If the last year-and-a-half or more has taught us anything, it’s the overwhelming healing power of nature. The increased global gravitational pull to the outdoors, to immerse oneself in the natural world, feel the earth under our feet, layer our homes in all manner and types of flowers and plants, and experience the freedom to roam free across grasslands, parks, and forests—has translated to all aspects of life. Including tile. The 38th edition of Cersaie—the largest international exhibition of ceramic tile—held in Bologna, Italy earlier this fall, showcased just this movement—and many more—to nearly 63,000 visitors across 623 exhibitors. While the fair did not take place in 2020, that didn’t stop manufacturers’ creativity in the slightest.
The 2021 edition laid the groundwork for a plethora of trends—hitting all aspects of design to expect in 2022. From cutting-edge digital printing technologies implemented to create mesmerizing, three-dimensional tiles, to a virtual tile garden of expressive, large-scale botanicals and florals, nostalgic designs with a reference to various periods in history, wallpaper-like creations, and ceramic tile murals (and more) that blur the line between art and functionality, Cersaie 2021 was a feast for the eyes. Color-wise, earth tones and pastels were emphatically popular—especially the more soothing hues such as sage, rose, mint, and the lighter shades of blue. A direction echoed by industry paint titans, Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams’ respective Colors of the Year: October Mist and Evergreen Fog. As for pattern? That was also aplenty. As was marble with dramatic veining, outdoor tiles that can withstand the elements, dazzlingly vivid Terrazzo, phenomenal manufacturer collections with exceptional designers, and so much more. See below for some of our favorite designs from Ceramics of Italy members at this year’s Cersaie—now available in the North American market through an extensive network of tile distributors and retailers (which you can find on ceramica.info, or through the new Italian Ceramic Finder). Or, visit Ceramics of Italy’s multi-brand pavilion at ICFF in New York (Nov 14–15, 2021) to see some of them yourself.
In honor of its 60th anniversary, Emilceramica launched Sixty, an aptly named collection that returns to the company’s origins working with clay. The designs, ideal for architectural applications, come in two versions: Fondo (a plain, naturally patterned creation that uses the brand’s anti-slip SilkTech technology), and Timbro, an alluring tile that features an appealing stamped relief look. The entire collection is available in seven shades, each chosen to reference an influential decade in history. The Salvia hue (left), has an 80s feel, while Cielo (right), was inspired by the graphics of the 70s.
Fap Murals, a collection of expressive, sometimes romantic murals by Fap Ceramiche, showcase dream-like plant motifs and eye-catching geometrics on large-scale panels that mimic the look of wallpaper. Characterized by glossy lacquer on matte backgrounds, the compositions add life to any space with shimmering overlays and perfectly contrasting elements that highlight the painterly qualities and iridescent details that define the collection.
Atlas Concorde launched Boost Natural—one of many collections that reinterprets the essence of raw earth—though this one was conceived by architect Matteo Brioni. Tying together an ancient material with cutting-edge ceramic technology, the resulting surface and wall tiles bring forth a level of artistry and movement that is hard to beat. Shown: 3D Wave (left) and Piano Mix Mosaic, both in Ash.
Part of Fincibec Group, Naxos’ Tuscany collection is inspired by the picturesque scenery, hamlets, and vineyards of the Tuscan countryside such as Spring in Musk (left). Meanwhile, the Pictura collection of 7mm-thick porcelain stoneware recalls the appeal of hand-applied plaster and the frescoes that adorned the walls of wealthy family homes in ancient Rome. Colorways shown include Luni and Faber Aquileia.
Marca Corona’s Multiforme introduction involves the combination of different decorative elements to create new singular designs. With three different techniques regarding its production, eight sizes, and 21 colors—the floor and wall covering series offers the beauty of the mix. Inspired by resins and the effects of concrete, each silky design stuns. Clockwise from left: Foliage, Euforia, and Bouquet.
Ornamenta’s Mini Operae collection of ceramic wallcoverings, created through a digital plotter that can include the application of precious gold materials, consists of gorgeous designs such as the Chinoiserie-like Stage in blue (left) and Floral in pink (right). Likewise, the Bloom collection expands on the beauty of marble, showcasing interchanging double smooth and diamond finishes for one mesmerizing effect.
Gorgeous, rough-hewn tiles in the colors of the natural world—from sunsets to landscapes—inspired the chromatic variations in Tonalite’s Safari collection (left). Imperfection is beautiful—a notion highlighted in the company’s Wabisabi collection of wavy-surfaced, jagged-edged tiles which are in essence a nod to the Japanese Wabi-Sabi aesthetic of the same name and thought.
Ceramica Sant’Agostino launched a variety of new collections, including Deconcrete, a delightful new iteration of terrazzo in concrete with mosaic flakes. In the FusionArt collection, wood and concrete are melded together to create a stunning new form.
A majolica tile carpet? Yes, please. Architect Giuliano Andrea dell’Uva’s Carpet collection for Ceramica Francesco De Maio consists of various Mediterranean-inspired colors, fringes, and edges—allowing for the creation of gorgeous tiled “rugs,” that look great inside or outside the home.
The large ceramic surfaces that make up Sensi of Casa dolce casa—designed by Matteo Thun for Florim—are made up of natural raw materials, use a large amount of recycled materials, and are the product of an incredibly sustainable production process that includes self-generated electricity. The soft, neutral colors of the porcelain stoneware slabs construct a harmony with nature.
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