We caught up with the creative and eccentric Frederic Ades, from the funky and forward thinking tile brand 41zero42, to understand the unique inspirations at the core of the company.
And of course to bring you the ultimate maximalist tile inspiration!
Q1. Your ranges give designers creativity to create unique spaces, what is 41zero42’s design philosophy?
We give you the support to follow your ideas. Be courageous with our tiles, don’t think they must last a thousand years. Play and have fun. Customers say to me “maybe in ten years this will not be my cup of tea” but I say respect your abilities to choose something you love. And you would probably change the tiles in ten years anyway!
Q2. Where do the product development team/designers get their inspiration from?
It’s really simple. We create only the tile we truly love. We check the look worldwide, but we don’t think about matching our products to the trends, instead we reinvent them in our own style. We create our own ideas of everyday objects and places. We don’t look at the other factories and we don’t imitate other materials – ceramic must stay ceramic.
And instead of thinking about a full line like other factories, we think about the customer and giving them their individuality.
Q3. Talk us through the design inspiration for the latest range stocked by Sanipex Group, ‘Cosmo’ – how does 41zero42 envisage this tile to be used?
The series Cosmo has no limits of use or destination. The first idea is to use it as a floor for bathrooms and rooms such as saunas, gyms, etc., thanks to the ‘out’ version, which is non-slip.
Thanks to the coordinating decor tiles (brick and mosaic), it lends itself to individuality as it is always very customisable, even in other rooms. In my opinion, however, it is the bathroom where I think it will find its best place. It can be used on its own, with its decorations, with the mosaic or even combined with other series such as Biscuit, Paper, etc., offering great creative freedom to the designer.
Q4. Are tiles designed with intent for application in certain environments?
41zero42 offers a range of possibilities. From residential to retail, interior and exterior. However, we are known as a company that thinks outside the box and always likes to surprise with where our tiles are used.
Q5. How has technology evolved the tile industry?
It has changed the rules of design. We have much more choice for both indoors and outdoors now. For outdoors we can produce tiles thicker than 1cm, which used to be the maximum. For indoors we now have wallpaper prints on tiles, offering creativity yes, but also durability for places like the bathroom or for commercial walls in shops and hotels.
Q6. What your favourite thing about tiles?
The possibilities! A tile or a combination of tiles is something that can really draw your attention.
Ten years ago tiles were designed to be a very normal element; they were plain colours in standard sizes because ten years ago the perception was that the tiles chosen must last forever. But now people are open to retiling every 5 years. A tile is the first element you see in the morning. Imagine walking into the bathroom after waking up, if your tiles are joyful then you will feel joy.
Q7. Where does 41zero42’s social media imagery take inspiration from?
We use our own catalogue photos, with interiors designed by us in-house. We have also launched a photographic project ‘Naked!’ which captures very raw and less perfect scenes of our products in unusual situations.
Q8. Does grout, particularly coloured grout, hold more value than people think?
It depends on the context. In some cases, the contrasting tile grouts are reinforcing, highlighting the exuberance of the product, but in others the matching grout pattern blends, letting the product speak for itself.
Q9. What is your favourite range combination?
Quick Fire Round!
Wood or Marble?
Holographic or 3D?
Geometric or Floral?
Large or small format?
Monochrome or multicoloured?
Minimalist or maximalist?
Bath or shower?
Indoor or outdoor?