We asked Tina and Diana Di Lorenzo to take us on a journey to share their 2017 buying trip with us, I have been holding off publishing this article in the hope that most of the products will be available in Australia by the time you get to read it. Enjoy these totally hot collections and insights!
Below - We like to start our tile sourcing trip with a quick stop in Rome. So much history, beauty and life style, it does get us excited about the week to come in Bologna! The Spanish Steps are one of our favourite places to sit and watch the world go by!
Below - This year we were also lucky to spend a day with our friends in business from around Australia. We met for lunch at Monteverdi in Tuscany – a beautiful boutique hotel which boasts a collection of restored Medieval Villas, and not to mention the best food you could possibly eat! And that view!
Next Stop – Bologna. Cersaie 2016 was hosted by 852 exhibitors from 43 different countries, which covered a floor area of 156,000m2! Hence the need for comfortable shoes (see pic below – matching shoes were not a pre-requisite !) Displaying the latest new designs in Tiles and Bath ware, this year over 106,000 people visited Cersaie to see what would be released
We did feel that this year a lot more sellable tiles were released – fewer crazy designs than in previous years, and definitely less timber inspired porcelain. We loved seeing a touch of metal in porcelain, marble tiles continued to look their best in an extra-large format, and often glossy finish, and the collaboration of bold patterns and rich colours added a nice touch to decorative tiles. Finally we must mention the vast range of concrete inspired porcelain.. more than last year and definitely better in design. Whether it was inspired by coarse aggregate looking concrete, or a raw, refined terrazzo inspired concrete, we loved the options out there!
What we saw and loved – We love a patterned tile! Combining a rich and bold & old world pattern made them interesting and quite fitting for our market. Geometric patterns were on trend too and most manufacturers had versions of this on display. Metallic was also featured in patterned tiles
Below - We saw lots of decoration combined with gold and silver metal finishes. Bold prints, added a nice touch to the usual standard hexagon shape! Texture and tonal looks were also prominent. Patterns and shapes such as herringbone, fan and hexagons all emphasised their focus on art deco
Below - There was definitely a trend towards Raw, natural looking product in earth colours.. concrete look, and terrazzo featured nicely. It was refreshing to see timber inspired porcelain in smaller formats too
Soft pastels were prominent as were mints, blues, nudes and greens. Denim blue was seen throughout the fair too
Alternatives to our usual subways (image18) were refreshing – these used beautiful colours, in rich glazes.
Below Innovative design – Slim tiles (6mm) were used to produce large format decorative designs, ranging in sizes up to 3000×1000
Below - Many suppliers have perfected replicas of traditional stones such as calacatta, carrara and nero marquina in large scale porcelain slabs. In past fairs we have seen these large format tiles used for kitchen benches and cladding, however we are now seeing manufacturers experimenting with residential furniture such as dining tables, bedroom furniture and TV units.
Below – We loved this real concrete in tile format. These pieces are made in moulds, and set into 500×1000 formats. The size is fabulous, and the patterns of the real concrete are just beautiful. We love the potential of this collection – raw concrete pieces in their natural format.
Below – Bologna is a beautiful, lively city, well known for its legendary cuisine. It’s a great place for a tile fair, and we love spending time in this great part of the world!