Surface Focus: Project - Costa by Charlotte Jade

Charlotte Jade is the design studio behind coffee shop Costa’s new stress-busting interior scheme

Words by Emily Martin

CHARLOTTE O’REILLY, founder of design brand Charlotte Jade, is a UK-based illustrator with a passion for drawing and nature. Combing the two, she has produced a series of artwork for coffee retail brand Costa Coffee. Inspired by the growth of the coffee plant and the destinations in which Costa’s coffee beans are grown, the bespoke pattern features native Colombian and Vietnamese plants. It’s printed as luxury wallpaper, upholstery fabrics and wall art for Costa’s rollout of new coffee shops throughout the UK and can now be seen in store at its Edwalton drive-thru, Nottingham and West Hampstead branches.

‘I have always had a passion for drawing and nature so combining these two loves to create my designs came naturally to me,’ O’Reilly explains. ‘When studying illustration at university, or even just idly doodling throughout my childhood, I would always find nature was my go-to inspiration.’

Charlotte Jade’s designs start from hand-drawn pencil illustrations
Charlotte Jade’s designs start from hand-drawn pencil illustrations

The vibrant pattern for Costa features natural elements and colours that reflect the brand’s identity and the countries its coffee blends originate from. But, doing much more, O’Reilly aligns all her work with a biophilic concept by bringing elements of nature back into the daily lives of people to help reduce stress, aid mental wellbeing and improve productivity. ‘Bringing nature into our interior environments [will] help reduce stress, improve productivity and wellbeing, while creating beautiful, unique and memorable spaces,’ she points out.

Her alignment to biophilic design came about after researching how to create healthy and vibrant internal spaces. Learning about connecting to nature, and the health and wellbeing benefits associated with it, O’Reilly decided to evolve her nature-inspired designs to work within the biophilic concept – making Charlotte Jade a brand that brings the outside world in.

The bright, colourful patterns are designed to create a relaxing environment
The bright, colourful patterns are designed to create a relaxing environment

And, like all Charlotte Jade designs, the pattern has been created by O’Reilly herself. Starting with a pencil drawing to capture the intricate details and beauty of the plants – in this case palms, banana leaf, philodendron xandu monstera leaves and lanonia centralis – the pattern was brought to life with digital colouring techniques, adding vibrant greens, the yellows and oranges of the growing coffee, and Costa’s signature red. The pattern has been printed on wallpaper to create a feature wall in Costa’s brand new Edwalton drive-thru coffee shop.

‘The bright and colourful pattern aims to create a calm and relaxing environment by featuring natural elements and colours that represent the brand and celebrate the locations where its coffee is grown’, comments O’Reilly. ‘Using elements of biophilic design, the bespoke Charlotte Jade pattern enables Costa to transport their customers to the place in which the coffee journey begins, bringing this tropical world into stores throughout the UK’.

When asked about the importance of patterns in interiors, O’Reilly says: ‘Patterns create texture and depth, bringing a room to life with a “wow” factor. In my opinion, the natural patterns we find in nature are beyond anything we as humans could design ourselves. They are unique, intricate and mesmerising, making them ideal inspiration for eye-catching interiors. Beyond being aesthetically pleasing, I also feel nature inspired design can spark the imagination taking a person’s mind somewhere else, out of the physical internal space they’re occupying. People also often find nature inspired design to be quite nostalgic, taking you back to a memory or a time you spent in the natural world.’

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