By kristin


I love going to trade shows because I always return full of inspiration and Cersaie – the annual ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings tradeshow in Italy – was no exception. With over 1,000 exhibitors from 34 countries, it’s the world’s largest launching pad for the latest tile designs and with names like Patricia Urquiola, Massimiliano Adami and Rodolfo Dordoni attached to new collections, it’s also an emerging powerhouse in the design industry.

Adding to its international appeal, speakers this year included Cameron Sinclair, Alessandro Mendini, Kengo Kuma and Kazuyo Sejima of the Pritzker prize-winning architecture firm, SANAA. Among the thousands of products on display, some of the overarching tile trends we notched were:

  • Dusty colors – lots of grey blue, lavender and ivory
  • Mixed materials – ceramic tiles that look like cement impressed with wood or a mixture of alabaster and marble
  • “Barely there” – subtle texture and monochromatic patterns
  • Imperfection – irregular shapes playing with the organic nature of ceramic
  • Reinventing terracotta – taking traditional terra-cotta colors and blowing out the format of the tile
  • Bold floral graphics
  • Increasing use of thin formats and recycled content


Bird's eye view of Bologna and its terracotta buildings


A dusty color palette from Lea's "Kensington" line

Luxurious leopard prints from Ricchetti's new tile collaboration with Roberto Cavalli

Beautifully bold and blue hand painted ceramic tiles from Cevi

Antiche Fornaci D'Agostino's chili pepper booth

Ronan Bouroullec explaining the concept behind "Pico" for Mutina

Massimo Adami standing beside his "Beside" collection for Refin

Fast talking hands: Patricia Urquiola in the Mutina booth

The next edition of Cersaie will take place September 25-29, 2012.


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