It is exciting to write the 1st Blog about the most important industry event we attend.

The Cersaie fair is held every year in Bologna Italy and attracts around 100,000, visitors from around the world. It is exciting times to see all that is new from the best manufactures in Europe + catch up with old friends and meet new people.
All the companies we source product from are there. I visit many stands getting ideas for design and product development here are just a few standouts.

SICIS always have a very busy stand… the most photographed stand, this year was no exception with the release of 96 new colours for the Colibri range + extensions in the decoration available in the Basic and Orientale ranges there was a lot to take in. The new colours are a fantastic addition and it is wonderful to see the new possibilities for the patterns when you add these to the already extensive pallet. For me it is also a chance to catch up with all the staff form head office who make our job as the Australian agent/stockist easier + discuss techniques and trends with the agents from the other markets.

The Mutina this year there was much excitement, the booth designed by Patricia Urquiola won for Mutina the prize for best booth (a very hotly contested prize) but it’s all about the tiles and this year the 2 new design names were Rodolfo Dordoni and Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec both designers released very different product but still very “Mutina” Rodolfo introduced to us 2 ranges Stage and Toile both ranges reflect the refined minimalism that this famous Architect is renowned for. Rowan & Erwan Bouroullec collaborated to remind us that the material beneath the glazed surface is also not to be forgotten… focusing on reveling the compressed sand and minerals the result is Pico both ranges we hope to have in-store in Early March.

One of the nice things about importing your own materials is finding little gems…. Like Cotto Etrusico this clever little factory from Umbria is family owned and operated and is producing handmade and hand glazed terracotta now as they have for generations. The technique is a longer process than some but the results speak for themselves. Introducing at this fair new shapes and glazes + a Black Terracotta that really caught my eye for our Australian market.

CasaDolceCasa once again showed us why they are the market leader in the reproduction of natural stone (the look without the maintenance) the Terra range is once again giving us a fantastic pallet of colours to work with and the wonderful blending that gives such a natural floor. the other thing to mention is the availability of all the architectural pieces… Bullnose, Skirting, edge trim pieces all designed to make the job look the best.

RAPSEL had a very exciting fair…. And for all the wrong reasons… but I will get to that later… RAPSEL introduced some fantastic new products, Basins in stone and resin always with an edge and a point of difference. Like the floating tap-platform in the Atollo or the contemporize Armacord Copper freestanding bath. But the big winner in my eyes was the “Grand Tour” a beautiful freestanding resin bath…. That obviously was appealing to not only me as on the last night of the fair … even though it weighed in excess of 200kg was stolen from the stand….. Even with the tightest security “no one saw anything”.

Toscoquattro showed us more cool designs with combinations of timber and stone… they really are able to accentuate the nature of stone in all its monumental glory while keeping the lines elegant. The clever way they manipulate the various cabinetry styles is amazing they like to surprise with fold away taps hidden drawers where you least expect it and glass tapware…  Toscoquattro is really a journey with lots of surprises along the way … the prefect Powder Room product …. So your guest has to spend time trying to work out how to wash their hands!

After all the hours on your feet “running” from Hall to Hall  it was a welcome respite to leave the fair and Bologna behind and travel to the country near Modena to visit the factory and Showroom of 14ORAITALIANA. The new enterprise of Andrea Mattioli, a man I think who has a exceptional eye for predicting the future in Ceramic Tiles. He challenged our senses for so long used to working in the neutral palette with the Andy Warhol inspired Uonuon range ….introduced us to the Grigio14 stone from their own quarry. This stone is soft and gentle in appearance only… it is in fact a strong and stain resistant as granite. The new Cemento14 range using a combination of cement and resin is so tactile and the colour range of 14 colours is such a fantastic addition to our ranges. The big trick was Pinocchi “wood wannabe” amazing re-creation of Ply-wood both reconstituted and plank was so real many of us who visited thought they had not had the time to finish a display (me included). We finished our evening with local wine and produce and comfortably sitting in the vine covered courtyard resting our feet.

It is exhausting and exciting, but I always return to Australia full of inspiration and feel invigorated by what I have seen.