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  • Writer's pictureJames Treble


I've just come back home from Bologna for CERSAIE, the International Tiles and Bathroom Fair, one of my favourite overseas appointments for Interior & Design, and like all of my past visits, this year I was not disappointed. Like a kid in a toys' shop once again I walked for hours and hours through the maze of new products and finishes, looking, touching and enquiring. What a week.

All images by James Treble in Bologna, Italy

CERSAIE attracted 112,340 visitors and 900 journalists from 5 continents, all of them eager to see the large amount of products which 889 exhibitors from 40 countries, had on display. With the event running for a week, I can assure you I try to see and learn as much as possible, but the many pavilions are immense, (think of the largest shopping centre you know ... on steroids!) and despite the time spent searching and observing, and the thousands of photos that I bring back with me, I always leave asking myself 'have I seen it all?' My phone tells me I've walked about 20K+ steps daily... (see Interior Design as a motivation to exercise keeps me fit... LOL), and by the end of it all I was exhausted, but I enjoyed 'every kilometre' of it!

As the amount of info on display is immense, the hardest job is to skip past what's not relevant for the Australian market despite how interesting everything on show may be (this is a global fair and the world's tastes and styles can vary greatly). And the 4K images I've taken... well, that will take me some weeks to get through, but I must select those images which best help me share what I've learned while it's all still fresh in my mind. Not last, I will be publishing many of these inspiring images on social media, so make sure to follow my Instagram and Facebook pages, to see what I've learned about the latest tiles & bathroom trends.

For example (you may be curious) small format tiles are continuing their resurgence and being offered in new classic looks. Particularly exciting to me were the Mutina ranges, rich with artistic presence and lasting beauty.

Floral & organic inspired tiles are very present and available in many playful versions whilst stone and marble looks are still very high on the flooring wish-list. Porcelain tiles offer the widest range of stone looks we could wish for, some of them re-imagined colours which may not exist in reality, but as they are scratch, stain and chemical resistant, available in extra-large format they make also a perfect surface for contemporary & high-end kitchen bench-tops.

Have I mentioned that CERSAIE happens in Bologna? One of the most charming cities to visit in Italy, Bologna has its roots in Roman times and displays a great abundance of Italian Gothic architecture, both in grand public buildings and private humble homes. With almost 40 km of characteristic undercover footpaths, elegant shops and a huge number of restaurants, Bologna complements the excitement of gaining trends and product knowledge, with the pleasure of local beauty, both historical and new. And don't get me started with the great wine and food native to the region, like Prosciutto, Tortellini, Ravioli, Mortadella, Parmigiano ... should I go on?

All images by James Treble in Bologna, Italy

Because of this unique mix of work and leisure, every year I enjoy my visit to CERSAIE so very much; I always leave with the excitement of having learned a lot and already looking forward to my next visit.

I will soon present all the latest and relevant tiles and bathrooms products and trends I've learned this time at CERSAIE through magazine articles (InsideOut Magazine out soon), workshops and seminars, so, if you want to be up-to-date, stay tuned.

James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has 3 decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to homes through clever design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.


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