Bologna Italy to Australia – part 1

Just like the The Salone del Mobile in Milan, the CERSAIE International Tile Fair set in Bologna Italy sets the benchmark in international trends and technology. Australian suppliers take flight to bring back the best on offer. I sat down with 3 major Australian tile suppliers to find out what will be trending over the next few years and how they approach the task of ordering containers confidently knowing that the Australian design community will embrace their selections.  So follow us on this 3 part series discovering the best on offer from Bologna 2014. Part 1…

Today we sat down with Tina Di Lorenzo and Diana Di Lorenzo of Di Lorenzo tiles to find out more…

Q- What preparation did you undertake before heading to Bologna 2014 tile fair?

We make all appointments to visit key suppliers prior to leaving for the fair. Some meetings are done at the actual event while other suppliers we organize to meet before the fair commences and visit them in their showrooms. We also take note of what might be missing from our current collections and what trends are evolving in other industries to help us choose the right products for us.

Q- How would you describe your buying style 2014?

Diverse! There were 2 main components to our buying this year. Products we think would work as everyday stock items (this becomes our volume product), here we are influenced by current and emerging trends. Then there is the more niche side of buying – Which involves searching for more unusual, eclectic items, not yet seen in the market and influenced more by trends seen in fashion, social media, furniture etc

Q- Were there any trends? If so could you describe them?

There were several, the ones that stood out to us were

1: Concrete inspired porcelain – Two trend were evident with these, a polished concrete look or formwork concrete look

2: Quartz / slate look: This trend was emerging in a few of the high end manufacturers. I believe we will see more of this in the coming year

3: Large formats: Size is everything, and formats are getting extremely large! The largest we saw is 3.2×1.6m slabs of porcelain, which were truly amazing

4: shapes: Move over hexagon, rhombus has arrived! Ok so the trusty hexagon has not disappeared, we are still seeing a lot of hexagon, especially in larger format, which is being used in living areas. Rhombus is the new shape we are seeing which can be used in many patterns

5: Timber inspired: timber trends are not new to our world and were still prominent, however the variety is becoming more interesting and somewhat brave, with detailed rustic and distressed looks becoming the norm. Parquetry look porcelain is also definitely on trend. There was also a confident move towards unexpected decoration on timber.

6: Decoration: Bisazza is working with high profile designers to create beautiful decorative cement floors. These were definitely a highlight

7: Graphics ranging from bold origami patterns, to graphics inspired by fabrics, metals and nature were released. Also soft and natural patterns inspired by vintage carpets, with washed out colours were also released

Q -What keeps you informed of trends or new technologies?

Suppliers keep us updated with new technologies, especially as we embrace larger format tiles. With regard to trends, suppliers obviously update us however we are also influenced by fashion magazines and runway for emerging trends, furniture companies, paint suppliers and social media all contribute also to what we see at the fair. We are fortunate that our manufacturing partners are leading the industry with their designs and technology.

Q- What was the best part of the Bologna 2014 tile fair? How did you feel about that?

Finding a unique new supplier or new collection that is perfect for our client base always leaves us feeling excited and eager to show it to our staff and our clients! We definitely found some gems this year!

Q- What are the key factors that motivate you to purchase?

Finding products that can fit for our retail client base and also finding products that work for our architectural division. We also operate on exclusivity so finding a product just for us is essential. We really do get excited about new products so finding a great new collection definitely motivates us to make a purchase!

Q – I feel that with fashion, quite often what works on the runway in Milan may not be as welcomed in Australia, so how do you decide that Australia will back your choices?

It’s not easy, especially as we try to hold stock of many collections here in Sydney. We work on the showroom floor and are hands on in talking to our staff, retail clients, designers and architects, so before we make decisions we have a good idea of what our clients are wanting, so this helps to eliminate a few risks. The rest is really up to years of being in the industry and trusting your instincts We don’t claim to get it right all the time!

Q- What was your favorite Italian food experience on this trip?

Our most unique experience was having dinner with one of our key suppliers. The theme was “creative passion, a culinary tradition” and the Michelin-starred Massimo Bottura was interviewed at our dinner, and he spoke about the values that inspire his passion. Massimo is the owner of the multiple award-winning Osteria Francescana and it was great to hear him share his recipe for excellence combined with his passion for tradition, research and creativity. Massimo also prepared a buffet dinner for all us guests to enjoy, which was an amazing experience!

Q – Please share with us your top 5 new products:

Bisazza contemporary cement collection – a diverse range of 861 various patterns, this collection has been designed by Paola Navone, Jaime Hayon, Carlo Dal Bianco and the Bisazza Design Studio. Each pattern can be combined in various ways to form a multitude of graphic composition.







Visione – a collection of super glamorous polished concrete porcelain, and distressed timber. Both were available in unusual formats such as losagne and chevron. There is nothing like it on the market right now and we cannot wait to get this in store!

visions white wall trapezio

Visione white trapezio

visions white wall beige-wood floor

visione white wall beige-wood floor

visions beige wood-losagna

visione beige wood-losagna

Collection01 – A quartz inspired porcelain, this range looks amazing in French pattern and also hexagon.


collection 01 dark-hex-large


collection 01 pearl-french pattern

collection 01 white-hex

collection 01 white-hex

Yaki – Yaki, which means “cooked” or ‘grilled’ in Japanese, takes its inspiration from the magical art of Shou Sugi Ban. This is an ancient art of burning timber to make it waterproof or fire proof. The technique adds beauty and longevity to the natural timber. Yaki looks like this and is a high definition coloured porcelain. This is quite different to the current timber trends on the market.

Yaki Fango paper jane

Yaki Fango paper jane

yaki Cenere Amb

yaki Cenere Amb

Yaki Carbo Rtisan Macro

Yaki Carbo Rtisan Macro

WOW collection – this arrived just after the trade show, and we are so in love with the shapes and sizes! A 3D collection, this range will be ideal for architectural spaces and interiors which demand a unique element. We are super excited about this range!

WOW collection

WOW collection Hex

WOW collection

WOW collection Cube

WOW collection

WOW collection circles

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