Textiles usually translate this sense of fearlessness and energy in style, but for interiors, tiles have become the perfect surrogate. And just like wallpaper, their impact is serious. Stretching across walls and floors, tiles continue to be individual design expressions (you could say artworks) that feature relief, dimension, veining, and crazy detail.
And with the swelling of maximalism in home decor, so many of the edgiest introductions at Cersaie, the annual international tile show in Bologna, had us at “wowza” color. Get ready for boisterous patterns—here’s a look at a few standouts.
Go Big or Go Home
A little Art Deco, a little rock and roll, a lot of attitude: Ornamenta debuted large slabs with their new Operae collection. The series looks fetching in tawny reds and blue with white (an unexpected combo that works). The brand wants to enable customization to create bold, modular murals with components and colors of your choosing.
These jazzy geometric tiles in blue and white majolica designed by Gio Ponti in the early 60s look every bit as relevant today. The late architect and father of Italian modernism created the just-under-eight-inch tiles, reproduced by Ceramica Francesco de Maio, for the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento. They are available in five colors and 33 patterns. (The largest retrospective of the architect’s majolica is currently at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs located in the Marsan area of the Louvre until February 10th.)
Tropic of Wonder
And now, on to the living room. The Italian brand Fuoriformato unveiled large (39-by-118-inch) slabs at the show, all designed to match seamlessly during installation. The resulting look resembles wallpaper and creates a striking lifelike tropical backdrop, all enabled by digital printing.
Leading-edge technology has made it easy to mimic most any surface, even precious gems, with all of the requisite veining, mottling, or spotting. The magic sauce at Sicis is Vetrite, a proprietary material that allows the brand, best-known for its mosaics, to capture the nuances of stone and amp it up between giant sheets of glass to create lunar-like landscapes. Gem Glass is the newest with 13 different looks.
And for all the romantics . . . a field of mega-sized pansies from the new Pensée collection designed by Carlo dal Bianco for Bisazza. This Pensée design was inspired by wildflowers and flower beds from French gardens. Its large scale astonishes when you’re up close and realize it’s composed of thousands of teeny mosaics.
What a Relief
Subtle, and almost with the look of traditional tone-on-tone embroidery, these 3-D-glazed porcelain tiles speak a contemporary language that is very tactile. The Dekorami collection, designed by the Turin-based architecture firm Marcante-Testa for Ceramica Vogue, is available in five colors (glossy shown) or three colors in satin. The geometric patterns, inspired by those of ancient Greece, include one that suggests columns.