Bologna, Italy— After roaming miles of aisles and a dozen pavilions at the Bologna Fairgrounds for Cersaie, Ceramics of Italy has revealed what it believes to be the top seven tile trends for the fall-winter season. From a design standpoint, the new collections from Italian tile producers were full of striking patterns, saturated color and interesting surface effects made possible by new technologies and collaborations with famous design studios and fashion houses such as Mendini, Lissoni, Versace, Valentino and Rubelli. Italian brands also demonstrated their expanding library of product offerings with sinks, shower floors and kitchen countertops made of porcelain tile slabs.
Relief is a centuries-old sculptural technique used by artisans to add depth and drama to the built environment — from the frieze of the Parthenon to Trajan’s column in Rome. This year’s tile collections were full of relief, from ridges and creases to more sculptural surfaces like boiserie.
Given postmodernism’s recent comeback, it’s not surprising to see speckled surfaces as one of this year’s biggest trends. Micro and macro fragments, technicolor dots and playful interpretations of terrazzo all played a starring role in dozens of new introductions.
From designs emulating rare marbles and semi-precious stones to tiles with an iridescent finish reminiscent of Akoya pearls, preciousness was the name of the game for dozens of manufacturers this year. It also gives designers a chance to source rare and precious materials without depleting the Earth’s natural resources.
One of the advantages of digital printing is the ability to reproduce the look of just about any material. With unlimited possibilities at their fingertips, Italian tile companies blended material effects, such as wood & concrete or marble & terrazzo, to create entirely original typologies and new opportunities in interior design.
Designers know that a touch of greenery can add comfort or whimsy to any space — not to mention the psychological benefits of biophilia. This year’s tile collections offer a range of floral options, from hyper-realistic green walls to playful palm prints.
TERRACOTTA & SAGE
Italians do not shy away from color, which was obvious at this year’s show. Similar to Salone last spring, a warm color palette saturated the show floor — but sage and terracotta were the most popular hues, both separately and occasionally paired together.
They say “everything old is new again,” and the same is true for tile. Radical references to the 1960’s and 70’s were plentiful, with psychedelic colors, playful geometries and trippy patterns galore.