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Ceramics of Italy: CERSAIE Bologna 2018 TTR 

(Tile Trend Report)

Following our annual trip to Cersaie - the world's largest exhibition of ceramic tile and sanitaryware furnishings in Bologna, Italy - we have gathered the top 10 tile trends that were dominating the booths of hundreds of exhibitors and are sure to influence architecture and interiors over the next year.

Ceramics of Italy member companies continue to be at the forefront of tile innovation with a wide range of new collections that demonstrate their unparalleled understanding of architects' and designers' needs. Certain trends like terrazzo and nostalgia-inspired tiles are becoming a staple for companies, while traditional stone and wood looks are being reimagined to create an entirely new category of design. With a greater emphasis on healthcare and wellness, tiles are also becoming a reflection of this theme with an increased push for sustainable factories, botanical prints and earth tones in the tiles themselves. The trends you see below are sure to inspire the residential and commercial interiors that will be the highlights of the coming year.

botanical - φύση

While floral designs have been around since decorative tile was invented, botanical is a new trend that reflects two movements in the design industry. The first is a focus on health and wellness and the incorporation of the natural world into interiors, which research has shown to contribute to human health and productivity. Meanwhile, the influence of tropical modernism has seeped into interiors and product design, which can be seen in this year's abundance of palm, cacti and other flora-inspired patterns. 

deconstructed - αναδόμηση

Tile companies are constantly seeking new ways to add movement and volume to the flat surface, whether by texture, pattern, or tromp l'oiel effect. Deconstructed is the most recent example, featuring a breakdown and reconstruction of shapes that transcend the traditional rectilinear format of a tile. Many of these collections are created by designers known for their eclectic approach like Studiopepe and Paola Navone and range from kaleidoscopic patterns and floating geometric shapes to fragments of seemingly broken tile.

earth tones - γήινοι τόνοι

Drawing their main inspiration from natural elements, a wide range of Italian tiles fall into this theme. Color palettes range from dirt, clay and sand inspired browns; forest, moss and grass-like greens; red and golden tones reminiscent of the sun; and shades of blue to evoke an oceanic feel. This trend has become popular partially due to a revival of 1970s style along with a greater focus on mother nature and its ability to create a sense of natural serenity.

globalism - παγκοσμιοποίηση

Designers and brands frequently look to other cultures for inspiration, which are exemplified in this year's tile introductions. For Marazzi's Grand Carpet collection, Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel turned to the orient to create large ceramic slabs enhanced with the tactility of oriental carpets, Indian temporary ritual tattoos and the Kolam tradition of ephemeral rice floor decorations. 

painterly - χρώμα & τεχνοτροπία

Everywhere you look there is an overarching softness and romanticism in the design world with gentle curves, washes of color and the unmistakable touch of an artist's hand. Tile is no exception with this year's collections featuring hand painted patterns, sketches and illustrations, marbled effects and watercolor designs. Hand-painted decors create a polychromatic kaleidoscope of soft tones. 

new typologies - νέες τυπολογίες

While some companies recreate the look of wood or stone to an impressive degree of realism, others mix different materials or handpick certain characteristics to form a whole new typology. This fusion of material-looks and themes result in a surreal, imaginative interpretation of tile and a potential new language for interior design. 

nostalgia - νοσταλγία

People often look to design for an escape and in this current political climate it's unsurprising that companies are turning to the past to bring people a euphoric boost. For their third comic-inspired collection, Del Conca recreates the feminist world of Guido Crepax on ceramic tile with his 1960s comic-strip heroine, Valentina.

pastels - παστέλ τόνοι

Everywhere you look there is an overarching softness and romanticism in the design world with gentle curves, washes of color and the unmistakable touch of an artist's hand. Tile is no exception with this year's collections featuring hand painted patterns, sketches and illustrations, marbled effects and watercolor designs. 

terrazzo twist -  σύνθετα μωσαϊκά

Already a popular trend in interior design and fashion, terrazzo started popping up in the tile industry last year and has grown to become a potential new mainstay, on par with marble, wood and concrete designs. Dozens of designs are now available ranging from cement to epoxy terrazzo, traditional to modern colors and glossy to matte finishes. As opposed to traditional terrazzo, which can become very slippery or fade when used outdoors, porcelain offers a durable, versatile and cost effective alternative. 

weathered - παλαίωση

A departure from the soft, romantic effects of the other trends, weathered is a style with staying power. From stones with scratch marks and colored rustic planks to rusted tin tiles and oxidized metals, these tiles mirror an ongoing fascination with unfinished spaces, worn surfaces and vintage effects