From the intense Persia green to the pastel tones like peach, sage, avion blue, all the way to powdery ochre and lapis. The world of ceramics is a surprising place of colors, arrayed in powerful stripes and the iridescence of the finest marble, mutable metallic effects, glamorous contemporary palettes, playing with glossy or satin finishes. New items that are different in their inspirations, but share the common denominator of sustainability and circularity.
Pastel tones, frescos and the digital jungle
Among the new offerings on view at Cersaie, the fair of ceramic tiles for architecture and bath furnishings, in Bologna from 27 September to 1 October, there are facings as works of art with which to personalize interiors and outdoor zones, floors, walls and furnishings. Ceramic collections to create true settings, like the Affrescati line by Ceramiche Refin, an evocative, eclectic interpretation of the history and beauty of Italian frescos, through tactile surfaces, slight ripples, signs of trowel work and chromatic layering that reaches its decorative apex in the starry sky of the Giotto tile. Ceramiche Keope pays tribute to the delicacy of pastel tones, presenting five new hues with Elements Design Paint: Avio, Sage, Peach, Powder and Cotto, desaturated, earthy tones that permit the creation of contemporary spaces of dreamy charm. Bath fixtures also take on chromatic virtues, like the Spire washstands by Elena Salmistraro for Flaminia, a collection of countertop units in one or two colors, with the soft, sinuous forms of nature, like a seashell. Colors light up walls, on the other hand, thanks to high-definition patterns and daring motifs, as in the Digital Jungle wallpaper line by Massimo Iosa Ghini for Tecnografica, a reinterpretation of tropical greenery made with vector graphics.
Concrete, composites and metals
New trends for inspiration include concrete effects, composites and metals: with Lea Ceramiche, Ferruccio Laviani presents the Masterpiece collection, a new ceramic alphabet based on the combination and separation of two tactile surfaces, concrete and seminato: “Masterpiece is a perfect balance of two elements: Master, with a uniform color and material, which with the addition of homogenous aggregate becomes Piece, a terrazzo with a subtle, discreet pattern, interpreted in a range of nuances,” the designer says. Panaria Ceramica, on the other hand, presents Blade, a second skin with a metallic effect, clearly visible in the color Rust, with warm tones for a vintage look. This is a collection that combines decorative impact with safety: Blade is part of the Protect line of antibacterial porcelain stoneware facings and floors that eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria.
Even more realistic wood and marble effects
Tiles that reproduce the knotty natural grain of wood are back, with even more realistic results: like Roots by Fap ceramiche, a porcelain stoneware oak revitalized in terms of color, with attention to micro-details that narrate the true spirit of the material. Research also continues in the area of natural stone: Marazzi offers the Mystone Travertino stoneware with precisely reproduced details and imperfections, thanks to Sublime Sync digital printing, to ensure an interlock between pattern and structure; the elegance of Verde Alpi, an Italian marble quarried above all in Valle d’Aosta, has been reinterpreted by Laminam in a wide range of tones of green, while the intense Sahara Noir Extra has been reworked by Laminam in a version that brings out the painterly qualities of this typical black marble quarried in Tunisia. With Incanto, Ragno reinterprets 13 types of multicolored marble in porcelain stoneware, with a wide range of formats that are ideal to renew residential and commercial spaces, thanks to the lightness of the tiles. Lapitec moves forward with its research on sintered stone with Musa, in the colors Bianco Atena, Bianco Giulia and Bianco Venere, joining the existing nuances Bianco Vittoria, Bianco Elettra and Bianco Aurora; three variations of the thickness of the grain are available, with a heterogeneous pattern enhanced by the contrast of gray tones on a white base.
Major projects and dreamy installations
Ceramics are versatile, offering high performance, to become allies of architects, chosen for major projects as a second skin for façades, ready to personalize interiors, including worktops in the kitchen. Infinite applications can be seen at Cersaie thanks to the presence of Aran Cucine, a brand that is an ambassador of Made in Italy, with contract projects and private clients all over the world. “We often forget that ceramics are so versatile as to go beyond their traditional use for floors and facings,” says Ana Milena Hernández, founder and director of the design studio Masquespacio, which attracted attention at the fair in Bologna with the installation Infinite Majesty for Roca Tile, an immersive, dreamy pathway inspired by the Greek-Roman classical world, with spheres, cylinders, cones, cubes and prisms that blend in multicolored columns around the central space.
Sustainability and circularity
The shared feature of all the new offerings is sustainability, translating into projects, products and materials with low environmental impact. Examples include Ecos by Itlas, the latest creation of the Cordignano-based company, which puts the accent on the circular economy, using secondary materials to make wood surfaces, floors and walls; the approach reduces manufacturing scrap to a minimum, which is then recycled in turn to give new life to parts of the material that would otherwise be lost. Porcelanosa, in the decorative Wave panels of the Fitwall (Krion) range, uses recycled PET, minerals and resin. A virtuous circuit that is good for both the home and the environment.