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  • Writer's pictureJames Treble

CERSAIE - Tiles Directions

Once again I went to the International Tile and Bathroom Fair in beautiful Bologna. It's an annual event. There's so much to see there because of course it's not just about tiles but the installation, new colours and trends and also the way they're presented in showrooms… It's exciting to see what every country thinks is the new direction and also some beautiful old favourites as well. Truly exciting.

CERSAIE is an annual event and it brings together tile products from around the world into one place, of course Italy, known for great design. It's certainly an exciting event and it was action-packed for one whole week. Of course we've had two years of COVID and that affected the industry as it did every other industry, globally. My job as a designer is to sort of follow the directions (and I use the word ‘Trends’ quite loosely) to see finishes and colours and directions in shape and form.


We've seen florals and organic prints on tiles for many years now, but the amount of it on the stands this year is something that's really struck me. The organic digital prints are quite amazing, and they've been interpreted in quite artistic forms a lot of them quite simplistic in their colourways and some of them really bold. It's the play on organic print so leaves and palm trees and some of them becoming almost three-dimensional and really tactile and playing with matte and gloss ...


Next direction is definitely geometrics, again nothing new. It's been around for some years, but I think it's a great way to play with colour, form and pattern. Now there's many tiles where the patterns are actually printed onto the tile in large and smaller format, but what I really like is the geometric shapes adding the colours ...


Whilst there's lots to look at in the evolution of products here at the fair the third item that I can really see standing out this year is that blurring of the lines between what is a tile and what is a brick... The tile itself can change in shapes and that's adding lots of texture and a beautiful play on light, but there's also now tiles that are almost standalone pieces fully glazed almost like a sculptural piece, and these are interesting because you can use them as screen walls ...

What's exciting is that the ability for these tiles now through digital printing to almost create any ideas that we have and print them onto tiles to be able to use internally and externally. The really exciting thing of course is that all of the products that we see at CERSAIE is available to ship around the world in a few months’ time. That means that I get to use them with my own design projects and to see how they are interpreted by the Australian market. So, stay tuned...

James Treble has three decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to properties through effective design & styling. James is also an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for plenty of Design information. Most of James' knowledge is also accessible via Practical Design Online Course.


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