, Photography, corporate, product, food, food photography, photographs, branding, portrait, stock, abstract, Press, PR, construction,architecture, music, bands

Can you tell us a little more about the latest colours you’ve launched?

One of our most recent colour launches is probably my personal favourite to date. It is completely unique to the market and integrates two of the biggest colour trends around at the moment; copper and marble. We have created a design that has never been achieved before, blending swirls of marble with the impact of dazzling metals.  Our new copper veined marble will be the first colour of this new range of ‘Metallic Marbles’ and the response from our clients suggests they are as excited as we are!

Marble has always been a popular choice within the bathroom, but seems to be increasing – do you have an insight into this?

Marble gives off a timeless and luxurious appeal that has always been a firm favourite within design, however, its natural properties mean it can be very impractical for many interior applications. It is prone to erosion and staining and doesn’t offer the durability that consumers and designers require for interior design, particularly in bathrooms.

“Its natural properties mean it can be very impractical for many interior applications”

As the market of faux and cultured marble continues to grow, the marble ‘look’ is coming back stronger than ever and is currently one of the most on-trend finishes in design, across a number of industries. Now the beauty of marble can be obtained without any of the problems the natural material brings. As an engineered material, faux marble can be specified in a range of styles and colours, so clients can add their own personal touch, or utilise a marble finish within a more contemporary design.

Can you tell us how Versital developed their Cultured Marble Surfaces?

Versital ‘faux’ marble was created in response to a frequent problem that we identified with consumers and hospitality establishments – and that was their dissatisfaction with previous bathroom surfaces. There was a real demand for alternatives to real marble, as well as shower tray solutions to suit bathrooms where an ‘off the shelf’ tray wouldn’t work. We have over thirty years of experience creating innovative cultured marble finishes, and we have developed a pre-engineered, fully waterproof stone resin surface that offers the aesthetic and benefits of a wet room, but that is much easier to install, with fewer issues later down the line.

We also saw a gap in the market within the hospitality sector, with more and more bars and restaurants desiring a marble look that provided a non-porous, stain-resistant solution. Versital surfaces are a like-for like solution, replicating the intricate and unique nuances of marble, whilst providing long-lasting, stain resistant and non-porous quality.

daniel Parker, Photography, corporate, product, food, food photography, photographs, branding, portrait, stock, abstract, Press, PR, construction

What are Versital seeing as the latest hospitality trends?

Design in hospitality has always been centred around a classic style, with modern accents. Trends in hotels and bars tend to develop slower than in the domestic market, and classic materials such as marbles and granites continue to remain very popular. Versital surfaces offer that desired look whilst using more durable materials, making them practical for high traffic areas of bars and restaurants.

Having said this, we are seeing more statement features in commercial bathrooms such as splashes of bold colour and oversized shower enclosures. Bringing nature into design is another key trend that will only continue to grow in 2017, using raw, natural materials in the bathroom, or those that emulate that look. This includes faux marble and granite, whilst the use of copper and metals as a salute to the industrial trend is becoming increasingly popular too.

What’s next?

This first colour of the ‘Metallic Marbles’ collection, Copper Stratos, is to be the first of many.  We are already developing new colours and looking towards the next trends.  We have also been working on launching a new table top design featuring metal banded edges, in copper and other metals. Through all of our designs, we are always looking to be unique, exude luxury and make a statement, and this continues to meet the demands and specifications of our clients.

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About Alys Bryan

Alys' experience as a furniture designer, along with her in-depth marketing knowledge, makes her uniquely placed to work with the BCFA as the Editor of Design Insider and run her marketing business, Method Communications.
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