Although 2021 started off as an unprecedented year, Italian tile manufacturers continued to do what they do best—invent new designs that not only reflect societal trends, but also solve unique design challenges. Kristin Coleman, vice president of Novita PR, the marketing and communications agency that represents Ceramics of Italy, walks us through the top five tile styles and trends of the season.
There’s been a societal shift to consumers wanting more organic things in their lives, says Coleman. This shift includes everything from the food consumers buy, the clothes that they wear and the way that they design their spaces. Since tile is made from organic material, this trend is quite fitting, as the need for comfort and an overall focus on health and wellness has never been stronger. Organic shapes and harmonious colors combined with pared-back aesthetics can be seen throughout architecture and interior projects as clients wish to make their homes and businesses feel like a sanctuary. The warm tones, subtle textural finishes, natural material effects, and irregular shapes of these collections can help achieve a beautiful wabi sabi effect for any type of project.
On the other end of the spectrum, expression is gaining traction as people are coming out of their shells and re-entering their offices and social circles. And surprisingly, a lot of these styles are just a bolder version of organic, Coleman notes. Following the fashion industry’s lead, where we see people starting to invest in fun pieces that have bold colors to loud prints, the tile industry is following suit, from multi-colored terrazzo and marble with strong character to saturated hues and trippy patterns.
Yes, large-format tile is in, but skinny tile is starting to emerge as the new star, Coleman says. Unlike traditional subway tiles, which have a 1:2 dimensional ratio, these ceramic and porcelain tiles are long and slim, ranging from 2”x8” to 3”x16”. They come in all types of finishes and colors ranging from matte to glass-like and neutral to bold, offering endless installation possibilities for floors and walls.
Giving a nostalgic nod to the past, new traditional design is experiencing a resurgence. These tile collections are perfect for a new traditional style, from the timelessness of carrara marble and elegance of basketweave to the charm of majolica and smaller format tiles.
When a project calls for restraint, large-format tiles are a good solution to create uniformity and highlight architectural geometries. Although minimal in appearance, these tiles are the result of intense chromatic studies and special production processes to achieve a perfectly solid color or to emulate the subtle nuances of concrete for interior and exterior applications.