This ain’t imitation marble. At last month’s Cersaie tile show, a revival of Postmodern flourishes caught our attention amidst a sea of stone and wood finishes. From big floral patterns to playful geometries and unapologetically synthetic colours, many of the most eye-catching designs flirt with melodrama while retaining an elegant look. We look at five PoMo-inspired standouts that stole the show.
The ceramic tile world is still awash with imitations of nature, but ABK is taking inspiration from art. With bold solid colours – on-trend mustard is a mainstay – and geometric patterns, the Art Shapes collection evokes Memphis aesthetics with a streamlined, contemporary flair. The digitally printed collections make a statement, but one that doesn’t totally overwhelm a space.
When we anointed startup 41zero42 as the “newest cool kids” of the tile world after the 2017 edition of Cersaie, the young company’s reinventions of modernist designs immediately captured global attention. Two years later, a palpable evolution towards more daring aesthetics permeates the firm’s output. Described by the designers as “contemporary frescoes,” the Paper41 Lux collection is a strikingly expressive case in point. From a floral pattern that appears to emerge from behind a white mist to a large-format tile series that depicts whole ming vases, things are getting more weird – and wonderful.
It’s not called “FUN” for nothing. The new collection by Ceramica Sant’Agostino pairs intricate 1970s-reminiscent patterns with bold colours to create eye-catching flower power tiles. Elaborate and slightly baroque, the intricate patterns are paired with a palette of solid pastel tones that underline a surprisingly tasteful sense of psychedelia.
Inspired by late-19th-century Tiffany glass, the “Tiffy” collection by Sicis is a sort of unbuttoned complement to its namesake. Backlit to emit a soft glow, the wall panels – made with opalescent glass inserts – immediately draw the eye. Cladding the floor, the Tiffy ceramic tiles are slightly more subtle, with intricate shifting patterns lending the the historically inspired collection a decidedly contemporary look.
Even from a few feet away, it’s hard to believe this is tile. In fact, you just about have to touch it to be convinced it’s not floral wallpaper. While imitations of natural materials are de rigeur in ceramics, Florim instead looks to your great aunt’s living room for inspiration. Against a pastel backdrop, clusters of delicate bouquets spill out across the floor-to-ceiling slabs. It’s a surprisingly versatile design that suits a variety of residential contexts – especially the bathroom.
Debuted at Bologna’s Cersaie tile show, these bold new designs offer a welcome counterpoint to natural imitations.