The Interview: Jon Holloway of Garden Trading

Garden Trading managing director, Jon Holloway, on where it all began.


The Interview

Launched in 1994, Garden Trading was the brainchild of product designer and developer, Jon Holloway. From elegant bistro tables to luxurious garden seating and lighting, the range offers pieces that bring style and practicality to exterior spaces. We caught up with Jon to find out more about Garden Trading’s French-inspired aesthetic and functional yet chic feel.

Q: How did Garden Trading begin?

A: I had previously been designing and developing products for Habitat, Next, Conran and John Lewis in the UK and I started to work with some great companies in the US too such as; Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, Smith and Hawken and Crate & Barrel. Most of them were based in San Francisco and I visited them frequently. Their uncluttered, well-edited collections and immaculate way of retailing – especially Smith & Hawken, who then were the only true garden and outdoor specialists – hugely inspired me and a few months after one of those trips in 1994, Garden Trading was born!

Jon Holloway interview - Garden Trading collection

Q: Where does your passion for design come from?

A: Designing a product that becomes commercially successful is extremely satisfying but the passion is probably genetic. My mother was an art teacher and is an accomplished artist, her father was a design engineer and my father’s family were architects and civil engineers.

Q: How would you describe the Garden Trading look?

A: Clean, practical and uncluttered but not overly contemporary.

Jon Holloway interview - Garden Trading dining sets

Q: Where do your inspirations come from?

A: I generally rely on instinct but I love France and have drawn inspiration from the South, the South West and the Alps. The rawness of an old farmhouse in Savoie is idyllic to me and I often picture that environment when I am designing a product. I also still enjoy visiting Ardingly antique fairs and Hungarian markets to look for ‘Originals’.

Jon Holloway interview - Garden trading interior collections

Q: What kind of spaces do you think Garden Trading pieces look best in?

A: A lot of our success comes from the fact that our designs look great in a contemporary or classic environment. A stripped back Victorian or Georgian Town House would have to be an ideal setting though.

Q: Your collections have a classic feel to them, does this reflect your own tastes?

A: Yes I would say so, I would have to admit that it is also a reflection of the home that I live in with my family. Simplicity and the use of good materials is key to me.

Jon Holloway interview - Garden Trading St Mawes Bar Table

Q: What other designers do you admire?

A: Capability Brown, Terence Conran, Matthew Hilton and of course Robin Day.

Q: What is happening in 2016?

A: The business is growing fast and I am really planning to focus on product again more than management as I have a great team around me. We are planning to open our first store in the autumn too, which is very exciting.

Jon Holloway interview - Garden Trading accessories

Q: What do you love to use when you are decorating a room? Particular colours, prints etc?

A: I have used two shades of white for the last six or seven years (Paint Library Stone 1 and Stone 2) throughout the house and they just work. I do love the grey tones that are very on trend now too though as you can always add elements of colour. I always visualise the flooring first and I would admit to being slightly obsessed with painted floorboards, as long as you use the right quality of paint it is an incredibly durable and practical finish, they just add so much light to a room too.

Q: What do you like about working with Houseology?

A: I came to the launch of the brand and I was very impressed with the passion and ambition – we are kindred spirits!

Jon Holloway interview - Garden Trading dining table

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