Whether your idea of fashionable design includes bling or patina, or smooth or textured, there were plenty of products at the Coverings tradeshow in Atlanta to satisfy your tastes. Time and again, we came upon these unlikely wall- and floor-fellows as we walked the show, which proves that opposites attract when you have eclectic tastes.
A Bit of Bling for Walls and Floors
In the bling category, one of our favorite finds was the Arkistone collection by Marca Corona 1741, which is inset with slim bars of gold. The tiles are made of porcelain, which makes them all the more remarkable. There are five neutral colors to choose from and five sizes, including large slabs produced by the Italian manufacturer.
Italian brand Lea Ceramiche debuted its Concreto collection, designed by Fabio November, during Coverings as part of the company’s Slimtech line. This pattern is embedded with metallic flecks in an artful random pattern. The golden pieces glinted in the light when we passed by the booth, which made us take notice. It also comes in a dark tile, which leads this post, that is moodier and more mysterious but equally blingy.
Miami-based creative Alex Turco makes his composite panels, like this striking combination of black, white and gold, by hand. Coats of water-resistant epoxy resins are slathered on composite aluminum or pure aluminum to create the unusual pieces. He ups the ante on the seriously sophisticated sparkle by sprinkling metallic dust on certain offerings like the once shown here.
We were blown away by the luxuriant feel of this Apex Stone pattern by Alys Edwards. The black limestone has been produced in a pillowed chevron design to which they added thin lines of solid brass as an accent. Kudos to the California-based company for such a sophisticated approach to wallcoverings!
Patina Like You Mean It
If you’re going to produce patina, we are of the opinion you should machine it like you mean it. The producers of the products we chose in this category certainly have. First up is Anatolia Tile + Stone, whose Ceraforge Lithium is made when a gloss ink is added for luster and then a glazing is fired on. Though it looks as if it is porous, it is not, which inspired the Canadian company’s business development director Heather Walker to say, “People equate shiny with clean but that’s not the case anymore.”
Some of our favorite patterns were the ghostly ones, as they exude the illusion of patina and panache simultaneously. Among these is Absolut Keramika Troya Memphis pattern that hints at ostrich plumed headdresses or garden trellises, depending upon your point of view.
Classically subtle is Ted Baker’s Grey Partridge pattern for British Ceramic Tile. His inspiration was a house made entirely of stylishly striking tiles that he came upon while wandering Europe in search of ideas to realize in new designs. He was fascinated by the home, as every inch was adorned in the finest ceramics—even the furniture and oven were covered in intricate mosaic. We say, “Well done, you,” for turning the experience into such an outstanding design!
Who doesn’t love a fleur-de-lis and a room awash in what feels like a centuries-old dose of age? The Antique Patchwork Tiles by Realonda Ceramica make us want to hop on a plane to anywhere ancient aesthetics meet the coastline. The Spanish manufacturer has definitely tapped into centuries of design heritage in creating this collection.
Telltale Texture for An Artful Backdrop
We know it’s not polite to stare but ogle we did when we came upon the Carva pattern in Petra Antiqua’s Hedonism Collection. The artistically rendered pattern sent us into flights of fancy about everything from the collars once favored by Maasai warriors to necklaces worn by Cleopatra! Leave it to the Italians to come up with something that hints at both classicism and modernity!
Naturelmar had its Myra pattern with a broken chiseled edge on view. It was the epitome of textural cleverness. “The way we manipulate the limestone surface is we comb it with a machine first and then men break it with a hammer, a process that is painstakingly long,” says Seda Kabatas in explaining the Turkish company’s commitment to imaginative design. “We’ve found that these wall coverings become focal points in hospitality.”
It is also fabulous as statement treatments in business settings, as is proven by the above image of the material cladding the walls in the HBO headquarters in Colorado.
The Kind of Finish that Can Be So Smooth
Argenta’s Kale is one of the sleekest materials we saw, the image of it above in swaths of modern marvelousness in this contemporary kitchen proving how sexy such an unadorned expanse of material can be. The paleness is easy on the eyes and the clean surface makes it super sexy as a backdrop.
Anatolia Tile + Stone smoothly puts its material where its heart is, the beautiful surface of porcelain tiles fronting their booth only one of the reasons the Canadian manufacturer won the “Best in Show 2018” ribbon this year.
Floored by Fabulous Design!
The variety of surfacing materials and the number of global producers that make their way to the Coverings show each year is staggering. The quality is inspiring. That’s a wrap of our pics from the show this year. We hope you were as floored as we were by the excellence we found in Atlanta.