Ceramics of Italy recently shared trends for its 2013 Spring/Summer season, and for the benefit of our readers we present them almost verbatim. It is interesting to note that many companies are turning heavily towards nature for their design ideas, and updating old looks to appeal to the modern designer and end user. Once again, ‘old is new’ it seems!
Italian ceramics are once again redefining ‘timeless’ with tiles that look like they have existed for decades—even centuries! In some of their latest collections, companies took the popular material look-alike trend and infused its surfaces with the wear from thousands of footsteps and a little bit of Mother Nature’s fury.
Hi-tech meets prehistoric: using cutting-edge design and manufacturing technologies, some companies presented tiles with striking skeletal imprints on eroded stone surfaces, while others opted to recreate long-forgotten petrified wood that can only be found in dense Amazonian jungles.
Mixing and matching a lot of different stone-look tiles can add natural character to a space. Some companies perfectly replicate the mineral patterns of different classes of rocks – from igneous to sedimentary – all in a single collection unified by a coordinated colourway. Others created entirely new types of stone by melding together the most interesting colours and granulation from over thirty different stones.
One of the most prevalent patterns in nature has found its way to the ceramic tile industry. Hexagons were seen around the show floors, from tiny patterns seemingly chiselled into a solid piece of porcelain to large tiles cut into this bold geometric form, and are sure to be more prevalent in the coming season.
Parquet + Inlay
One highly decorative flooring style, first introduced in late 17th century Versailles, is being reborn in porcelain tiles: parquet. New collections from several companies revitalise the intricate designs that were originally made by hand-cutting small pieces of wood into geometric shapes pieced together like a puzzle, updating them with marble and stone inlay accents.
Tiles reminiscent of encaustic cement continued to have a strong presence this season. However, mellow, time-faded colours are making way for brighter colours that instantly enliven a space, and some companies have added a new rectangle format to the traditional square tile, opening up new possibilities for decorative arrangements.
The factory floor is going high-end with industrial chic collections from several companies. Designs heading the trend are: oversized tiles that are treated to look raw and unfinished; black and dark grey tiles proudly donning scuff marks; and 3m long porcelain slabs with textures reminiscent of poured cement sidewalks.
Although this trend is riding on its second season, tile manufacturers have not ceased making technological improvements on the plank format. Beyond longer sizes, like narrow planks up to 1,8m feet in length, the variations of the high-definition printed patterns in the tiles are incredible – in most instances, there is no repetition in the pattern for 2 350m² at a time, making each tile absolutely unique!