Kristina Zanic: “A preference for matt and digitally printed tiles” | by Alessandra Ferretti

Kristina Zanic, what are the main design trends in the Emirates today?
Ceramics are a very big part of the spaces we design as interior designers in the MENA region. F&B is a huge area where we are still seeing metro tiles in various shapes, sizes, glazes and finishes. Similarly, variations and modern updates on traditional patterned tiles are still widely used.
Greater advances in digitally printed tiles mimicking stone and timber are refreshingly realistic, and thankfully clients and designers alike are rejecting the older, plastic-like earlier attempts.
Matt finish and natural textured tiles are definitely preferred over high gloss options at the moment.

What are the strengths of Emirates ceramic producers?
A huge benefit, of course, is cost. Easily accessible samples are another benefit. Bigger companies and select clients in the MENA Region are now more interested in value engineering, whereas ten years ago this was not on clients’ radars.

What is your view of the Italian ceramic sector?
Definitely still among the best when it comes to quality and design.

How have the demands and preferences of Emirates consumers changed?
As mentioned before, clients are more aware of value engineering. There is a big advantage for ceramic manufacturers as stone plays a smaller role in some projects. That said, there are some absolutely stunning ceramic products in the market which give stone a run for its money.

What are the characteristics Italian ceramics are known for in the Emirates?
Absolutely without a doubt: quality in manufacturing and quality in design.