New Ravenna Adds Five Muted Mosaics to its Studio Line

General / People / Places / Products / July 21, 2022

A competitive advantage of centralizing design, sales, and production into one facility is the ability to spot trends – and react – quickly.

That’s one lesson learned from the pandemic at New Ravenna, the Exmore, Va.-based mosaics maker.

“We looked at what people were requesting and where they were going off the menu,” says Cean Irminger, New Ravenna’s creative director. “We could see when the tide starts to shift because we do the design and the manufacturing in the same building.”

What they saw was this: Stay-at-home workers during the pandemic were tired of everyday blacks and whites and grays. “It was an attitude of ‘live for moment, and for the things you love,’” she says. “They wanted homier feel – they were feeling braver about getting away from those tones and choosing what they’d like to have around if they had their choice.”

So New Ravenna has added five new tones to its popular Studio Line – with creams and tans and golds. “People like a light color, not super bold, and they go with the tans,” she says. “It’s a ‘90s aesthetic coming back in, with Italian cream tones rather than white – plus gold and tans from Spain.”

And they’ve got names as muted as their color palette. Jute is a textile pattern in tumbled stone, replicating a woven splint back chair.  Glazed Basalto™ in Eucalyptus was chosen for Twill because it can shift color in different light settings, emulating a dried eucalyptus leaf, and bringing nature indoors. Arbus and Gridded Check are geometric patterns in the warm tones that can be found at sandy beaches and rock formations. Orion is the reverse of the original graphic black-and-white version. In honed Thassos, the elegant new Orion is accented with brass stars.   

Each responds to the way the tastes of New Ravenna’s clientele are changing – and to other trends in the marketplace. “We were seeing people ordering materials over and over with a warmer color palette away from white and gray toward creamier tones or off white,” she says. “We look at trends in fashion and interior design, and our styles range from graphic to subtle but they all relate to the warm palette.”

Established ten years ago, New Ravenna’s Studio Line was designed for a quick turnaround, with two-day shipping. It started out with all-imported materials, but when the company was sold a few years back, production was brought in-house.

“There’s still a two-day turnaround,” she says. “But we figured out how to produce it quickly in Exmore, and keep it up and growing.”

Brand-new designs can take as long as takes two years, but if an existing design is re-colored in the Studio Line, people gravitate to it right away. “Some have been around for decades and are just getting a facelift with the color palette,” she says.

The five new additions can be used on floors and walls, inside and out, with the exception of the brass, which is for interiors only. “It’s not meant for a wet environment, because it will tarnish,” she says.

But there are plenty of options with all the others – each inspired by what the market wants.

For more, go here.

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Michael Welton
I write about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications. I am the author of "Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand" (Routledge, 2015), and the former architecture critic for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.




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