Highlights from Coverings 2016

Coverings Conference 2016, Creative FuelCoverings is an international trade fair and expo dedicated to showcasing ceramic tile and natural stone. It has grown to be the largest and most important show of its kind in the U.S., featuring exhibitors from more than 40 countries and attracting thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors and specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers.

I had the privilege of attending this year’s conference in Chicago. With more than five football fields worth of surfacing, it was a lot to see in a short amount of time, but here were my top highlights:

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Eye Kandy: New Wallcovering from Élitis

Kandy, a sacred city of Sri Lanka, serves as inspiration for the latest line from Élitis. There, traditional dyers distill pomegranate, turmeric and indigo to color silk, something that is mythical to their culture.

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Leather Tiles by Studioart

I am a big fan of leather finishes, so I was thrilled to learn about Studioart, an Italian company specializing in leather interiors. A focus of craftsmanship paired with research and innovation set Studioart tiles apart from competitors. In addition to basic leather wall tile finishes, Studioart has several collections that use technology to create dramatic leather textures.

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Christian Lacroix for Marotte

Combining their long history of pairing craftsmanship with the latest technology, French company Marotte has partnered with fashion designer Christian Lacroix for a new collection of decorative wood panels.

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Faux Wood Wallcovering

While photo reproductions often lose the je ne sais quoi of the real material, Scrapwood Wallpaper by Piet Hein Eek has a quirkiness that perfectly interprets 3D into 2D.  For use in low traffic applications, this wallcovering would be a beautiful alternative to real scrap wood planks.

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Child Chronicles

Charting child growth has moved past the method of using the door seal or a wall—no longer a permanent fixture of the home hidden in the pantry—but rather a prominent graphic element or a temporal piece of art that can pull up and move at a moment’s notice. In my quest to find just the right growth chart for my son, (so many out there), I came across a few that balance my need for sophistication and whimsy that are bold and beautiful.

Etsy is a great resource for finding just about anything these days, and growth charts are no exception. Like these from Janey-Mac and another from Byrdie Graphics

aewilder adds a touch of customization and hand craft look with this personalized and sewn chart.

Studio 1AM raises the bar by combining the material bamboo layered with bold color and playfully numbers. This is my pick—if money were no object.

Dune it Again!

Toronto based Urbanproduct is an industrial design studio focused on developing affordable and ecologically aware products. They have created Dune, a collection of sculptural wall tiles available in concrete, wood and ceramic. Tiles are finished with soya-based and natural pigments and can be used indoors and out.

We love dimensional tiles, and anything that promises to be affordable will certainly be a favorite in the studio!


Dune Wall Treatment in concrete


Dune Wall Treatment in ceramic