Claire O’Brien, Head of Design and Product at British Ceramic Tile, on how fabric-effect tiles are provoking a profound reassesment of the possibilities of tactile design.
First it was the turn of natural stone and rustic wood-effect tiles but now, thanks to constant advancements in HD printing, manufacturers are now able to recreate even the most intricate of details with new linen and textile designs coming to market.
Fabric-effect tiles have been on the scene for several seasons. They are now a growing trend as homeowners search for tiles with subtle, tactile textures to complement their understated, minimalist schemes.
What makes fabric-effects a go to choice is their ability to add intrigue to a simple, minimalist design, opening up a whole host of new possibilities. Consumers are looking for an alternative to plain formats that inject textural interest to their pared back interiors.
Textile-effect ceramics are also incredibly versatile. With their neutral colour scheme and raised structures, they fit well into a number of key trends, tapping into the movement towards softer, more feminine designs.
Manufacturers are beginning to explore a wide range of materials as inspiration from carpet-effects through to hessian weaves and even lace: all of which bring a tactile quality to walls.
While current tiles collection are fairly modest and discreet, I expect to see designs become much more confident over the next year with leather and hessian prints encapsulated on ceramics.
So what designs are we seeing on the market at the moment? Carpet-effects offer the same design aesthetics as real carpet, but provide many advantages over fabrics as they are easy to install, clean and maintain. Plus ceramics work well with underfloor heating, making any living space much cosier.
For the more adventurous consumer, lace-effects can look stunning, delivering an ornate, layered effect that delivers an unrivalled depth of detail and perspective in rooms.
Jacquard textile-effects with added lustre reflect light beautifully, creating a truly unique finish that works well in any design scheme.
Natural woven fabric-effects with an added gloss or shimmer bring understated charm to tiles, ideal for creating the basis for an opulent bathroom.
For more information, visit www.britishceramictile.com
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