Cersaie shows the shapes of things to come, part I

The ColorVoyant Watch

Welcome to The ColorVoyant® Watch!

Cersaie is the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings, held annually in Bologna, Italy. 2015’s exhibition attracted over 100,000 trade professionals from 150 countries. Bologna Design Week made a positive debut, attracting a stream of visitors to various city locations. www.cersaie.it/en


Although I had heard about Cersaie over the past 20 years, this was my first visit to the show. I have to say that I felt like a designer kid in a surface design candy store! For this blog posting, I decided that I couldn’t show all of the 1,500 photographs that I took in two days, so I’ve highlighted ten interesting design concept and texture directions. I will show seven of them in this blog report: Marble/Slab, Brick, Weathered wood, Parquet, Herringbone, Hexagonal and Mosaic.

Carrera Marble has been on the design forefront, as highlighted in my Milan reviews over the last three years. It seems to have hit a tidal wave of acceptance and is being translated in large slab format via digital printing.



Open by 41zero42 (top) covers the wall and the floor with a linear interpretation of this basic, and elegance texture (bottom), while large slabs cover interiors with minimal installation coverage from Ariostea. www.41zero42.com/en/, www.ariostea-high-tech.com

Brick has been considered a basic architectural and structural shape…and I was pleased to see how much of this module is coming into decorative design.



Herringbone layouts are a natural from Mainzu (top), as are subway tile effects as shown from Bärwolf (bottom). www.mainzu.com, www.baerwolf.de/engl

Weathered textures have become mainstream and we continue to note the application of how wood graining with color and washes are interpreted. This is the newest of the weathered trend, as walls, furniture and floors continue to reflect relaxed and “re-purposed” lifestyles.



Bien, wood look in ceramic and porcelain (top). Mariani’s digitally printed wood wall covering by Essenza (bottom). www.bienseramik.com.tr/en

Parquet is a term originating from forming inlaid piece of wood into a decorative pattern. Here are three translations of the modern parquet that is being shown in ceramic/porcelain wood looks.




Tonino Lamborghini (top), Cermed (middle) and CP Parquet (bottom).
www.gsluxurygroup.com/lamborghini-tiles, www.cermed.it, www.cpparquet.com

Herringbone looks are reinterpreted for a modern twist for interior applications. More and more magazines are showcasing herringbone looks on, not only floors but also on walls, furniture, accessories and even in lighting. This has become a pervasive design trend worldwide.




Natucer Painterly wood effects mixed with the trending brick accent shapes (top). Patricia Urquiola for Listone Giordane. A fabulous new herringbone module that creates an artful installation (middle). Candia Valpanaro displays a play of hybrid textures and color contrast for surface interest on the floor (bottom). www.listonegiordano.com/en, www.candiavalpanaro.it/en

Everywhere you look, nature’s hexagonal shape has taken over the visual world. This shape, by far, was the strongest direction at Cersaie, followed closely by herringbone. Endless design treatments are applied to each tile, coupled with innovative interior installations to make this shape fun and easy to use, no matter the scale, texture and color.



Tonino Lamborghini animates through parquet looks and colorful expressions in hexagons. www.gsluxurygroup.com/lamborghini-tiles


3Form basic shape becomes a new look by introducing the new green direction that is gaining momentum and with pattern and dimensionally embossed surfaces.


Ragno shows off their animated floor and wall installations…showing hexagonal that is not limited to a horizontal surface. www.ragno.co.uk

When you think that the square shape couldn’t get any smaller, Nendo creates the “micro mosaic” for Brix. Some may call it a “micro-chip” tile, but the decorative world chooses to pay homage to the mosaic pattern options that this trend warrants. Mosaics tell a decorative story that is provocative and one of beauty, as shown in a geometric study of square shapes from Cotto Etrusco and watery floral colors from DG Mosaic.


Nendo for Brix, www.brixweb.com/en


Cotto Etrusco, www.cottoetrusco.it/en


DG Mosaic, www.dgmosaic.it/home


Final Words

In my next blog report, I will review three more design directions from Cersaie, Bologna: Decorative, Alternative shapes and Color. It will also be my last The ColorVoyant Watch report for Tikkurila, so stay color tuned one more time!




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