Five surface style trends | by Antonia Solari

There are a number of shared characteristics that are now common to many ceramic surfaces, including their technical qualities and, increasingly frequently, the solutions adopted to reduce the environmental footprint of the manufacturing process. Control over the energy consumption of the entire production chain, durability of products and guaranteed compliance with environmental certification are just a few of the characteristics found in many high-quality tiles, which means it is left to styles, colours, decorations and textures to set companies’ offerings apart from those of their competitors.

Amongst the multiplicity of trends and the now very real possibility of finding a solution to any design requirement, we can identify five major themes which are analysed below.


Floral decoration

The floral decoration trend is a variation on the highly successful jungle style but with echoes of the past. It reflects a desire to bring a small piece of nature into our homes, allowing us to enjoy the beneficial effects of contact with greenery – however abstract – even in indoor spaces. As a result, we are seeing more and more tile designs with floral motifs of various sizes and a variety of colours.


01. Wide&Style Mini from ABK comprises a palette of 10 plain colours and 8 decorative designs, including floral patterns that recreate the sensation of well-being associated with contact with nature.

02. The Touch collection from Ceramiche Brennero is a plaster-effect matt wall tile with decorations applied to soft coloured bases. The Silk Sand decoration is faithful to the collection’s delicate style and consists of plant- and leaf-inspired designs in matching tones.

03. The Timeless series from Naxos, Fincibec Group, was developed with the aim of creating relaxing spaces characterised by a neutral nature-inspired colour palette and floral decorations.


Decorative surfaces

Ceramic surfaces are increasingly being used as furnishing elements, including tiles with decorations inspired by the world of art in terms of both the motifs and craftsmanship. One example is that of ceramic carpets painted with clearly visible brushstrokes. Another is the wallpaper effect in which the decorations extend across the porcelain surfaces and bring a typically British decorative style to residential spaces.


04. The Carpet collection, designed by Giuliano Andrea dell’Uva for Ceramica di Vietri – Francesco De Maio, features overlapping “ceramic carpets”. These majolica tiles are closely linked to the traditions of the Campania region and stand out for their fifties-style brushstrokes.

05. Chromagic from Serenissima combines matching or contrasting wallpaper-effect decorative motifs with a palette of ten resin-effect colours for original and creative combinations.


Continuity between indoors and outdoors
In recent months, the growing interest in outdoor spaces such as terraces, patios and balconies has led to a proliferation of architectural and design projects aimed at connecting interiors and exteriors. The ceramic tile industry is responding by developing collections with versions suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. All that changes is the slip rating, generally R9 for indoor and R11 for outdoor applications.


06. The LeGarage collection from Cerdomus stands out for its freedom of design and is inspired by an urban style and the texture of concrete. It comes in the five colours Ivory, Silver, Sand, Grey and Charcoal, three sizes and three decorations.

07. Lineo from Ceramiche Keope is a series of wood-effect porcelain tiles designed for use in hybrid indoor and outdoor spaces. The photo shows the Honey version, available with a slip rating of R9 for interiors or R11 for exteriors.

08. The Colorful collection from Pastorelli offers a ceramic interpretation of concrete and comes in 7 standard and 7 brick-format sizes, including warm and cool shades and surfaces inspired by terrazzo. Slip rating from R9 to R13 for indoor and outdoor use.


3D effects

Another stylistic solution adopted by designers to lend a sense of uniqueness to porcelain tiles and slabs is the use of graphic designs and processes that appear to transform the surfaces into three-dimensional volumes. This involves the use of geometry and colours, as well as machining processes that create relief façades capable of reflecting light and creating 3D effects.


09. The undulating texture of the Glow series from the Armonie Ceramiche group creates unique plays of light thanks to the majolica effect and densely glazed surfaces.

10. Stile from Imola Ceramica, comes in a 6×24 cm size and a variety of colours, from powder pink to tobacco, pistachio green and sugar paper blue. The matt version has a high relief texture.

11. The Quadri version of Verde1999’s Livingstone collection, available in a melange/black/gold colour scheme and a 26×26 cm size, creates the illusion of relief through an alternation of colours and geometries.


Natural material look
The natural material trend has long been popular and remains one of the surfaces most frequently requested by customers. Easier to work with than real wood, more accessible than marble slabs, easier to install than concrete or resin surfaces, tiles that reproduce other materials are an essential component of the collections offered by companies in the sector.


12. Onice Smeraldo from Ava Ceramica is the new collection devoted to indoor spaces and inspired by the exquisite colours of onyx. It comes in a variety of designs and six sizes, from 80×160 cm up to 320×160 cm.

13. Amazzonite green from Energieker is one of the company’s many interpretations of marble. The series comes in four sizes, from 60x60cm to 120x270cm.

Other Italian ceramic tile collections can be seen in the Product Gallery.



October 2021