Cersale is an international exhibition of architectural ceramics and bathroom furnishings held every September in Bologna, Italy. This year, 840 exhibitors, including 452 ceramic tile manufacturers and 181 bathroom furnishings firms, showed off their new designs. More than a third of the exhibitors and nearly half of the 112,104 visitors came from outside Italy.
Much of what was on display at Cersaie carried forward trends we’ve already been talking about. Other innovations — like a new approach to whirlpool bathtubs— are responding to current needs or desires to live in smaller homes, disconnect and unwind, minimize consumption, and maximize personalization. Here are the hottest bathroom solutions for 2019.
Why limit yourself to just one size and shade for your bathroom tiles? Now the imagination can run wild with wall finishes that can be combined in personalized designs. Companies are coming up with collections of tiles in different sizes and finishes. The designs and colors go well with one another and can be mixed and matched, leaving lots of room for designers’ creativity.
2. Stacked Tile Layouts
This year saw further experimentation with tile shape and size, but the classic subway rectangle, in several sizes, is still popular. Now we’re seeing it in a stacked vertical layout.
Once considered just a technical necessity, grout lines today play a leading design role and are purposely enlarged to contrast with the tile color.
Rectangular mosaic tiles are a popular twist. A vertical brick layout is, again, on trend.
3. Asymmetrical Tiles
If you are in the mood for something different and find hexagonal tiles too static or mainstream, asymmetrical hexagonal tiles are a forward-thinking touch.
4. 3D-Effect Tiles
Relief patterns add subtle interest, especially to pure white tiles. At the fair, 3D textures also appeared on marble-effect slabs, such as these Infinity Honey Mirror tiles from Ascot Ceramiche’s Excelsior collection. They enliven the classic finish and give it a more contemporary feel.
Marco Paolelli of Meneghello Paolelli Associati, a design firm that collaborates with a number of companies in the bathroom furnishings industry, also sees a trend toward greater embellishment.
“Having studied the industry for over 10 years and looked around, I find that a need for normality collides with a desire to exaggerate,” Paolelli says. “On the one hand are simple, reassuring pieces with soft lines, and on the other hand [are] innovative collections that are abrasive in some ways and want to go beyond norms and evoke emotions. The material character of the product is experiencing its golden age. Marble ‘in,’ wood ‘out’; decor in all its forms ‘in,’ minimalism ‘out.’”
Natural-material purists may disagree, but there is a good case to be made for artificial stone slabs: resistance to wear and bacteria, relatively easy care and more. These Pietra d’Iseo tiles from Cotto d’Este are an example. The design is an imitation of a stone extracted from quarries near Italy’s Lake Iseo that was widely used in the palaces of Milan and elsewhere in Lombardy.
The tiles, however, are made of Kerlite, a thin, laminated porcelain stoneware that is reinforced with fiberglass. It also incorporates an antimicrobial technology designed to use silver ions to inhibit the metabolic processes of bacteria, preventing their growth. The ions are added to the tiles during firing, so they are permanently active in the product.
Gray, white and marble-effect tiles are still going strong for bathroom wall and floor coverings. But among the colors at the fair, sage green and pastel pink (along with marsala) predominated.
This was true not only for tiles, but also for bathroom fixtures and accessories, such as this green shower tray from the Colors collection by Agha.
7. Black and White
Black-and-white bathrooms are always in. Faucet manufacturers are following this trend by offering sophisticated black (or white) as a standard option instead of an add-on to the chrome versions, for example.
Industrial-style showers have developed to include models with silk-screen-printed glass, such as this Libero 3000 walk-in enclosure from Duka. Despite appearances, it doesn’t have any metal framing, making it lighter and easier to clean.
8. Thin Whirlpool Tubs
The bulky whirlpool bathtub is now fading into history, with new models that fit even into a small bathroom, thanks to innovative solid-surface materials that allow for thinner framing and more compact mechanisms. These tubs are also quieter, a feature that is not to be underestimated in a small space or an open en suite. What with freestanding and built-in tubs in oval and rectangular shapes, there’s a model to suit everyone’s needs.
This new Arga model from Jacuzzi does away with bubbles, replacing the air jets with a trademarked technology designed to generate gentler vortexes that caress the bather’s body. The tub also features a built-in bath-salt diffuser and lights.
9. Rimless Toilets
Focusing on hygiene, new toilet designs included several rimless models — which make it easier to clean the bowl — with quick-release seats. For example, this model in Flaminia’s App line has a seat that can be removed with the touch of a button and a toilet without an internal rim. It’s shown in the new Fango color.
Another model is The One toilet by Artceram, designed by Meneghello Paolelli Associati. The ultrathin seat is hingeless and comes off easily, and the inside is rim-free.
Vessel sinks reign supreme in company catalogs. They can be round, oval or rectangular, featuring either organic lines with finishes reminiscent of tumbled stone or a very thin and squared bowl for a more minimalist look. The sinks come in ceramic or solid surface, and the finish may be white or colored, or may resemble natural stone.
The most important element is a functional shape that reduces splash from the faucet. The support base is also key: A bowl-shaped sink sitting directly on the counter can be difficult to clean around. Solutions like these Lounge sinks, designed for Noken Porcelanosa Bathrooms by Simone Micheli, take this into account with their short pedestals.
What's a "wow!" exterior these days? Think bold, clean lines. Maybe a touch of stone. Graceful porch columns. These new house plans deliver head-turning style and modern open layouts. Sleek Metal Roof This bold design shows the modern side of Prairie style with its sleek and low-pitched metal roof and lots of windows. Double columns draw your eye to the entry porch. Inside, a great room flows into an island kitchen and open dining room for a modern feeling. A two-sided fireplace warms the great room and the rear porch. Upstairs, the master suite shows off a big shower, two sinks, and a walk-in closet. All three bedrooms enjoy easy access to the laundry room and media lounge. Four-Bedroom Farmhouse You’ll find all the modern must-haves inside this chic farmhouse. A large island anchors the kitchen, which overlooks both the great room and open dining area. Step out to the rear porch from these gathering rooms or from the relaxing master suite. Family-friendly
The pandemic has influenced so many areas of our lives these past few months. It’s not surprising that it’s also affecting the design of our homes. Let’s look at some of the biggest home design trends influenced by the pandemic. 5. The waning appeal of open floor plans. A growing complaint with the open floor plan: It’s noisy. As many people transitioned to remote work, a lack of barriers to buffer noise became a real problem. The open floor plan combines the kitchen and living space to form one big, open room. It isn’t exactly the best for privacy or concentration. Add in hardwood flooring, and sounds can really echo. But homeowners aren’t rushing to add walls just yet. Instead, they’re turning to privacy screens to section off areas, or they’re adding in large area rugs or artwork to help absorb noise. If the open floor plan really wanes in popularity, it will become apparent first in new-home construction and then in home remodeling. In new homes, we may start to see more pocket doo
1. Make Your Countertops Deep Enough The biggest mistake I see people make with their laundries is specifying countertops that are too narrow. As a result, their undercounter washing machine and dryer stick out, which makes the laundry look messy and unsightly. I would recommend a minimum countertop depth of 26 inches to ensure that appliances can fit neatly underneath. Monarch & Maker 2. Opt for More Closed Overhead Cupboards and Fewer Open Shelves Most of the items you store in a laundry room, such as cleaning products, are ones that you’d want to conceal rather than leave out on display. As such, it makes sense to have more closed cupboards than open shelves in a laundry. I’d also recommend including plenty of overhead cupboards, as this is generally where you’ll store most items, plus a decent-size tall cabinet to accommodate awkward items such as mops, brooms and the ironing board. To add interest to a laundry design, you may wish to include some open shelving for display —