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GIO Looks at Geometry in Design

Hex_Effect porcelain tile

Why Do We Love Geometric Shapes?

In both commercial and residential design, geometric shapes have been a strong trend the past couple of years. From textiles and accent furniture to lighting and tile design, geometric shapes are prominent, and the trend shows no sign of waning. There is something about geometric shapes that speak to design sensibilities. Just what is it that makes us love and incorporate them into our surroundings?

Screenshot 2016-03-25 13.43.12Geometry is abundant in nature–from the honeycomb hexagons of the bees’ hive to the circular swirls of a seashell. We’re surrounded by the shape and symmetry of the natural world that is then illuminated and reinforced in early childhood. The teaching of basic shapes is one of the first and fundamental lessons for children. Even before little ones can walk or talk, we provide toys that teach about circles, squares, and triangles. These shapes stay with us throughout our lives, offering a sense of familiarity that’s comforting and appealing.

In addition to being familiar, geometrics have long been at the heart of good design. When it comes to interior design, there is an innate relationship between shapes and proportion. Talented designers often have innate abilities to use geometry in flattering ways.

Geometric shapes add interest to the look of a space. Finding unique ways to incorporate geometrics into interior design enables one to create environments with depth and visual interest. Geometric patterns convey a sense of modernity, yet, because of the.

Geometrics are timeless. Using geometric shapes in design is not just a contemporary trend; it is one that has endured throughout history. The Ancient Greeks and Moroccans both used bold geometric patterns as part of their architectural and interior design. Geometrics are bold, versatile, and are not limited to a certain design style.Screenshot 2016-03-25 13.44.39

In the world of tile design, the hexagon is quite prominent. The six sides create beautifully repetitive patterns that are reasonable to install thanks to the straight lines that fit together in almost puzzle-like fashion. Whether interpreted monochromatically or in vibrant patterns, hexagon-shaped tiles are a favorite for product specifiers, providing looks that are on trend now and with lasting appeal to stand the test of time.

Discover Hex Effect, our solution for the hexagon tile trend, or contact us to request a product sample today!

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. Our looks cover a range of on-trend styles to transform commercial spaces. Contact us anytime we’re here to work with you!

GIO looks at The Bauhaus Movement in Design

The Bauhaus Movement is an important era in the realms of architecture and design. It derives its name from a design school founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar, Germany and operated between 1919 – 1933.  Prior to the Bauhaus movement, fine arts such as architecture and design were held in higher esteem than craftsmanship. The vision of the movement was to bridge the gap between art and industry by combining crafts and fine arts. Gropius asserted that all crafts, including art, architecture, and geometric design, could be brought together and mass-produced, and he argued that architecture and design should reflect the new period in history (post World War I) and adapt to the era of the machine.

Even though the influences of the movement are clearly architectural, the Bauhaus school did not actually offer classes in architecture until 1927. Instead they explored the style through the use of artistic design and sculptures. They insisted on using only primary colors, very simple geometric shapes, and taught “truth to materials” as a core tenet, which means that any material should be used in its most honest form. These principles led to a distinct ideology of what the Bauhaus Style designs should resemble.

The Bauhaus movement captured the attention of many respected artists, designers, and architects such as Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray, Mies Van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Florence Bassett Knoll.

The school closed in the 1930s under pressure from the Nazis, but the movement still influences modernist architecture and design today. While Bauhaus has made its mark on art, industry, and technology, it has also been significantly influential in modern furniture design. Bauhaus bridges the gap between art and industry, design and functionality.

GIO brings you a carefully curated, on-trend selection of tile and stone products developed expressly for your commercial design projects. Each color, size, texture, and detail you see on our website has been hand-picked from global sources based on our laser-focused knowledge of what you need to take your designs not just from good to great—but from great to extraordinary. Contact us anytime  we’re here to work with you!

GIO Looks at Architectural Styles in the US: Italianate

"BlandwoodMansion" by Exwhysee of English Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BlandwoodMansion.jpg#/media/File:BlandwoodMansion.jpg
Blandwood Mansion and Gardens — Antebellum Italianate mansion, with gardens, in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Exwhysee of English Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons. Click photo to view source)

Popularized by American architect Alexander Jackson Davis (A.J. Davis) in the 1840s as an alternative to Gothic or Greek Revival styles, Italianate architecture was prominent in American residential structures between 1850 and 1870. By the 1880s, the style’s predominance in many of America’s main-street commercial buildings was established as one of America’s most distinctive symbolic landscapes of midwestern town centers.

Elements of Style

Most Italianate structures are two or three stories with low-pitched roofs (frequently hipped), or flat even roofs, with widely overhanging eaves supported by corbels. Tall narrow windows, arched or curved above, are most often found on commercial buildings. Other common features of the Italianate style include balconies with wrought-iron railings, pedimented windows and doors, and imposing cornice structures. Towers were often incorporated, hinting at the Italian belvedere or even campanile tower.

Background and Popularity

Italianate style came into the U.S. from England as part of the Picturesque (Romantic) Movement which surfaced in the eastern U.S. as a reaction to formal classical ideas and orderly Renaissance planning.  A. J. Davis’ design for Blandwood, the former residence of North Carolina Governor John Motley Morehead, is the oldest surviving example of Italianate architecture in the United States. Originally constructed in 1795 as a four-room frame farmhouse, the home received an extensive addition in 1844, designed by Davis in the “Tuscan Villa” style, a subtype of Italianate architecture.

While remaining popular in the still-growing older cities of the Northeast, the style spread as cities and towns were settled across the Midwest, making Italianate a common sight in such places. Cincinnati, Ohio features the largest single collection of Italianate buildings in the United States. The style is very common in San Francisco and is least common in the south, except for New Orleans.

By the late 1860s, Italianate became more popular than Greek Revival. Its popularity was due to its being suitable for many different building materials and budgets, as well as the development of cast-iron and press-metal technology, making the production of decorative elements like the brackets and cornices more efficient. By the late 1870s, Italianate was was superseded in popularity by the Queen Anne style and Colonial Revival style.

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!