An often underrated way to style a room with is the flooring, which often ends up as a simple hardwood or tile design. While adding neutral tones to floors can allow other statement pieces in a room to pop, sometimes a bold flooring can be just what the space needs.
With that, here are some tips and tricks to designing a room around a bold floor or rug:
Photo courtesy of Lithos Design
Photo courtesy of Chaplins Furniture
1. Matching Colors
When wanting to design a room with a statement piece, it’s always important to choose the piece that will pop before designing anything else. This way, you’ll know the colors and fabrics involved with the statement piece, and can design around that. In terms of flooring, a bold rug can make or break a room. Choosing the bold rug before anything else can ensure whatever you choose for the rest of the room will complement it.
With this space, the bold rug has two main colors, with gold being its secondary color. Instead of choosing another blue for the chairs, the designer chose to use the rug’s secondary color. This way, the blue rug still adds a pop, rather than being one of pieces with a similar color in the room. By using one of the more minor colors on the floor, there is still a wide variety of hues to have a creative and comfortable style.
Photo courtesy of RugSociety
Photo courtesy of WOW Design
2. Sleek and Airy
By allowing the bold floor pattern to be the centerpiece of the room, the designer creates a light and airy atmosphere. Instead of cluttering the room with more designs and colors, the simple designs allow for the bold floor to stand out. The minimalist look along with various plants adds a sleek and refined style to the room while also adding just enough color to keep it vibrant.
The chevron floor interlocking tile and hardwood floors adds a one-of-a-kind design for the individual to enjoy. With the only other colors in the room being a hint of black and green, the minimalist design keeps the style interesting while also comforting in its simplicity. Keep this design in mind if you’re looking for a minimalist style with an added statement piece.
3. Eclectic Style
Don’t be afraid of flooring that gets colorful and different. When styled correctly, this can be the selling-point of the home. Its uniqueness never fails to impress those who are looking for something different yet clean and airy.
While this tile may look busy and complicated close up, take a step back and see the beauty it adds to the home. The mid-century modern design adds a flair unlike any other, while also staying sleek and refined.
Photo courtesy of Lithos Design
We examine five of the latest trends in high-end tiles as showcased recently at the Italian international tile trade fair.
By Katherine Salant
About 10 years ago, the Italian ceramic tile industry took off in an entirely new direction and began to produce tiles that previous generations of tile makers had thought impossible. The new tiles mimicked natural stones like marble so realistically, even experts couldn’t tell the difference until they got up close. This aesthetic leap was almost entirely due to the ingenuity of Italian engineers, who adapted digital technology to tile making machinery.
The obvious next step was replicating other natural materials like wood, and here the illusion was heightened by making tiles the same size as individual wood floor planks and adding texture with wood grain and mineral marks. The tiles also got bigger. Today, 12-by-24-inch and 30-by-30-inch tiles are the norm and ones as large as 5-by-11 feet, with a thickness of only a quarter inch are available.
With all these decorating possibilities, European households began to use tile in all their living spaces, not just the wet areas like the kitchen and baths, a move that is slowly catching on in the U.S. Where is the Italian tile industry today? These trends were spotted at this year’s CERSAIE, a huge international tile trade fair held annually in Bologna.
The color spectrum.
Two years ago beige and bone, neutral tones that influenced home decorating schemes worldwide for decades, had seemingly been banned from the color pantheon forever and gray was in ascendance. But judging by the exhibits at CERSAIE, beige and bone are coming back. Nearly every exhibitor had something in these colors.
Tiles that look like natural stone and wood are still big sellers, but tile designers are moving on and finding inspiration in completely unexpected places.
Perhaps the most surprising was a nostalgic dive into 1970s American pop culture, sitcoms and Happy Days, once a very popular TV show in Italy as well as in the U.S. Ceramic Vietrese’s Happy Days Collection of 8-by-8-inch, multicolored geometric motifs is based on furnishings in the Cunningham’s house.
Marca Corona 1741’s Bleecker collection celebrates oriented strand board. A staple of residential construction in the U.S. for decades — here it is commonly called OSB — the 4-by-8-foot, plywood-sized sheets are made with waste wood chips and resin. Used for framing, OSB is covered over with finish flooring, siding, and roofing and completely hidden once construction is complete. Few Americans would single it out as worthy of note, but in Europe where OSB is relatively new, it is celebrated for its recycled content, explained Angelica Dallari, a sales manager with Marca Corona 1741. The tile version is available in a variety of sizes including 4-by-8 feet, and offered in six colors, including sage and red maple. As an interior finish, Bleecker achieves a surprising degree of elegance.
The double take.
Many offerings not only had unusual sources, they also elicited a double take, inviting a viewer to stop for a longer look.
Piemme’s Tartan in its Incipit Collection, designed in collaboration with Valentino Home, includes 12-by-24-inch tiles with a Scottish tartan pattern in colors that would make a Scotsman blush — shades of white, silver, bone and taupe.
Sometimes the double take is slow in coming. At first glance, Kale Italia’s Nami from its Mirai Collection appears to be ordinary black floor boards. But look closer and you see that the edges of the planks are not squared off, they’re wavy (an effect exaggerated in the image at bottom left) with white grout lines that add a cartoonish effect. As explained by Kale Italia’s Project Manager Massimo Ferri, floor boards with wavy edges are common in rural Scandinavia where wood floor planks are cut from tree sections without further squaring. Instead, the planks are rounded off just enough to fit together. The choice of black adds a bit of Asian flair — wood floors in China and Japan are typically this color.
“Happy Days” Collection from Ceramica Vietrese
Photo courtesy Ceramica Vietrese
Bleecker Collection from Marca Corona 1741
Photo courtesy Marca Corona 1741
“Nami” from Kale Italia’s Mirai Collection
Photo courtesy Kale Italia
Mattia Chini’s Large Format Tile for Pecchioli Firenze
Below photo courtesy Pecchioli Firenze
Ambience and playfulness.
Going beyond mere appearance, many designers seek to create a mood that is often playful. The best example was Piemme’s Fragments Resin Cloud series, created by Pierre Charpin, a French designer known for his imaginative furniture, glassware, lamps, and housewares.
Charpin’s completely unexpected results reveal a light touch. For his tan and bone colored Resin Tan Décor Oblong tiles he created irregular, potato-sized clouds that appear to be marching, sheep-like, in curved and straight formations across a plain background on 24-by-24-inch tiles. The clouds can be darker on a lighter ground or vice verse.
For his Resin Cloud Form tiles of similar size, Charpin’s clouds have varying earth-toned colors and irregular shapes, as if they were cut by hand with scissors. These clouds appear to be floating on a blue gray or charcoal background. The most unusual detail here — when you look closely at the seemingly weightless clouds, you see that they are actually textured stones.
When five of FAP’s 20-by-43-inch Caleido tiles from its Roma Diamond collection are aligned to create a mural that is 100 inches tall, the overall image is striking, with an astonishing degree of visual movement. Pyramidal and rhomboid-shaped objects appear to be projecting forward as they tumble down the wall.
Museum goers and art history buffs will immediately connect this optical illusion and its earth-toned palette to Cubism, a seminal movement in the history of abstract art that was invented by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque at the beginning of the 20th century. These astute observers would be correct — early Cubism was the inspiration for Caleido’s tile designers, explained FAP’s marketing director Norberto Marzani in an email communication.
Mattia Chini’s large-format tiles (1-by-3 meters) for his family’s Pecchioli firm are equally abstract, but completely different in style and ambience and look like paintings with large areas of soft-edged color. In a telephone interview, Chini said he looks for inspiration in nature and not the work of any particular artist, but many viewers will be reminded of Jackson Pollack’s drip paintings and Monet’s Water Lily Series.
In describing how he achieves his unique look, Chini said he uses the old traditional methods for which his firm is known — powdered glazes applied by hand-sifting them through a screen from above, one color at a time. His method, honed over more than 20 years, gives the colors both a texture and a layered look. Once created, Chini’s tiles do not become a master copy that is mass-produced. Each one is unique.
When you see one of his pieces, you realize that you’re no longer shopping for tiles. You’ve entered the world of art.
FAP’s Caleido Tiles, Roma Diamond Collection
Photo courtesy FAP Ceramiche
The design aesthetic of wood is timeless, yet it lacks durability and longevity, especially near water or in high-traffic areas. This new collection replicates the look of wood, while offering the maintenance-free durability and versatility of porcelain.
“Porcelain is trending at the forefront of the home décor industry since it has the ability to mimic other materials,” said Jared Becker, Walker Zanger’s vice president of Design and Marketing. “By using our porcelain Grain tile, designers and homeowners can bring the wood aesthetic into their high-end remodels with a luxurious and durable touch.”
Made in Spain with the latest innovations in digital glazing technology, this collection utilizes a subtle variation in four wood tones per color, as well as natural grain and texture, to create the look and feel of real finished wood.
In addition to capturing contemporary European style with clean lines and natural wood grains, the collection also offers an anti-slip option for outdoor use.
“The anti-slip finish makes it an exciting new choice for outdoor use, especially used poolside,” said Becker. “It’s a combination of form and function that has always been desired for safety purposes.”
Hastings Tile & Bath adds 3 exclusive designs from Ceramica Bardelli to their New York showroom.
“We’ve had a relationship with the Ceramica Bardelli company for years, since the 1970s,” said Kevin Mashia, director of tile products at Hastings Tile & Bath. “We appreciate their ability to stand apart from other tile manufacturers by collaborating with world renowned designers like Fornasetti, Wanders and Dawson. They’ve done more to elevate design in tiles than almost any other brand and we are all so pleased to be introducing these collections to our customers.”
Designers worldwide are familiar with one of their most classic collaborators: Piero Fornasetti, whose Machinne Volanti series is again being offered exclusively through Hastings Tile & Bath’s showroom. However, Hasting is unveiling three new collections, comprised of two new designs by Marcel Wanders and one from Robert Dawson.
SOFIA and EVE
Wanders’ two collections, SOFIA and EVE, are each a collection of interior floor and wall, rectified, hand-painted porcelain tiles. SOFIA is available in five color varieties with a matte finish. The designs are created with a laser-engraved silicone roller press, ensuring that no two tiles are exactly alike. The EVE collection is produced using double firing techniques and hand painting on a matte background. The decorations are available in five color variations and as a solid color.
Robert Dawson designed the third collection, the ARIANNA ORO. The ARIANNA ORO includes a collection of double-fired wall tiles including 12 mixed patterns and four single patterns made with a precious pure gold silkscreen print on a background of matte white, glossy white or glossy black. All the patterns can be freely rotated and randomly combined, or arranged on the basis of an intentional sequence, permitting countless different laying solutions.
Hastings also introduced the TANGRAM collection, which was designed by Atelier Bardelli, a designer for Ceramica Bardelli. The Atelier brand represents the vast wealth of culture, knowledge and manufacturing expertise of Ceramica Bardelli. The collection involves the random mixing and matching of geometric shapes that unexpectedly slash and punctuate the space.
All of these collections and more can be seen at the Hastings Tile & Bath showroom in the A&D building in New York City.
Photos courtesy of Hastings Tile & Bath