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    Coverings 2019: 30 Trips Around the Sun

    Audrey Healey • Apr 23, 2019

    Coverings 2019: 30 Trips Around the Sun

    Taylor Swift wasn’t alone in her 1989 establishment. In a decade of hamburger phones and highwater pants, Coverings also made its debut. Thirty years later, the show boasts unrivaled scale and success. As the largest international tile and stone show in North America, professionals in all facets of the industry attend. This year, many aspects of the show were in commemoration of its thirty-year anniversary. For some, stepping foot into the Orange County Convention Center prompted déjà vu as tunes from Paula Abdul and Bon Jovi played in the background. For the younger crowd, interactive opportunities such as branded photobooths and historical timelines allowed an opportunity for celebration.

    Education, Exhibition, Engagement

    Despite years of life or years of experience, there are three key components of the annual affair: education, exhibition, and engagement.


    To the attendee, education is arguably the most important aspect of such an event. Whether continuing education seminars or live technical demonstrations, Coverings 2019 offered educational opportunities for everyone.


    Conversely, the exhibitors share an alternative objective—you guessed it—exhibition. In today’s digital age, the role of exhibition is exceptionally important due to the potential for invaluable online exposure.


    Finally, unifying the experience between tens of thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors: engagement. Engagement was clearly a large intent of the aforementioned elements, but if that wasn’t enough to satisfy one’s thirst for networking, guests were invited to socialize during a sunset happy hour.

    Jungle Motif, Memphis Design, Jewel Tones

    Though not boasting a flawless 30-year attendance record, our designers have found each experience to be individually unique. While Coverings 2018 revolved around technological advancement and product innovation, Coverings 2019 placed a greater emphasis on stylistic trends to anticipate. Coincidentally apt for the anniversary celebration, many of these trends seemed to pay tribute to the 80’s—peep jungle motif, Memphis Design, and jewel tones!

    Jungle Motif

    Any Golden Girls fan remembers the bedroom of Blanche Devereaux — complete leafy bliss from drapes, to wallpaper, to bedding. We couldn’t help but notice a parallel when stepping foot into the Cotto d’Este and SICIS exhibits. Cotto d’Este introduced three new styles to their porcelain Wonderwall collection. Gone are the frustrations of wallpaper application! SICIS reinterpreted the classic mosaic by contrasting with their glass Vetrite collection. The result: a surprisingly fresh look.

    Memphis Design

    The 80’s also sparked the Memphis Design movement, famous for challenging the limits of the industry through the creative use of shape and pattern. As if a descendant of Memphis Design, the geometric aesthetic was a recurring theme at the show. Ceramics of Italy introduced a collection erratic in both pattern and palette. The collection is said to add a playful touch to any project and we very much agree. Meanwhile, WOW Design took this concept to another dimension—literally! Delivering an aesthetic that is equally as lively, a playful pattern was exchanged for a spunky silhouette.

    Jewel Tones

    Finally, an 80’s trend that is desperately overdue: color. We won’t deny the aesthetic appeal of clean neutrals, but jewel tones are quickly gaining momentum. Gani Marble Tiles validated this momentum with the use of marbles that were once considered passé. Another coincidental nod to the 80’s! Antolini executed this trend quite literally with their Gemstone collection. These jewel tones are adding a moody elegance that is drool-worthy.

    Like the genres of a Taylor Swift sampling, the vogue of the tile and stone industry is everchanging. While the hype of the hamburger phone may never resurface, trends such as jungle fever and wild textiles have Gen X celebrating. Speaking of celebration, did we mention the earth has traveled around the sun thirty times since Coverings’ initial launch? If you missed the party, we hope to see you next year in New Orleans for another round of education, exhibition, and engagement.

    By Audrey Healey