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GIO Looks at Design Trends: Calming Design, Warm Neutrals

Trending hashtags tell the unfolding design story: #calmingdesign, #warmneutrals, #healthyspaces, #sanctuaryspace, #softwalls. More and more, as designers (and consumers!) understand the impact of design on mental health, calming and soothing design strategies are being implemented in commercial and residential spaces. The idea is to help promote rest, a sense of calm, and relaxation in the spirit of mindfulness. Using design principles to reduce stress and anxiety isn’t a new concept, but there is a clear movement toward warmer neutrals, particularly in the workplace, to bring a sense of calm to commercial settings.

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Warm Greys

Warm grey, with it’s undertones of yellow, red, and brown, will give spaces a space a warmer, cozier fee. Unlike the cooler grey shades with blue undertones (which can be a bit depressing), the warm shades of grey can be very calming and relaxing.

GIO Amani, Light Grey Polished and Rectified 24x24
GIO Amani, Light Grey Polished and Rectified 24×24


Featuring GIO Workshop, Medium Grey 24x48 Honed Rectified Field Tile
GIO Workshop, Medium Grey 24×48 Honed Rectified Field Tile


Dependable Beige

With its soft and comforting tones, beige brings simplicity and warmth to spaces. This versatile neutral shade serves as a canvas for creativity, allowing other colors, textures, and visual elements to shine against a soothing backdrop.

GIO Chalk, Tan 12 x 24 (Wall)
GIO Chalk, Tan 12 x 24 (Wall)


GIO Chroma, Taupe 3x8 Glossy and Matte Field Tile
GIO Chroma, Taupe 3×8 Glossy and Matte Field Tile


GIO Jura, Light Beige 24x48 Rectified Field Tile
GIO Jura, Light Beige 24×48 Rectified Field Tile

The Best of Both Worlds: Greige

Another option for a warmer take on gray, is to go for greige: a combination of gray and beige for a soft neutral hue that balances warm and cool tones. Greige serves as the perfect neutral and can work in cool or warm palettes.


GIO Mirabella, Ivory 24x48 Rectified Field Tile
GIO Mirabella, Ivory 24×48 Rectified Field Tile


GIO Coccio, Silver Cenere 36 x 36 Rectified Field Tile
GIO Coccio, Silver Cenere 36 x 36 Rectified Field Tile

Creamy and Warm Whites with Texture

While stark whites can bring a clinical feel, warmer, creamier whites create spaces that feel relaxing, rejuvenating, and less chaotic. Designers are using textured soft whites to create a comforting tactility.

RIVEL by GIO Wall Tile
GIO Rivel, 3×9 Bianco
NEO_Brick wall tile —image of brick-look back wall in a bar
GIO Neo_Brick Bianco 2 x9

Earthen Pinks

Earthy, muted, clay pinks offer a sense of reassurance and can create a sense of balance in interior spaces.

GIO Mia, Bone 5x5 Cross and Terracotta 6x6 Star
GIO Mia, Bone 5×5 Cross and Terracotta 6×6 Star

Relaxing Wood Looks

Environments with wooden structures are  shown to cause a drop in blood pressure, lower the pulse, and have a calming effect. These healing effects are caused by the Biophilia Effect, the idea that spending time in a more natural setting can improve the physical and mental health of the people who live, work, and gather in the space.

GIO Veneer, Honey 12x48 Rectified
GIO Veneer, Honey 12×48 Rectified


Atelier Wood Look Floor and Wall Tile by GIO in Grey 8x40
GIO Atelier, Grey 8×40

Like What You See?

Great design starts with a sample — and samples are always free to the trade! It’s easy; just click here to submit your sample request.

Gio brings you only the finest commercial-grade products, hand-picked from global sources, based on our focused knowledge of what you need to transform commercial spaces. Contact us anytime – we’re here to work with you!

GIO Looks at the Non-Residential Construction Market Forecast for 2020

building construction

As a company focused on commercial design, not only do we track style and design trends, but we also stay apprised of what’s happening on the construction side. Economic barometers play an important in role in how we prepare to supply and service our customers’ needs responsively. That’s why we stay closely attuned to nonresidential and commercial construction starts and forecasts.

Here’s a look at we can expect to see in non-residential construction in 2020.

Since the Great Recession, most construction market niches and regions of the United States have made a comeback to enjoy several years of steady growth. But many economists believe there could be a change of pace as many economic indicators point to a construction market that’s a bit slower than it has been the past few years. There are no catastrophic forecasts, but a noticeable slow down is expected. That said, each city or geographical region and key segments of the construction market will all likely have a different story to tell a year from now.

According to the mid-year AIA Consensus Construction Forecast* released in July 2019, spending on nonresidential building construction is expected to increase more than two percent in 2020. Commercial construction level (particularly for retail space) are in the midst of a broader slowdown, and industrial construction is seeing a very healthy rebound. While some individual construction sectors are projected to see declines over the next year, the consensus is that overall building construction activity will continue to expand. There won’t be a repeat of what the construction industry endured during the recession.

“Economic growth is slowing but is not anticipated to contract next year. Construction starts, therefore, will decline but the level of activity will remain close to recent highs. By major construction sector, the dollar value of starts for residential buildings will be down -6%, while starts for both nonresidential buildings and nonbuilding construction will drop -3%.” ~ Richard Branch, Chief Economist for Dodge Data & Analytics

Commercial facilities are expected to bear the brunt of the slowdown, with overall spending for commercial buildings projected to slow to 1.1 percent in 2020. In particular, retail construction is projected to see a modest decline this year and remain essentially flat next year. Hotel construction is expected to fare a bit better over the next year, and office construction even better thanks to the strong jobs market.

Commercial building starts were forecast to retreat 6% in dollar value in 2020, with the largest declines to occur in hotels and commercial warehouses.  Retail activity will also fall in 2020, a continuation of an ongoing trend.

2020 institutional construction starts should remain even with the 2019 level.  Declines in recreation and transportation buildings will offset modest growth in education building and health facility starts.

Rising trade tensions have caused the manufacturing plant construction to decrease with recent data suggesting the manufacturing sector is in contraction. Public works construction starts are expected to increase across all project types — recent federal appropriations have kept funding for public works construction steady or slightly higher.

*The AIA Consensus Construction Forecast is a twice-a-year survey of the nation’s leading construction economists who forecast business conditions over the next 12–18 months. The report averages the forecasts of eight leading construction forecasting firms — Dodge Data & Analytics, IHS Economics, Moody’s Economy.com, FMI, ConstructConnect, Associated Builders and Contractors, Wells Fargo Securities, and Markstein Advisors.


Resources: AIA Consensus Construction Forecst and 2020 Dodge Connstruction Outlook.

GIO: BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, SOLUTIONS SAVVYWe consistently seek market data to best prepare and respond to the specific needs of the commercial architectural and interior design communities. Feel free to connect with your GIO sales representative for insights and ideas for taking your upcoming commercial building or renovation projects to the next level with superior tile selections.

“Vein-Cut” Porcelain Tile is a Beautiful and Practical Alternative

There’s nothing like vein-cut stone to give a unique, flowing, zen-like ambience to an interior. The linear striations give a sense of effortless, ongoing flow, and the look is popular in both residential and commercial applications. But what exactly is a “vein cut” slab?

Vein-Cut Explained

Before a natural stone slab becomes an actual slab, the stone is cut from the quarry in the form of a massive block. Veins of minerals run through the block of stone. These mineral veins, each of a unique color and texture, will give the future slabs their pattern and character. The pattern, however, is determined by what direction the stone block is sliced.

In the vein-cut process, the block is cut along the grain, which will show the layers of sediments and contain a horizontal veining. Vein cutting is in contrast to the cross-cut process, in which the slabs are cut against the grain. With this method, the slabs may contain veining, but will not look “striped”. This is also referred to as a “fleuri” cut because it reveals a flowery, often circular pattern.

Whether you’re going for a traditional, classical look or a stunning, dramatic contemporary design, there’s just no substitute for the banded look of vein-cut natural stone. Or is there? Fortunately (and thanks to huge technological strides in digital printing), you really can have the look – minus the cost and upkeep – of classic vein-cut travertine, marble, granite, limestone, and more. These porcelain tiles from GIO are a practical and beautiful alternative to the real thing and a great way to get the look of vein-cut of natural stone for a fraction of the price with zero maintenance.

Maximus Floor & Wall Tile

Maximus by GIO

This travertine look-alike has natural, linear detailing and is offered in three true stone colors. Available in large-format 12″ x 24″ and 24″ x 48″ tiles,  8″ x 48″ planks, as well as matching bullnose and mosaics, this tile can be used for a wide range of applications. Learn more about Maximus here.


Midtown Floor & Wall Tile Green_Squared_Certified_logo


Midtown floor and wall tile

The dramatic striations in Midtown present a look that’s hip and edgy, yet still elegant – a perfect choice for modern interiors. Midtown is available in a range of colors and large format sizes. Choose from 12″ x 24″ and 18″ x 36″ tiles, 6″ x 36″ planks, 3″ x 24″ bullnose, and 2″ x 2″ mosaics. This tile is also Green Squared certified. See more of Midtown on our website.

Verve Floor & Wall Tile

Verve by GIO

Elegantly earthen modular and mosaic stone-look tiles in our Verve collection offer authentic details, versatile hues, and urbane style. This glazed porcelain stoneware line is offered in four authentic earth-tone hues and comes in 12″ x 12″, 12′ x 24″, 6″ x 24″ mosaics and 3″ x 12″ bullnose.

Amani Floor & Wall Tile

Amani Floor and Wall Tile

The newest addition to the GIO line-up of floor and wall tile, strongly striated Amani is available honed or polished in quartet of natural looking neutrals. Choose from 12″ x  24″ and 24″ x 24″ tiles. Learn more about Amani here.


GIO is your gateway to beautifully designed, strategically selected collections of floor and wall tile sure to fit your demanding specification requirements and unique style. We look forward to working with you!