Category Archives: Surfaces

Tile Trends Spotted at Cevisama 2019


Cevisama, Spain’s international tile fair, has become a key date in the calendar for those tracking global tile trends. Taking place this year from 28th January to 1st February, it attracted around 91,000 professionals from 155 different countries, with 120,000sq m of show space dedicated to 793 companies in total.

Here are 8 key tile trends that we spotted at the show, and a preview of the top tile trends that you’ll see emerging over the next year.

Tile Trend #1: Ageing Beauty

Wabi sabi – the Japanese lifestyle trend of embracing a life less perfect and finding beauty in items as they grow old, was making its presence felt at the show. Tiles mimicking rusting and corroding metal, peeling wallpaper and moss growing on stone were on display – the ageing look was everywhere and testimony to the ever-evolving technology now available to tile manufacturers. Particularly effective were the Forge and Patchwork products on the Saloni stand.

Tile Trend #1 – Wabi sabi, the Japanese lifestyle trend of embracing a life less perfect and finding beauty in items as they grow old, was making its presence felt @cevisama #tiletrends Click To Tweet

Tile Trend #2: Artisanal Appearance

As the current quest for imperfect perfection continues, ceramic tiles convincingly imitating a hand-made look were being showcased on several stands. Vives, Natucer and Peronda’s Harmony brand were among many that were displaying products that sought to recreate an authentic artisanal feel, and give the illusion that each tile is a handcrafted one-off.

Tile Trend #2 – Tiles that seek to recreate an authentic artisanal feel, and give the illusion that each tile is a handcrafted one-off @cevisama #tiletrends Click To Tweet

Tile Trend #3: Marvelous Marble

Last year was all about the large-format approach to marble lookalikes, and there were still plenty of those epic tiles in evidence. However, as tile renditions of marble continue to gain popularity because of their practical benefits compared to the real thing, also making an entrance were fragments of marble and small marble tiles in delicate shapes – an intriguing new take on a traditional look.

Tile Trend #3 – Small marble tiles in delicate shapes – an intriguing new take on a traditional look @cevisama #tiletrends Click To Tweet

Tile Trend #4: Giant Terrazzo

Terrazzo tiles re-entered the style arena at Cevisama 2018, but this year they were getting the maximalist treatment. Terrazzo patterns with great chunks in bold, contrasting colours were making an impact at the show, with Harmony’s Slice tile in Dark Green demonstrating just how dramatic the terrazzo effect can be.

Tile Trend #4 – Terrazzo patterns with great chunks in bold, contrasting colours were making an impact @cevisama this year #tiletrends Click To Tweet

Tile Trend #5: Wood Effect

Wood-effect porcelain tiles were still enjoying the spotlight this year, after a hugely successful outing in 2018. The practical benefits and ease of maintenance of tiles over the real thing make them an attractive alternative in kitchen and bathroom settings, with Grespania’s Rioja wall and floor tiles recreating the aged and worn look particularly effectively.

Tile Trend #5 – Wood-effect porcelain tiles were still enjoying the spotlight this year @cevisama, after a hugely successful outing in 2018 #tiletrends Click To Tweet

Tile Trend #6: Colours and Shapes

A playful approach to colours and shapes was in evidence, particularly on the Harmony stand. One of the brand’s latest collaborations is with design studio Stone Design, who have created the Twinkle collection. By taking a square tile and replacing one corner with a curve, and then placing four tiles with the curve together, the effect is of a twinkling star. The Dash collection in collaboration with Raw Color also plays with pattern in a cool, contemporary way.

Tile Trend # 6 – A playful approach to colours and shapes was in evidence @cevisama #tiletrends Click To Tweet

Tile Trend #7: Thinking Pink

There was more colour in evidence compared to last year’s exhibition, with soft or pastel pink making a surprise entry as one of this year’s hot new shades. It was being used either as a bold accent or colour pop, or as colour blocking in a scheme combined with other tiles, as on the Vives stand, with its Hanami Rosa range.

Tile Trend #7 – Soft or pastel pinks made a surprise entry as one of this year’s hot new shades for tiles @cevisama #tiletrends Click To Tweet

Tile Trend #8: Making a Point

The hexagon, which garnered a huge following in 2018, was still making an appearance on most stands but there were other elements starting to creep in too, in particular the angular, pointed shapes of the triangle and the diamond. Natucer devoted substantial stand space to demonstrating the surprising number of effects that can be achieved by placing the simple triangle shape in different laying patterns.

Tile Trend #8 – Triangle and diamond shapes take over from the hexagon at Cevisama 2019 @Cevisama #tiletrends Click To Tweet
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Influencer Interview – Richard Bradbury, Managing Director, Hard Surfaces trade show


Hard Surfaces is a new trade show for 2019.  Co-locating with the Natural Stone Show on 30 April, this show highlights the latest products and trends in the rapidly developing field of hard surfaces. 

Trend-Monitor talks to Richard Bradbury, Managing Director of QMJ Group the show organisers, about the reasons behind the decision to launch a new trade show.

Interview by Emma Hedges

TM. Tell us about the changes in the market that have led to the launch of the new show.

RB. Many sectors of the stone supply industry no longer supply natural stone only. It started with engineered quartz – Silestone, Caesarstone, Radianz – that the granite kitchen worktop suppliers added to their palette, albeit reluctantly at first but later with enthusiasm as it grew the market for them.

Quartz is cut and worked on the same CNC saws and work centres as granite worktops. Once their initial reluctance had been overcome, many found the move into other products easier and the same stone companies now encompass glass products and the new ultracompact surfaces, such as Dekton, Lapitec, and Neolith.

Others have encompassed porcelain products, which now come in large-format sheets. Some have also taken on board products such as Corian and Hi-Macs, although these are used in different ways and are often thermoformed. When they bought thermoforming equipment they found quartz can also be bent in this way.

Although hard statistics are not available, market sources are clear that quartz alone has at least doubled the kitchen worktop market for companies that were originally granite worktop processors.

Market sources are clear that quartz alone has at least doubled the kitchen worktop market for companies that were originally granite worktop processors - Richard Bradbury, MD QMJ Group, organisers of the Hard Surfaces trade show… Click To Tweet

TM. How has technology influenced the surfaces landscape?

RB.The expansion of the range of products used has grown the market, with hard surfaces taking – and continuing to take – market share from laminates in the worktop sector, where laminates still account for about 80% of installations, so plenty to go for.

TM. When it comes to kitchen and bathroom design, what are the key emerging trends?

RB. Quartz is the big mover, although ultra-dense surfaces and porcelains are growing. People like the look of white marbles in their kitchens and bathrooms but, in kitchens in particular, marbles present problems because they are relatively soft and, being essentially calcium carbonate (limestone), react with acids. There are a lot of acids in food and they can stain and etch marble unless it is well protected. Man-made products overcome this problem.

There is also the growing trend for industrial chic – the look of metal, concrete, and wood that has spent the past century in a factory. The real materials could present hygiene and processing problems. Man-made quartz or ultra-dense products achieve that look without the problems.

There is the growing trend for industrial chic – the look of metal, concrete, and wood that has spent the past century in a factory - Richard Bradbury, MD QMJ Group, organisers of the Hard Surfaces trade show @hardsurfacesuk Click To Tweet

TM. Are there any wider social trends that are influencing consumer buying behaviour when it comes to surfaces?

RB. In the consumer market, which is where many of the more innovative surfaces are used, people tend to modernise or upgrade when they move, so house sales make a difference.

Kitchens are a significant element of the living area of houses these days, used for so much more than simply food preparation. Bathrooms, too, have become more about fashion statements in recent years. People want hard surface worktops. They want tiles on the walls and floors, both natural stone and man-made. They like behind-tile heating and the thermal mass of stone and porcelain make it efficient. With the Government committed to increasing new builds to 300,000 units a year and there being no indication that the desire for natural and engineered stone horizontal and vertical surfaces is diminishing, I think we can be fairly certain that the growth in this sector has some way to go yet.

Kitchens are a significant element of the living area of houses these days, used for so much more than simply food preparation - Richard Bradbury, MD QMJ Group, organisers of the Hard Surfaces trade show @hardsurfacesuk Click To Tweet

TM. What can visitors to the new show expect to get out of it?

RB.  While the Natural Stone Show is still the main event, it was decided to create the new show to highlight all the new materials now available .  As well as the exhibitors, we are including a feature in Hard Surfaces called Innovation Meets Design. It is being curated by MaterialDistrict – probably the world’s leading match-making platform for innovative materials – and will include 136 innovative surfaces. These are hard surfaces at the cutting edge, and most people will never have seen them before. We hope they will excite and inspire designers and fabricators.


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Interior Design Trends spotted at 100% Design 2018


100% Design is the cornerstone event of The London Design Festival. Held at the Olympia exhibition centre between 19th and 22nd September 2018, this trade event is a vast showcase for more than 400 architects, product designers and interiors specialists.

Dividing the exhibition centre into areas for the workplace, interiors, emerging brands and for those working in the construction and architectural industries, the fair hosts product launches for decorative lighting, furniture and fittings as well as providing a platform for newcomers.

Trend-Monitor went along to find out how the key trends in interiors are looking as we head towards 2019

Interior Design Trend #1. Plywood

The material of the moment at this year’s 100% Design was definitely Plywood.  It featured everywhere from kitchens to bathrooms, from furniture to screens, as the main feature or as detailing.

X-Ply Desk



Stacked Coffee Table by Studio Hemal Patel


Odd Dot


Interior Design Trend #2. Laser Cut Detailing

Another key trend which crosses the different areas of the home, laser cut detailing was seen at 100% Design this year in both interior and exterior applications.

‘Airflake’ deadens noise whilst letting in the light


Handcrafted lighting by Neb Abbot


Laser cut panels by Stark + Greensmith


Interior Design Trend #3. Curvy Concrete

Concrete is revealing another side to its nature; the softer, curvaceous and sometimes colourful side.  As the trend for concrete in interiors develops, the use of natural fibre concrete is moving this increasing popular material into thinner, more elegant shapes.  And the addition of colour extends its appeal to a wider interior audience.

Natural fibre concrete ‘Seater’ by Tina Rugelj at Concrete Garden


Waxed concrete based decorative surface by Design-Concrete

Interior Design Trend #4. Bamboo

As a beautiful, tactile and sustainable alternative to wood, bamboo is growing in popularity and at 100% Design the focus was on it’s suitability as a kitchen application.


Moso bamboo surfaces


Real Green is the UK’s first fully sustainable and accredited kitchen furniture range and it’s manufactured entirely from solid bamboo.  Real Green also carries globally recognised certifications for its use of sustainable materials and manufacturing processes.

Real Green’s bamboo kitchen


Interior Design Trend #5. Natural Embossing

Here we see two key interior design trends combined, the use of natural elements such as leaves and flowers to create detailing in the form of embossing.

Botanical Glass Casting by McGuire Glass


Lichen Carpet Collection by the Mohawk Group


‘Frozen Leaves’ metal finish by Metall-FX


And finally …

We couldn’t leave 100% Design without mentioning Pluck and Hug by guineapig.  These soft, tactile oversized bulbs are ‘huggable’ and the harder you hug the more they light up and glow.

And lets face it, who couldn’t do with a hug every now and again.


Pluck & Hug by guineapig


Pluck & Hug by guineapig



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Surface Design Trends 2018/2019


At 100% Design this year, we were lucky enough to hear Jules Archard of Domus presenting the emerging trends in surface design for 2018/2019.

Jules heads up Domus’ three London showrooms. With a background in Art and Design he has a particular interest in materials and surfaces, a specialism of the Domus showrooms, which showcase the very latest in tile trends and product innovations.

These are the surface design trends highlighted by Jules:-

Surface Design Trend #1. Colour Blocking

For maximum impact, colour blocking in interior design is achieved through contrasting colours. When designing with tiles, this approach can be used to great effect to control the look and feel of architectural features and zones. For example, warmer blocks of colour will appear closer whereas cooler blocks of colour will create the appearance of a shape or a space receding.


Hermes Installation (Domus)


New Terracotta (Dormus)


Surface Design Trend #2. Chromatic Colour

Chromatic Colour is a move on from Colour Blocking and is a colour scheme in which one particular tone or hue dominates. With the bold application of colour on the rise, using a variety of shades within the same colour family offers a calmer way of using strong colours without clashing.

Technicolour (Domus)


Piano, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Mutina (Domus)


Surface Design Trend #3. XL Porcelain Slab Design

Whereas previously XL porcelain slabs were reserved for replicating raw materials such as stone and marble, there is currently a trend for a more experimental approach to XL porcelain using colour, pattern and design-led markings and patterns. Technological advances enable ever more sophisticated finishes on slim porcelain and simultaneously the market is embracing more experimental, personalised surface finishes.

Cover, Patricia Urquiola for Mutina (Domus)


Matrice, Barbara Brondi and Marco Rainò for Cedit (Domus)


Surface Design Trend #4. Curves

Rounded shapes and curved lines offer a refreshing update from the geometric angular patterns that have dominated over the past few years. Whether taking the form of surface pattern, shaped tiles, or 3D effects such as fluting, these tiles all create a softer aesthetic.

Weave, Note Design Studio for Kaza (Domus)


Wig Wag (Domus)


Geometrica (Domus)


Surface Design Trend #5. Natural Aesthetic

The Natural Aesthetic trend embraces the imperfect look and feel of raw finishes and all things handmade. The focus is on creating relaxed surroundings inspired by nature and organic forms, as an antidote to the fast pace of modern life where we’re often surrounded by slick and shiny materials

New Terracotta (Domus)


Storie (Domus)


Hops (Domus)


Surface Design Trend #6. Customisation

As designers in the age of information we’re savvier and more demanding than ever, and the industry’s response is customisation. Tiles are inherently customisable because you can combine and arrange them to create different looks, even within individual ranges. For those who want even more flexibility, ‘Modello’ is a customisable concept range which allows designers to select any porcelain tile from Domus and specify for them to be cut into a series of pre-designed Modello shapes and patterns.

Modello (Domus)


Modello (Domus)


Surface Design Trend #7. Mix Not Match

This trend is all about making bold statements by mixing materials, colours and shapes in an imaginative, unexpected way. It is a rejection of safe, conservative interior design which can be more difficult to pull off than matching everything in a uniform way, but done carefully mixing and matching will create joyous, uplifting interiors

Puzzle, Design by Barber & Osgerby for Mutina (Domus)


Puzzle, Design by Barber & Osgerby for Mutina. Owl Design & DeVOL (Domus)


“It’s a really exciting time for interiors with a new-found confidence in colourful statements, bold combinations and curvaceous shapes. The rise of these personalised and joyous schemes is everywhere to be seen, from commercial spaces to restaurant and hotel design, and it’s filtering down into homes and residential spaces too. Now is the time to mix things up and adopt a more eclectic approach to interiors and tile design.” Jess Piddock, Domus’ Senior Designer

About Domus

Domus has served the architectural and design community for over 50 years, providing the most innovative and extensive collections of ceramic, porcelain and stone for residential and commercial projects. In 2014 Domus launched its Engineered Flooring division to meet the growing demand for wood, laminates and vinyl flooring.

Further information at


About 100% Design

100% Design is the commercial cornerstone event of The London Design Festival. Held at the Olympia exhibition centre between 19th and 22nd September 2018, this trade event is a vast showcase for more than 400 architects, product designers and interiors specialists. Dividing the exhibition centre into areas for the workplace, interiors, emerging brands and for those working in the construction and architectural industries, the fair hosts product launches for decorative lighting, furniture and fittings as well as providing a platform for newcomers.

Further information at


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Kitchen Worktop Performance Report, Consumer Insight 2018


This report investigates consumer expectations for kitchen worktops in terms of performance levels and the attributes influencing the purchase of their next kitchen worktop.

Kitchen category Insight Partners only

The growing importance of worktops in kitchen design has resulted in new materials, colours and textures coming into the market and consumers are now faced with an increasing array of worktop products to choose from.

Consumer expectations in terms of how a kitchen worktop should perform in today’s multi-functional kitchen are complex and often tied into daily habits and household circumstances rather than product knowledge or the price tag.

For this purposes of this research, TREND-MONITOR was pleased to partner with WILSONART a leading manufacturer of laminate, quartz and solid surface worktops.

This partnership has resulted in a focused piece of industry research that is directly relevant to manufacturers and retailers in this fast growing market sector and answers some important questions in terms of consumer purchase decisions, product usage and the performance versus price ratio.

This report identifies consumer needs and expectations with regards to the performance levels of worktop, assesses worktop usage within the kitchen, and evaluates the price versus performance ratio for worktops

The research collected and analysed data in order to understand four key aspects of kitchen worktops:-

• The type of worktops currently in kitchens and utility rooms
• Worktop purchase influences
• Worktop performance levels in-situ
• Attributes which influence future worktop purchases

Key Findings

  1. The popularity of laminate worktops is highlighted in this research with half of the householders surveyed having a laminate worktop in their kitchen.
  2. Over half of homeowners surveyed hadn’t  changed their worktop since moving into their current home. Laminate worktops are kept for the longest, a third are over 10 years old.
  3. 40% of homes have a separate utility room, although 14% of these utility rooms don’t accommodate a worktop.
  4. Aesthetics (colour and finish) and heat  resistance are the key purchase influences for kitchen worktops.
  5. Worktop practicality is more important than price when choosing a new worktop, with 3/4 of householders prepared to pay more for greater worktop practicality.


The research was undertaken via an online consumer survey with a representative sample of UK householders.

The survey was conducted online during April 2018 and targeted a response rate of 1000+ respondents.

The survey consisted of 34 multi-choice questions, plus qualifying and status questions

For the purposes of the research, the different worktop types are categorised as follows:-
– Laminate
– Compact Laminate e.g. Zenith
– Solid Wood
– Solid Surface e.g. Corian
– Quartz e.g. Silestone
– Granite
– Porcelain e.g. Neolith*

If you are a Kitchen category Insight Partner, this report will automatically be added to your account

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Global Megatrends and their influence on the KBB Market 2018


This report highlights a number of key global megatrends and assesses the impact these global phenomenons will have on the KBB market in the future.

This analysis of the bigger social, demographic, economic, environmental trends explains how these mega-trends interact with each other and influence today’s consumer in terms of how they live their lives and consequently the type of products they will buy for their homes

For each global megatrend, there are a number of associated macrotrends which are felt at a local level and the challenge for today’s business leaders is to analyse these major global shifts, to look at the different opportunities they represent and move their organisations to respond accordingly, at the same time as being resilient to a constantly fluctuating global landscape.


This cross-category report will be published in April 2019

If you are one of our Insight Partners, this report will automatically be added to your account


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Retail Trends and their influence on the KBB Market 2018


Our round up of retail trends sheds light on where retailing is going in the future and how this will influence KBB retailers. 

We focus on how the different trends interact with each other and they will determine the way in which consumers will want to buy their kitchens, bathrooms and surfaces in the future.


This cross-category report will be published in February 2019

If you are one of our Insight Partners, this report will automatically be added to your account


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Latest research into adding value to a home


New research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and the HomeOwners Alliance (HOA), estimates that it’s possible to add almost £50,000 to the value of a home in just seven days.

The key findings from this research into the projects which can add the most value to a home, in the shortest space of time and in particular parts of the country, include:

  • Removing an internal wall to create an open plan kitchen and diner can add £48,417 in seven days to an averagely priced home in London;
  • Building a garden room or outside playroom for the kids can add £35,611 in 14 days to an averagely priced home in Surrey;
  • Investing in kitchen improvements such as new flooring, a new worktop and new cabinet doors can add £26,838 in eight days to an averagely priced home in Dorset
  • Converting a cupboard under the stairs into a downstairs toilet can add £26,708 in seven days to an averagely priced home in Surrey;
  • Converting part of the master bedroom into an en suite bathroom can add £14,525 in 11 days to an averagely priced home in London;
  • Building a new driveway can add £13,354 in nine days to an averagely priced home in Surrey;
  • Installing decking and lighting in the back garden can add £8,946 in seven days to an averagely priced home in Dorset.

Below is their list of projects, costs and the value they can add to a home, broken down by region

Trend-Monitor-FMB research


Source: Federation of Master Builders


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Tile Trends Spotted at Cevisama 2018

Once a year, the best-known names in the Spanish tile industry come together at the Cevisama fair in Valencia. It’s a chance not simply to showcase the latest tile trends but also to reveal the best of manufacturers’ innovation and quality.

This year’s event, held between 5 – 9 February, also highlighted a commitment to sustainability, a trend that’s increasingly important to consumers. Read on to discover some of the other trends on show, including the looks likely to emerge over the next 12 months.


Trend #1: Going for Gold

The allure of gold has long captivated designers, and it’s clear that it’s here to stay.

Take a look at the Scale collection by Equipe Ceramica for an example of how the age-old metallic look has been brought into the 21st century. It includes a sumptuous gold tile that’s available in five geometric formats. All-over shine can be brash, so Scale comes in a choice of other colours, although none dial up the drama more than the killer combination of black and gold (shown).


Scale range by Equipe Ceramica


The gold rush continued over at the Vives stand at Cevisama. Dashing examples included its Kokomo wall and floor tile, made all the more interesting with its use of contrasting textures on a 20cm x 20cm format.


Kokomo porcelain tile from the Nassau collection, Vives


Trend #2: Figures of Fun

We don’t tend to think of tiles as being fun, but the quirky Glimpse Bulldog range from Aparici proves us wrong. It’s created using a double-firing technique for deeper shine and sharper colours, and it’s sure to raise a smile.


Glimpse Bulldog range by Aparici


Elsewhere, Pamesa took a chance on love with Agatha Mille Cuori, a white-body ceramic wall tile bearing a heart motif and seen here in playful pistachio. Maximalists may gravitate towards all-over pattern, but if you prefer a more subtle look, go for a feature wall instead.


Agatha Mille Cuori from Pamesa


Trend #3: Modern Encaustic

There’s nothing new about encaustic tiles: they’ve been falling in and out of favour for centuries. (Think of the ornate Victorian era for a sense of the look.) With the pendulum currently swung in their favour, there isn’t a room onto which encaustic or encaustic-style tiles haven’t stamped their rich artisanal vibe.

The key to working with them is to make sure the pattern and colourway you choose suits the style of your home. The good news is that they work with spaces of all styles and ages.

For example, if you’re looking for a light-hearted touch, the soft pastel palette of Dune’s Stella porcelain tiles is a good choice; offered in 12 designs, the 20cm x 20cm format demonstrates how effective digital printing can be.


Dune’s Stella collection of porcelain tiles


Feeling bolder? Saloni’s new Pobles range could be for you. It’s available in a choice of five designs including Sitges (shown) in an 18.5cm x 18.5cm format.


Sitges from Saloni’s new Pobles collection


Trend #4: Imperfect Beauty

Move over polished elegance – imperfection is a far more manageable look. The key to mastering it is to look for beauty and character. Who cares if your wooden dining table is weathered or your leather armchair is well worn? It’s just a sign of a life well lived.

The fascination for faded elegance translates well to walls and floors. Take the A.mano collection of porcelain tiles by Apavisa: it’s faded for an aged look but maintains a note of elegance.


A.mano collection of porcelain tiles from Apavisa


The FS Briati range by furniture designer Francisco Segarra for Peronda has captured the trend well – look for the worn patterned décor tiles in a large format (45.2cm x 45.2cm).


S Briati range by furniture designer Francisco Segarra for Peronda.


Trend #5: Textured tiles

A plain white bathroom is always a popular look but it can easily start to feel clinical. Guard against this with textured wall tiles and, rather than sticking to one texture, why not throw a few into the mix for maximum visual interest?

To avoid a fight between patterns, copy Pamesa’s example and run with a restricted colour palette to create a cohesive look.  In the bathroom below, a stunning damask-effect tiled splashback steals the spotlight when paired with plainer tiles.

Vellore is available in a 40cm x 120cm format and four colourways.


Damask-effect Vellore tile by Pamesa.


Trend #6: So Retro

As decades go, the 1970s gets a bad rap. Sure, there were some questionable choices – think avocado bathrooms and lurid colour combinations – but that doesn’t mean the whole decade deserves to be written off. In fact, bold retro-inspired patterns are back in a big way, but as Regio Figaro by Aparici proves, they’re a lot easier on the eye.

Even so, this trend isn’t for the faint-hearted. Lima by Pamesa makes a strong 70s statement, but the Trend Monitor team remain divided on its swirly design.


Aparici’s Regio Figaro porcelain tiles


Lima ceramic wall tiles by Pamesa


TREND #7: The Pared-Back Look

Concrete, cement, chipboard: there’s a surprising amount of beauty in the bones of a building. The tile industry is celebrating these materials by replicating their look and feel on ceramic and porcelain. The result is a wealth of tiles with a rough-luxe aesthetic that recalls warehouse conversions with their exposed brickwork, original wooden floors and steel-framed windows.

Top picks include Concrete from Grespania’s Wabi Sabi collection, which features a subtle spatula-effect (available in 31.5cm x 100cm) and Strand by Vives, a porcelain floor and wall tile inspired by chipboard.


Grespania’s Wabi Sabi collection includes Concrete


Strand porcelain floor and wall tiles by Vives


The beauty of tiles is that you can get the effect without the hassle. Hankering after a distressed wall? Fake it with Harvy from the Industrial range in Saloni’s Street Art series.


Harvy from the Industrial range in Saloni’s Street Art series


Trend #8: Marvellous Marble

We tend to think of marble as part of a traditional look, but since making it big in contemporary and cutting-edge interiors, it’s shaken off its classic connotations.

Its appearance in the mainstream is also due to giant leaps in manufacturing technology. Marble-effect tiles look increasingly realistic, and they’re much easier to care for than the original.

Look for the richly veined replicas rather than their plainer counterparts and use them all over. Top picks include Medusa from Grespania’s Coverlam brand – available in a variety of formats with a natural or polished Antracita colour way – or Azalai by Inalco, making a bold statement here in Negro Natural.


Medusa from Grespania’s Coverlam brand


Azalai in Negro Natural from Inalco



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Why are experiences more valuable than possessions?

Seeking out experiences rather than purchasing more stuff has been a trend lurking in the corners of psychology for the last few years.

Research in 2014 by Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor from the University of Cornell, concluding that “experiences are the glue of our social lives”, mattering much more than the latest i-gadget.

Why do experiences matter?

  • Experiential purchases enhance social relations more readily and effectively than material goods
  • Experiential purchases form a bigger part of a person’s identity
  • Experiential purchases are evaluated more on their own terms and evoke fewer social comparisons than material purchases.

Studies also suggest that the anticipation of an experience is also crucial. Thomas Gilovich’s research showed that people reported being mostly frustrated before the planned purchase of a ‘thing’, but mostly happy before they bought an ‘experience’.

As that happy feeling is tied up with a memory, it lingers longer. Colin Strong, head of behavioural science at market research group Ispos, calls it the ‘hedonic adaption’, claiming that the hedonic payoff of experiences is much greater than material purchases.

The Experience Consumer

We are now seeing how this trend is affecting our spending habits and the way we consume, such as a 55% increase in ticket sales to events and live experiences, as research by the world’s largest event technology platform, Eventbrite, found.

And according to Barclaycard, which processes about half of all Britain’s credit and debit card transactions, their figures for April 17 show a 20% increase in spending in pubs compared with the same month last year. Spending in restaurants went up 16%, while theatres and cinemas enjoyed a 13% rise. Meanwhile, department stores suffered a 1% drop, vehicle sales were down 11% and spending on household appliances fell by 2.5%

Clothes retailer Next claim their first fall in profits in eight years is due to the experience economy, and Ikea’s head of sustainability, Steve Howard, is of the opinion that consumption of many goods has reached a limit, referring to this limit as hitting ‘peak stuff’

Building a Brand Experience

Fuelled by social media, the experience economy is a trend that will continue to grow. Instagram accounts used to be about our new car, handbag or pair of shoes, but now that seems slightly vulgar compared to our friend’s yoga holiday or sky-diving weekend.

Building a product brand that taps into the experience economy involves going beyond a ‘sell and forget’ mentality. When Meile launched their revolutionary steam oven, they also developed a set of cookery courses for their steam oven customers. After completing a hands-on steam oven cookery session, attendees proudly tweet, instagram and facebook the results to all their contacts, turning them into a very effective sales force for Meile, without even a mention of a Meile product.


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