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Surface and Taylor Howes report on five emerging trends
Surface, leading retailer of tiles, mosaic and stone, has developed an unrivalled reputation for their dynamic product collections that deliver the very latest in design, technology and materials for tiles.
Working closely with the world’s leading manufacturers and renowned interior design practices, Surface keeps a continual eye on emerging trends and, from their three retail stores in Battersea, Islington and Surrey, influence what tile schemes, colours and textures find their way into some of London’s most exclusive homes.
At Cersaie in Bologna, 25-29th September, Surface invited Taylor Howes on a voyage of discovery to uncover the latest tile trends that will be finding their way into style-conscious interiors in the coming months. At a Breakfast Workshop held at the Surface Battersea store on Wednesday 14th November, Surface managing director, Jon Newey; Karen Howes from Taylor Howes; and Neil Haddon, Surface product director report their findings to an audience of interior designers and industry experts through a series of short presentations. Attendance at the workshop is recognised by BIID (British Institute of Interior Design) with the award of two CPD points.
Five key trends are identified as Timber, Patchwork, Texture & Relief, Subway and Mosaic.
Porcelain representations of wood have been around for several years, but recent improvements in digital printing technology have seen a significant increase in reproduction quality making it difficult to tell some porcelain tiles from wood. Porcelain has many performance advantages over wood, particularly in wet areas such as bathrooms, showers and spa environments; it is waterproof, does not need to be stained, scratch-proof, stiletto-proof and can be used with underfloor heating.
The latest Timber porcelain designs are more sophisticated with sleek ‘yacht-type’ interpretations along with some new trendy treatments. New product launches include ATTIC PLANKS and LISTONE D as particularly sleek examples with interesting grain and laying options, STATALE 9 with its perfectly designed imperfections resembling paint splashes on bare wood and SONAR with its shabby chic feel of sanded floor-boards.
Patchwork is another key trend that fits with the current penchant for vintage; it is ideal for creating ‘rugs’ within neutral floors particularly in warmer climates. Using many different patterns, repeated or jumbled, it is possible to create designs that, although may be sometimes geometric, become fluid and organic. Examples are AZULEJ the latest design by Patricia Urquiola for Mutina, which is a stunning re-interpretation of traditional encaustic flooring (patterned cementitious tiles) but with much higher performance ratings. Further new examples are RETRO and FRAME.
Texture & Relief is a key trend with infinite scope. Porcelain that resembles fabric, ornate Roman inspired decor and abstract undulating shapes. The latest designs are anything but flat and bring the walls and the room to life with movement, depth and light reflection. Different scales, materials and variants of texture are possible across all budget ranges. Existing examples include PHENOMENON with its nature inspired shapes such as the honeycomb and icicle formations from Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka and RAW by Piero Lissoni with a texture which resembles rough-cut pieces of wood. New product launches include CARDBOARD, BELLAGIO and ARDOISE.
The Subway trend represents a shift back to smaller strip style tiles. These can create an industrial look or in modern, organic colours a hand-crafted, luxurious feel. Examples include the artisan CERAMICA tile from Mutina, a natural stone interpretation called DUNE and the newly launched MODS.
Mosaic remains a popular tool kit for designers with its versatile laying options and myriad of rainbow colours. The latest designs, mix materials to create interest and layers of luxury combining stone, mother-of-pearl and mirror. A great example is COSMATI from SICIS.