At Cersaie 2014, the happy medium between the staid safety of woodgrain, marble, or stone in various shades of greige and the bold statement of tiling your bathroom as a comic strip are the geometric patterns that are starting to emerge. Throughout the fair, manufacturers layered clean-cut graphics on top of hexagon-cut tiles for infinitely customizable layouts for the wall or floor. Together they can be loud; in subtler spaces, they act as accent pieces when interspersed among solid-colored tiles; and with a simple turn of a tile, you can completely reorient the patterns they create.
The beauty of this tangram-mix-and-match effect is that it’s strikingly modern without being overt. We’ve got our favorites below.
A design by Jaime Hayon
Clockwise, from top left: On/Off Teal, Switch Teal, Half Teal, and Wire Teal by Paola Navone; Lunas Mar by Jaime Hayon; Plisados Rubi by Jaime Hayon; White Frozen Flower by Marcel Wanders
Designer Jaime Hayon said it best: “A simple flip of the tiles, and entirely new vistas appear before your eyes.” Mosaic manufacturer Bisazza made its foray into cement tiles this Cersaie with a collection of square and hexagonal, 14-millimeter-thick pieces by Hayon and fellow design superstars Paola Navone and Carlo dal Bianco, plus the Bisazza design team. Available in 25 colors, they also feature brilliant graphic patterns that change as they’re reoriented. Dutch designer Marcel Wanders also used the hexagon in his three-dimensional Frozen Garden and Frozen Crystal porcelain wall tiles.
Lea Ceramiche collaborated with HOK Product Design to add the colorful, 3-millimeter Nest collection to its ultra-thin Slimtech line.
Mirage’s Xgone Collection
What the muted colors of Xgone, a collaborative line with Florence-based design studio Deferrari+Modesti, lack in saturation, they make up for in pattern. A selection of striped and dotted variations with mini hexagonal inset tiles allow for completely unique wall or floor compositions.
Geometric Accent Bonus: Ornamenta’s Salepe Collection
Customizable geometry is available in four-sided versions as well. Although Ornamenta’s new Salepepe collection comes in shades of salt and pepper (hence the name), colored grout and accent tile “Custom – Made” options based on hexadecimal HTML codes open its layouts to infinite stylistic possibilities.