The success of small sizes – the square version of which is a recurring feature of many of our most distinctive collections – continues to go from strength to strength.
In the world of interior design, the last fifteen years have seen the emergence and irresistible rise of slimline slabs in large – and in some cases, enormous – sizes. Almost in tandem with this, however, we have also seen the return of a trend that appeared to be permanently consigned to the past, eclipsed by the gigantism of the ubiquitous maxi size. In what is perhaps a direct reaction to new fashions, the small size is now enjoying a full-blown renaissance, especially in vertical applications.
Although large slabs and small sizes each represent sharply contrasting interpretative keys, there is one factor that they have in common, and this is rooted in the growing interest in ceramic as a finishing material for walls and surfaces used in everyday life. Designers and end users alike are now much more au fait with the technical qualities of next-generation porcelain, which are less immediately obvious than the extensive range of aesthetic looks that a ceramic surface can offer, with a dizzying array of visual and tactile effects. This is how tiles both small and large made their way back to the forefront of the contemporary wall covering scene, bringing flair and functionality to all rooms of the home and beyond.
Tonalite has always firmly believed in the decorative potential of small sizes, so much so that it has become one of its identifying features. Browsing through our catalogue, it is not hard to understand how, for us, small sizes are synonymous with colour and meticulous attention to the material qualities of a surface. As for the geometrical aspect, smaller proportions allow creators to explore the most eclectic possible range of shapes, drawing on an age-old tradition that is brimming with examples and inspiration. Speaking of geometry, let’s take a look at a rundown of the collections that feature the square as their leading format, given that it is amongst the most versatile and easy to interpret.
As the name suggests, Elevenuance offers eleven colours in the 11.5×11.5 size only: pastel shades with a rich variety of subtle hues, these have a matte surface that is pleasant to touch.
Fluid, meanwhile, has a glossy, gently irregular surface for twelve of its palette of thirteen colours in total, reserving the matte finish for just one of them. Thanks to the thick layer of crystalline glaze on the top, each shade in this collection appears even more vibrant. In this case, the 12.4×12.4 square format is paired with a rectangle with the proportions of a brick.
In the Silk and Satin collections, the square format becomes 15×15, available in some of the colours that make up the two vast and partially-overlapping colour palettes, where earthy tones along with greys, black and white are the order of the day. The crucial difference between the two collections lies in the different qualities of each finish, with Silk being glossy and Satin offering a matte feel.
Whilst the Diamante series presents a wider range of formats, its colour palette is restricted to four carefully-selected colours: in addition to black, white and a sophisticated champagne, it also features a strikingly intense burgundy. The 15×15 square format is available in both glossy and matte versions; there is also a bevelled version of all four of the glossy colours.
Aquarel brings together eight exciting colours in a 15×15 format: here, the personality of the collection is defined chiefly by the numerous patterns available, including two-tone geometric motifs and monochrome graphics on a white background, as typical of cementine tiles.
With four sizes and sixteen vibrant colours to choose from, Kraklé is an extensive collection featuring a glossy surface run through with a dense web of attractive micro-cracks. Artfully created in the thick layer of crystalline glaze, these fine cracks lend the tile a sophisticated antique feel. The ubiquitous 15×15 size is, of course, also included in this key collection, a testament to its extraordinary versatility in terms of both its geometric shape and its modest proportions.
The colours in the Tissue series make for a perfect pairing with the palette of the Kraklé collection. In this case, the colour is enriched by three-dimensional textures inspired by woven fabrics, brimming with evocative tactile effects as well as – in the delicate chiaroscuro inevitably created by the relief – visual effects. The collection offers only a single square format (15×15) which allows for an even more dynamic overall effect achievable by mixing the orientation of the relief textures when laying the tiles.
Provenzale reinterprets Italy’s timeless tradition of monochrome majolica tiles by condensing all the energy and vitality of colour into no fewer than thirteen shades, each exuding a positive, natural feel with soft, sinuous highlights. The countless patterns and special tiles available in the catalogue make it flexible and suited to any laying situation, all whilst closely adhering to a style rooted in the tradition of Italian and, more broadly, Mediterranean homes.
Oblique explores the three-dimensionality of a surface that resembles a truncated pyramid that has been transected – much as the name of the collection suggests – obliquely. A geometry built on a 15×15 square base which, depending on which way it is laid, creates almost disorienting perspective effects: a veritable dance of light and shadow of varying depths that adds to the impact of the already striking collection of colours – eight glossy and two matte.
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