What an amazing week exploring Cersaie 2017 in Bologna, Italy!
LFID was part of a delegation made up of 50 individuals, including architects, designers, and journalists. Our firms spanned North America from Vancouver to Texas, San Francisco to Baltimore, and Montreal to Miami. As a group, we were led on a curated tour through the show which highlighted the newest products and trends in the tile and bath industries.
My group for the week! Almost all Canadians, and the loveliest
of people. From left to right: Kelly, Sarah, Richard, Mary Eve,
Robert, Laura, me, Sayid
A few trends carried across many of the manufacturers, including wood look tile, marble look tile, and the ever popular concrete and oxidized metal looks. While I love these styles and utilize them often in projects, they became quite repetative by the third or fourth booth, so we greatly appreciated the manufacturers who highlighted fresh products.
As for trends, we saw a lot of terrazzo coming back on the scene, along with newer fabric/linen textures as well. Another big trend at the show was the use of oversized 12 mm tile for counter and tabletops - a new competitor for both quartz and natural stone in the countertop industry. Not so new, but among almost every manufacturer, were large format wall and floor tiles, with the largest being around 10'x5'.
Aside from new trends and product, the most intriguing aspect of the show was the design of each manufacturer's booth. Some brands had a simple setup to display their product, similar to your average showroom. Others, however, were incredibly creative and interactive in their presentations. We saw booths outfitted with fully functioning cafes, espresso machines, built-in furniture, and beautiful furniture vignettes. Others were presented as interactive art exhibits, with their various products highlighted in unique and unexpected ways.
Sant' Agostino who featured matte, geometric tiles, many with new interpretations of classic patterns. The booth was set up in a museum-like fashion, with tile vignettes presented as featured art. Special lighting was used to emphasize the product, and built-in areas were included for attendees to sit and rest around custom, tile-topped tables.
ABK had a unique product inspired by coloring books, which could be used as tabletops or wall coverings, and would work wonderfully in a children's room or play area.
Of the spaces we visited, Ceramiche Piemme had one of the most interesting booth design. The center area was set up as a cafe with round, built-in seating around the central serving area. A beautiful geometric partition made from MDF surrounded the cafe, separating it from four different areas where they highlighted new product. Ceramiche Piemme utilized particle board as the backdrop for their product, which was an interesting juxtaposition against the beautiful, luxury tile.
41 Zero 42, a smaller manufacturer, had a line of bright, modern, and colorful tile. Though the booth was small, their setup had a strong visual impact, and I can surely see Grand Rapids designers getting excited about incorporating this line into their projects.
The show was incredibly informative and inspiring, but of course, a trip to Italy wouldn't be complete without a day to roam about its cities. On our final day, a group of us took a train to Venice. We spent the day winding through the city's teeny, tiny streets, sipping cappuccinos, viewing the mind-boggling architecture, and just overall enjoying our final day in such an incredible country with new friends. Here are just a few shots to give you a taste: