One thing we really appreciate at London Stone is the creativity of the designers we work with, and as the practical advantages of Porcelain Paving become increasingly recognised, we're wowed by the designs being created with this versatile material. This week we've picked out a couple a lovely projects which show how contrasting colour adds an extra dimension to garden design.
Cinder Porcelain provides colour and texture contrast and a pleasing solid edge to the design. Photo courtesy of Oakley Landscapes, London.
Hilary Oakley, of Oakley Landscapes Ltd, based in London, has used Porcelain in a number of projects. “Clients want it,” she says. “They're keen on having something contemporary and easy to clean.”
She's also enjoying the chance to mix it up a bit. “It's nice to be able to mix colours,” says Hilary, “and we've even used Slab Khaki with Blue-Grey Granite. Combining different Porcelains helps contrast. You could have have a grey Porcelain and run contrasting colour through it, or lay all grey and put edging round.”
Photo courtesy of Oakley Landscapes Ltd, London.
In a recent build (pictured above), the clients wanted to distinguish two areas and plumped for Cinder Porcelain with a lighter grey. They also wanted the step down from the house in Cinder, the plank format of which creates an interesting contrast with the rectangular grey slabs. The colour not only blends with the colour of the tiles on the summer house but the whole design is anchored with Cinder edging and coping stones. Hilary chose coping with a 40mm downstand to top the raised beds, complementing their crisp corners and subtly echoing the fascia board of the roof of the summer house.
Hilary's advice on Porcelain? “You have to get your head round that it's a different way of laying. Porcelain is much more precise, so you should work out how it's going down beforehand, whereas you can work that out as you go along with a lot of other stones.”
It's this very precision that makes Porcelain perfect for contemporary gardens. With clean lines an integral part of modern design, contrasting coloured paving offers one of the simplest ways to integrate them. When a client wanted an ultra-modern, sleek outdoor space, Dan Jones, of Danscape Gardens, London, chose Porcelain not only for very crisp lines that it creates, but for the ease of creating a seamless presentation.
Picture courtesy of Danscape Gardens, London.
He contrasted Slab Khaki with Slab Coke (pictured above). “Porcelain has no dimensional tolerance, meaning that super-consistent colour and style the client wanted was easily achieved.”
Major contrasts create their own challenges, because pointing threatens to interrupt blocks of colour. “We could have found a middle ground colour, but I wanted to make sure it was perfect,” says Dan. The solution was to get Larsen to match both Porcelains. Slab Khaki was then pointed with Buff, and Slab Coke with Charcoal. “We got a perfect colour match to the Porcelain, and the grain was the same, so when the two colours met they didn't create any more contrast and bring unwanted attention to the seams.”
Lines made simple with contrasting Porcelain. Picture courtesy of Danscape Gardens, London.
Murray McChlery, of Danscape Gardens, added, “When using contrasting colours, it makes it easier that Porcelain is very uniform and a lovely beautiful stone. It would have been difficult matching the pointing colour if it hadn't been Porcelain. Trying with natural stone and cement dyes would be tricky.”
Danscape Gardens laid standard 596 x 596 mm slabs and, like Hilary, paid special attention to the groundwork. “Given that it's such a nice product, we spent some time preparing the ground, which saves time laying. Porcelain is a pleasure to work with.”
Our newly expanded range of Porcelain, complete with matching coping stones and step treads, now offers a choice of twenty-eight styles and colours. We think you'll find plenty of combinations to play with!