From soothing palettes to sense-evoking materials and patterns, homeowners are creating spaces that make them feel good and promote a sense of wellness and comfort through design. In this issue of Floor Trends, we explore the tile trends that are lending to a “feel better” experience at home.
Wellness in Design
“Wellness in design is a relatively new concept that’s become popular just in the last few years,” said celebrity designer and television host Jennifer Farrell of Jennifer Farrell Design. “That’s going to really take off in 2020 and beyond. We are all looking to feel better. We are in a place where we are trying to feel better and design is coming into play in a whole new way. So that you’re experiencing the space with all of your senses.”
Farrell says homeowners want to come home to a space that not only looks good, but they also want to feel good in their space. This is inspired by aesthetic beauty and tactile comfort, and Farrell says we’ll see a lot of that in modern organics.
According to Houzz, modern organics, or organic modern, is a design term referring to a balanced mix of modern lines, neutral palettes, natural materials and textures, which designers like Farrell are exploring in various ways using tile.
Be it on the floor or on the wall, and in some instances, even on the ceiling, tile is helping to achieve what Farrell calls an immersive tactile dimensional experience that creates a cocoon of comfort for homeowners through dimensional pieces and organic imagery.
Color-wise, we are moving toward a more soothing pallet in a range that Farrell refers to as “smoky sunset” which features colors along the lines of burnt rose, faded denim, pale sky and taupe grey.
A color trend that’s being celebrated by MSI, Emily Holle, director of trend and design, has dubbed this soothing pallet Sun-Washed Chic. “It’s really about the warming trend and the fact that white and gray have been a mainstay in the design world for a few years now, and what we are seeing is warmer pallets. So the cream tones are coming in, blonde tones in wood, warmer grays and a mixed and blended look. Just a toastier forecast.”
Enhancing that trend are products like MSI’s Ivory Onyx which mixes a range of grays and blondes to bring warmth into the product and give homeowners the realistic look of stone they’ve come to appreciate from MSI. And with unemployment at an all-time low, rising wages and stock market prices up, MSI’s director of sales and marketing, Mannie Llerena, says conditions are as good as they’ll get for consumers to be able to purchase the dream homes and the dream surfaces that they always thought about.
Answering the call, MSI continues to lead in the production of natural stone-inspired looks. “Because our origin was natural stone, we really believe that we do these natural stone porcelains better than anyone else with the way that we take a lot of care into colorations, veining and how it looks,” said Llerena.
Experiencing the space with all senses is desired, and Farrell says homeowners are doing that with products like Shaw’s Chateau Woven Mosaic. “What’s beautiful about this is that it’s so dimensional that you can’t keep your hands off it. So you have this really pleasing experience not just looking at something but actually feeling it.”
Surfaces with texture provide a splash of luxury and intrigue and Marazzi is speaking to that trend with new products like Artezen, a line that is inspired by handmade ceramics with an undulated surface and translucent glaze to create a beautiful flow of movement across the installation.
“Bold pops of design are one of the hottest trends in the industry, from residential areas to commercial,” said Micah Hand, senior marketing manager of Dal-Tile, parent company of Marazzi. “The amazing thing about this trend is that it allows designers and homeowners to create a space that is unique, especially as there are so many products to choose from. Our newest collections draw bold inspiration from nature, from earthy blues and greens to marble and concrete aesthetics. We want customers to create spaces they love, and our products are designed to support that desire.”
Artezen features geometric shapes like Hex and Picket, brick joint and herringbone, and is available in three neutral colors, including a shimmery bronze metallic and two beautiful shades of blue.
In tile, size matters, and planks in residential applications are continuing to get longer and wider. “We know that larger formats are important,” said Llerena. “Things are getting larger and there’s a demand for 24x48 and 35x35.”
Larger planks means fewer grout lines, which is something consumers are enjoying in their homes for multiple reasons, says Mara Heras, vice president of marketing for Emser Tile. “It’s clean visually, it opens up a continuous surface, especially when it comes to the panels. You can do a whole shower, you can do an entire countertop; a wall with minimal seams. Even on the floor, if you do a 23x47 or a 31x31, it’s fewer grout lines and less labor.”
Fewer grout lines creates a more seamless environment, and homeowners are enjoying that trend from indoors to outdoors, as they continue to spend more time enjoying their outdoor spaces and seeing them as more of an opportunity for design, rather than just a function.
In response, MSI has produced products that make that possible. “We have a 1cm-thick product that goes inside the home out to a 2cm paver that can be used in any outdoor application,” said Llerena.
Appealing to the DIY homeowner is Daltile’s RevoTile, which is an innovate product that is sure to revolutionize tile industry. Installing in just three easy steps, RevoTile offers “Real Beauty. Real Porcelain. Real Fast.” says Scott Maslowski, senior vice president of sales for Dal-Tile Corporation.
“The beauty, durability, and value that porcelain tile adds to a home makes it an aspirational product, highly desired by homeowners,” said Maslowski.
By simply placing the underlayment, clicking the tiles together and immediately grouting, homeowners—on their own—can add the style and designs they desire by way of Daltile’s state-of-the-art printing technology, Reveal Imaging, which brings to the RevoTile collection realistic color, detail and veining that are unique on every single tile.