Last month, industry professionals gathered in Bologna, Italy for Cersaie, the world’s preeminent exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings. With over 850 exhibitors and 100,000+ visitors, the show was brimming with collaborations, craftsmanship, and innovation. Always looking out for what’s new, Ceramics of Italy shared with us the trends they identified among Italian companies at this year’s show. Take a look at the ten most popular trends and let us know which ones you’re most excited to see at Coverings 2016!
Playing with the idea of modularity, Italian ceramic companies are designing fragmented patterns on square and rectangular tiles to produce large dynamic compositions. By randomly mixing and matching geometric shapes, the tiles pop with vivid, kaleidoscopic effect.
Pictured (L-R): Bardelli Tangram, Refin Labyrinth, Sicis SICIStone, Ornamenta Frames
HIT THE BRICKS
Each season a shape naturally emerges as a tile industry favorite. Last year was the hexagon; this year is all about brick! From micro to macro, polished to rustic, and designs ranging from faithful interpretations of old brick walls and brick with mortar spills, to painted brick and marble and wood designs in a brick format.
Pictured (L-R): Marca Corona BrickLane, Cir Recupera, Brix Micro-Brick, Monocibec Eclipse
Drawing inspiration from an age-old pattern, designers will love dressing up floors and walls with these eye-catching porcelains. From rustic and painted wood looks to resin, brick and stone, Italian companies are producing chevron and herringbone tiles across all scales to create visually striking patterns that are easy to install.
Pictured (L-R): Sant’Agostino Shadewood, Novabell Firestone, 41zero42 Rigo, Atlas Concorde Etic Pro
ALONG THE RIGHT LINES
The show also highlighted endless variations on the most basic and powerful element of design: the line. Thick and thin, vertical and horizontal, straight and intersecting, flat and three dimensional, linear designs are definitely in vogue with the ability to add depth, movement or focus to a room.
Pictured (L-R): Mutina Rombini, Naxos Fiber, Lea Naive Slimtech, 41zero42 Otto
One trend was embraced by several Italian companies is the transformation of tile into objet d’art. Ascot continued to highlight contemporary artists, while ABK and Imola were inspired by street art and graffiti.
Pictured (L-R): Ascot Game of 15, ABK Do-Up, Settecento Steve Kaufman, Imola Kuni
There was overwhelming warmth to the tile introductions this year, lending an undeniable softness to the hard surface. From designs with distressed and tactile effects (sandblasted marble, stripped wood and fabric) to warm shades, watercolor and velvety textures, it was a welcome reprieve from the minimal aesthetic of recent years.
Pictured (L-R): Fioranese Painted_Wood, Fondovalle Infinito 2.0, Astor Context, ABK Do-Up
Despite the color’s recent meteoric rise in popular culture, grey has always been a modern designer’s best friend. And this year, an entire spectrum can be found in the latest Italian tile introductions, from cooler slate tones to that perfect portmanteau of grey and beige. With the addition of texture, chromatic variation and overlaid patterns, these tiles prove that you don’t need color to make a statement.
Pictured (L-R): Sintesi Planet, Brix Brush, Cotto d’Este Limestone, 41zero42 Signs
With continuously evolving technologies, Italian companies are able to create ceramic tiles with three dimensional folds, wavy ridges, raised geometry and asymmetrical profiles. Fitting these tiles together creates a three dimensional wall with a seamless sculpted surface that naturally invites attention.
Pictured (L-R): Sicis Meteors, Fap Frame, Atlas Concorde 3D Wall Design, Piemme More
Tiles continue to get bigger every year, bringing a torrent of new design possibilities. Thin, large porcelain slabs – which can be used to cover all manner of surfaces including countertops and furnishings – are now available in sizes up to 5.25′ x 10.5′.
Pictured (L-R): Fondovalle Komi, Caesar Aextra30, Ava I Marmi, Casamood Neutra 6.0
Conjuring images of Mediterranean life, a marine palette of greens and blues is perfect for a pop of color. From large-format and modern surface effects to more traditional shapes and motifs, these cool colors are bringing a coastal vibe to interiors.
Pictured (L-R): Atlas Concorde Dwell, Tagina Details, Cerasarda Sardinia, Imola Shades
You’ll be able to spot these trends and more at Coverings 2016. Join us!