In the Spring I had the pleasure of being invited to the tile empire of Domus in South West London, for a very inspirational talk on ‘Emerging Tile Trends’. I felt the talk was extremely relevant for us in our day-to-day designing life but also because we have designed tiles in the past for Artesia and we hope the opportunity will arise again.
With London Design Week just passed I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the tile design trends that were shown at Domus and how they can be used when designing.
A few trends really stood out to me and with most of them they’re very easy to interlink between two or maybe even three trends. The first one that is a growing high fashion trend throughout the design industry is, Coloured Grouting. This is a very on trend look at the moment within the design world and if you haven’t seen it then I’m not sure where you’ve been for the past year, as it is everywhere. It’s a very easy trend to follow, as most of the time it is used with relatively cheap metro tiles, however the grouting is the hard part. You want the colours of the grouting and the tiles to contrast but not so much that they hurt your eyes. It is a seamless contemporary look that starts to create a pattern, highlighting the shape of the tiles. You can also mix this trend with many other trends that I’m going to speak about, one being, The Grid. The two trends come hand in hand and inspiration can be found in Jean Pierre Raynard’s ‘La Maison’. The grid is achieved by using square tiles with dark coloured grouting to exaggerate the tiles shape. This is not a subtle nor organic trend and some may say it get’s it’s reference from graph paper.
Rich Colours is a relatively new trend within the tile world. We as a whole have started to become more open to eclectic design than we used to be and we’ve also starting to see terracotta in a more contemporary setting. Rich hues of green, blues and reds are used with very little white. This trend can be used in conjunction with the trend Handmade Aesthetic, which is a resurgence of the craft in general. Where we are surrounded by technology and it is pretty hard not to look at a screen at least once a day, handmade aesthetic is a contrast to our technology driven lives and is going back to something more natural. It is craving the opposite. The tiles are very tactile and hand drawn. You can sometimes see the mark of the maker and edges are sometimes uneven. The tiles are not mass-produced and are starting to be produced in small patches. They have a unique and individual feel. Which is something that is brought into the trend Rustic, this trend is very similar to Handmade Aesthetic. The difference being the tiles aren’t so brightly coloured and they have a more plan and simple look. The materials used are rawer and with uneven surfaces, they are stripped back and look great in a Mediterranean inspired home.
The last trend I am going to speak about is XXL Format. This is a contrast to the trend Handmade Aesthetic, as with this trend technology is very much a vital part of the design. Tiles are starting to get bigger and bigger, people are wanting to use marble but with the finance of the world not looking so great at the moment and people more environmentally friendly, people aren’t wanting to pay high costs for marble tiles. So cheaper replicas of slabs of marble and other materials have started to become popular and they are a less expensive, more accessible and affordable option for people when designing their homes. They have good environmental credentials and less of a carbon footprint. The tiles can be designed around a home to give it an impressive appearance with different shapes being easier to make due to the use of technology in the industry.