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My visit to Cersaie

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Posing in front of some beautiful geometric designs at Cersaie 2014! Thank you Ceramics of Italy!
Recently I had the amazing opportunity as Industry Ambassador for Coverings 2015 to travel to Bologna, Italy and attend Cersaie 2014. I traveled with a group of 40 architects, designers and journalists from the United States and Canada, and Ceramics of Italy, a Coverings co-sponsor, hosted the trip. It was wonderful gathering with these talented individuals, and spending time at the show learning and discussing new trends and innovations in tile and stone. I enjoyed getting to know people from all over the country, and hearing different opinions and insights into what to expect for 2015. We also got a chance to do some fun things in Bologna, which included a visit to a vineyard, a balsamic vinegar tasting, a visit to the Marazzi tile factory, and some wonderful dinners where we enjoyed what Italy is known best for – the food!
This was my first time attending Cersaie, and I was amazed by everything the show had to offer. From new introductions to upcoming trends, check out my recap of the show in Italy, and my predictions for Coverings 2015:  
HEXAGONS:
The hexagon is such a beautiful, classic tile shape, and I loved seeing it not only in a larger scale, but how the shape has evolved into many different variations. Some of my favorites included wood hexagons, three dimensional printed patterns, and metallic hexagons (especially in gold!). The shape itself tends to be very classic and traditional, but with all of the variations of styles, the hexagon can be used in any design from sleek and modern to transitional to traditional. 

Hexagons have evolved from the classic rendition, and can be used in any design from sleek and modern to traditional.
WOOD-LOOK:
I am a big fan of wood-look porcelain tiles, and use them often in my designs. The evolution from basic wood plank tiles to those in some really stunning shapes, sizes and patterns has been amazing. At the show, the high-gloss wood plank tiles, which create a glass like appearance as flooring, definitely caught my eye. The patterned wood tiles were also quite stunning, with beautiful printed damask and striped overlays. Some of the newer shapes of wood, especially the hexagon trend, were prominent at Cersaie, giving a different spin on the traditional. I also spotted some great bullnose pieces for wood steps, large format slim tiles, and many versions for outdoor uses in pool areas. 

Wood-look porcelain tiles were a popular trend at Cersaie 2014, especially with the addition of high-gloss wood plank tiles.
WALLPAPER: 
Speaking of emulative tiles – another trend I spotted throughout the show was tiles with a wallpaper-like appearance. Wallpaper has made a comeback in the design world in the past few years, and now that it’s become a trend in tiles, that look can be carried into areas that may not be suitable for wallpaper (such as the bathroom and kitchen backsplash). While walking the show floor I spotted many beautiful patterns in a variety of glazes and metallics – they were all so stunning.

Wallpaper has made a comeback in design, and these wallpaper-like tiles make bringing wallpaper into the bathroom and kitchen easy. 

POP ART:
Pop Art-inspired tile is a surprising new trend I spotted at Cersaie. Notably, the Keith Haring prints from Ascot, which was the first collection in their Game of Fifteen series featuring 15 artists. Other notable pop art tiles included a collection from Imola in a variety of fun colors and three-dimensional patterns. I think these are a fun accent, and a great way to bring iconic art into tile design.

These Keith Haring prints from Ascot add the pop of pop art into your home design. 

FUN STUFF & MORE TRENDS:
Beyond these major trends, there were a few more that really stood out and I eagerly anticipate seeing more of at Coverings next year.

Metallics continue to resonate, especially in gold – a color that speaks to my own taste! 
Bold colors were found in interesting printed and dimensional tiles 
Grey emerged to be the most popular color scheme, but accent tiles also offered unconventional prints and colors. 
Endless options for large format, slim tiles and interesting applications on furnishings. 

During the trip to Bologna, our group had the opportunity to attend the Press Conference at the MAST museum in Bologna, and toured some exhibits while there. It was a beautifully designed space. We visited the Marazzi Factory in Italy, and were able to learn more about their history and viewed a large variety of products that they offer in the showroom. Touring the factory was very interesting, seeing how one of their large format floor tiles was made, from start to completion. It was the first in quite a few factory visits planned during my travels, so there are lots more to come.
On my final day, I had the chance to explore the city. We climbed to the top of one of the Two Towers, the Asinelli tower, which had breathtaking views of the city! I truly enjoyed my time in Bologna, attending Cersaie, meeting an amazing group of designers, architects and journalists. I’m looking forward to seeing what many of these exhibitors showcase at Coverings. 
After Italy, I visited the beautiful country of Spain! Stay tuned next week for my full recap from my trip with Tile of Spain, including trends and more!