Laura Bielecki, design blogger and interior design manager at Ellington Properties shares exciting trends in tile design showcased at CERSAIE 2016 in Bologna.
I finally made my pilgrimage along with 100,000 others to the capital of the ceramic industry – beautiful Bologna, Italy. Some 872 tile and sanitary suppliers later I have returned to Dubai with sore calves and an overload of inspiration. The five-day show spans 17 halls in the Bologna convention centre as well as many of the factories in the area, challenging even the fittest to a marathon of surfaces.
While the show was primarily targeted at suppliers from around the world, I found it fascinating and worthwhile to attend as a designer. Nearly every product I love has representation in the UAE, and I was glad to see all of my suppliers attending (Casa Mia, Ceramic City, Graniti, Roca to name a few).
Not surprisingly some trends have carried over from the last few years – more refined and exciting than before. Technology has lead these trends, allowing the tile to come in larger and larger formats through each and every manufacturer.
The replication of natural materials into ultra-durable tiles has stayed on trend and is becoming more of a challenge to avoid over using Mother Nature’s originals. Decorative tiles are happily showcased breaking the sea of beige and grey tiles throughout the show. I have noted plenty of interesting and original pieces in this category. Sanitaryware was also a welcome escape from the world of porcelain. It was great to see full bathrooms showcased iSaloni style with true Italian perfectionism.
As design manager for a local developer, my eye was in hot pursuit of trends and innovations for the modern home to bring to our region in the interest of design-led projects. My favourite manufacturers from the show who stood out for their colour theory, innovations and design included: Living Ceramics, Mutina, Bisazza, Tureks, Pibo Marmi and Porcelanosa.
I cannot speak about the show without mentioning Laminam. The company was the founder of the large format tile movement, creating machinery that could create a large and durable tile. Now the product can be used on nearly any surface, such as for cladding, flooring, stairs, countertops, furniture, cabinets and sinks. With all of the recent advancements, I strongly believe large format tiles from Laminam and its competitors will have a high impact on designer specifications.
Texture was my favourite trend at Cersaie. Most manufacturers were producing clay like feeling tiles that felt as if they were manufactured by the craftsman’s own hands. Metallic textures, old world worn marble textures and deeply carved accent tiles that play with light and shadow were all brilliantly displayed. Masters of this trend were certainly 41Zero42 and Cottovietri.
Leonardo Ceramica – District tiles come in four urban finishes – black, brown, grey and white. The product has a lightly hammered metal effect with a slight gloss finish as a full body rectified porcelain tile in 750×750 mm, 377×750 mm and 375×375 mm sizes.
14 Ora Italiana – Xo comes in three colours and six patterns on a white background and is a graphic and casual tribal collection of accent tiles.
Inalco – Iseo large format porcelain tiles in ultra-thin or standard thicknesses. Conglomerate rock patterned tile with bush hammered finish for walls and floors. 1000x1000mm, 1500x1500mm, 1000x2500mm, 500x1000mm. Made in Spain.
41Zero42 – Synonyms & Antonyms WigWag is a white body single-fired wall tile in eight glossy finish patterns, which are randomly mixed for application.
14 Ora Italiana – Pinocchi is a cute and fun collection of plywood effect porcelain tiles, inspired by the natural whimsy of the childhood character Pinocchio. The tile gives the ability to use a natural wood look in exterior environments with a better lifespan and can be used for cladding, furniture, pathways, floor and walls and also comes with an array of decorative effects.
Porcelanosa – Tono bathroom range by Foster + Partners is a comprehensive range of 100+ bathroom components with an unlimited range of finishes and materials. The concept was to create a minimalist aesthetic with an honesty of material, the simplicity of form and craft of manufacture.
Mutina – Rombini by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec is a collection of matching 3D diamond, rhombus and triangular shaped ceramics that offer a full solution to contemporary spaces. The wall tiles align with the pattern of the floor tiles creating an architect’s dream combination. Using specially selected on trend colours, geometries and proportions, these tiles can instantly make a space sophisticated and suitable for even the most OCD of designers and clients.
41Zero42 – Musa HD Digital Porcelain in natural finish comes in 500x1000x3.5mm format reinforced with fibreglass, which is ideal for feature walls. This piece is from a collection of 10 patterns, ranging from green wall to chalk sketches and graphic paint lines. Musa was inspired by sketches found of a botanical illustrator from the early 1900’s.
Mutina – Mistral by Barber & Oserby is a dynamic new freestanding geometric room divider for interior and exterior use. Made of extruded glazed terracotta, the geometric tiles can be laid in various patterns to create vibrant and beautifully graphic partitions. The tiles come in five colours, including white, owl, pearl, coral and black.
Leonardo Ceramica – Factory tiles are a soft concrete effect that highlight the tile sizes. They are full body porcelain with slight shade variations to each piece. Tiles come in 750x750mm, 375x750mm, 600×600 mm and 300×600 mm sizes. Made in Italy.
41Zero42 – Jumble Corten HD Digital is a coloured body rectified porcelain tile in natural finish. As the name describes, jumble is a mix of patterns including reclaimed stone, cement, resin, marble and woods. It comes in four colours: ivory, cement, coffee and corten.
Living Ceramics – Cava by Lucidi Pevere @lucidipevere for the Signature Surfaces series by Living Ceramics. This tile range truly captured the trend I have fallen for, coloured grout mixed with geometrics. By using clean, contemporary tiles engraved in decorative mathematical sequences, the design duo has mixed colours and patterns to create beautiful and engaging surfaces.
RAK Ceramics – The Ras Al Khaimah- based company introduced a nice Hexagon tile called Country brick. The proposed collection comes in various coatings, which are inspired by brick-faced walls.