New surfaces for comfortable spaces | by Elena Cattaneo
Change is underway. There’s no denying it: over the last year we have all had to make minor or major adjustments to the way we use our living spaces, and the tile producers’ proposals for the coming months could hardly fail to take these transformations into account. As architects are well aware, the needs of people looking to renovate or build a new house today are different from those of a year ago. The primary concern today is to be able to live and work in environments that are healthy and easy to clean but also versatile and comfortable. We need to feel safe and at the same time be able to relax in both our living and working spaces – not forgetting that for many people the two spaces are one and the same. In this context, porcelain stoneware has become extremely popular this year as a practical, hygienic and versatile floor and wall covering material. So let’s take a look at the decorative solutions proposed by architects and producer companies for 2021 while waiting to see them with our own eyes at the next Cersaie, to be held in Bologna from 27 September to 1 October 2021.
Inspired by nature
For many people, nature – with all its colours and positive effects – has been a distant dream over the past year due to travel restrictions, while many others have discovered or rediscovered natural spots close to home and learned to appreciate aspects of nature that they may previously have overlooked. In any case, the appeal of nature in the home is a strongly felt and widely expressed need.
01. The Green Wood porcelain tile collection from Blustyle by Cotto d’Este brings the experience of nature to life through a meticulous selection of the finest varieties of oak. It comes in three colours and a large 20×120 cm size with a thickness of 9.5 mm.
02. The new Aurum collection from Century (Fincibec) is inspired by the most classic travertine marble. Its characteristics include a sophisticated ivory colour and natural cross-cut surface reminiscent of traditional Mediterranean architecture that blends harmoniously into the local landscape. The Aurum porcelain tile collection allows for numerous installation solutions, both indoors and outdoors.
03. Collaboration between Casa dolce casa – casamood (Made in Florim) and the Matteo Thun & Partners architecture and design firm has led to the Sensi large-size ceramic tile collection, developed with special attention to energy and the environment. The project invites users to discover ceramic materials’ unique ability to combine nature, creativity and technology.
04. The Eterna stone-effect collection from Ragno stands out for its uniform surface broken up by textures reminiscent of seashells or, in the Mix version, by darker marble inserts. It is available with innovative CleanOut technology capable of inhibiting the growth and reproduction of harmful microorganisms. Eterna is produced using 40% recycled material.
05. Unique Travertine, the new collection from the brand Provenza, offers an up-to-date and original reinterpretation of classic travertine. A perfect blend of craftsmanship and contemporary design, the collection consists of numerous floor and wall tiles in four different colours: White, Cream, Silver and Chocolate.
The power of neutral tones
Less saturated colours, whether warmer shades such as beige and sand or cooler tones with the unlimited potential of greys, are ideal for customising projects without overburdening the floors and walls.
06. Civico 38 from Polis Ceramiche is a contemporary porcelain tile collection that transforms concrete into a creative, versatile material ideal for customising any type of space. The series comes in 4 sizes for indoor use and a 90×90 cm size for outdoors. White-body wall tiles, mosaics and trim pieces round off the collection.
07. Tonalite proposes the Nature glazed porcelain tile collection, with a non-uniform, gently undulating polished surface that creates pleasing plays of light. Along with the classic 10×20 cm size, a 10×40 cm element is now available to further increase design potential.
08. FAP designed the Lumina Sand Art collection by taking inspiration from the simple and spontaneous activity of drawing shapes in the sand. The collection is available in an original wall tile size of 50×120 cm in two versions: White Gloss and White Extra Matt.
09. The Graniti collection from Cipa gres stands out for its timeless, understated aesthetics and delicate colours ranging from neutral to pastel tones. Moreover, the possibility of choosing the surface and matching it with the required level of slip resistance means that the product is safe and suitable for every situation.
10. Borgo Italiano, the latest collection from Verde 1999, is an eclectic yet sophisticated mixture of reclaimed stone. It is a porcelain stoneware with a rustic edge in a 100×100 cm size, also available in a version with a rectified edge. It comes in four neutral colours (Ecru, Pearl, Grey and Graphite) and other sizes (60×60 cm and 60×120 cm with tumbled edge only).
Make way for imagination
Thanks to new materials, technologies and tile sizes, it is now possible to achieve all kinds of decorations. The latest trends include geometric patterns, in many cases with three-dimensional effects, ideal for creating customised backgrounds, and macro designs that create a focal point in a room.
11. Designed for eclectic projects, the Pastelli Pro collection from Alfalux transforms the most refined colours into a versatile ceramic surface, a starting point for the transformation of any kind of space. The range of 8 colours is designed to coordinate with wood, marble or concrete effect ranges and create harmonious spaces.
12. This solution is from Appiani’s Custom Create catalogue, which offers ideas and inspiration on how to exploit the infinite potential for customisation. In this case, the ceramic mosaic (made up of 1.2×1.2 cm pieces pre-mounted on a 30×30 cm mesh backing) is part of the My Mix series (Anthologhia collection).
13. The Bonbon collection designed by Paola Navone for Decoratori Bassanesi consists of irregularly shaped lozenges in dusty colours ideal for creating original mosaics. The full-body porcelain lozenges are mounted on 30.5×30.5 cm modules with a thickness of 5 mm.
14. The base of the wall is clad with slabs from the Anima collection, which embodies the natural effect of stone. Above, an original composition obtained with the Tropicale decoration from the Luce collection, full-body porcelain stoneware and white-body tiles in a 60×120 cm size and 9 mm thickness. The entire concept is from Ariana.
15. The exclusive colour palette of Cerasarda’s OT070026 collection highlights the connection with Sardinia and ranges from the raw, warm hues of the island’s interior to the bright, marine tones of the coast. This red body double fired tile collection stands out for its handmade decorations.
16. The Shanghai collection from Ceramica Colli di Sassuolo is a series of small sizes in three different colour tones that allow for different installation patterns. It stands out for the way in which the compositions can be interspersed and customised with rounded liners, an outmoded format that has been reinterpreted in a modern vein.
Other Italian ceramic tile collections can be seen in the Product Gallery.