Italtile's Last (Loving) Look At 2022

December 9, 2022

Most of us can’t get out of 2022 fast enough. And that’s totally understandable. The Oxford Dictionary proclaimed the word of the year to be “Goblin Mode”. A funny-but-also-not-so-funny description of how – behind our carefully curated ‘best life’ social media veneers – we have self-medicated our way through the worst bits of 2022 by embracing our slovenly sides. Crawling into our lairs, unapologetically binge-eating all the crisps, putting melted cheese on everything, ugly-crying, languishing on couches in our stretchiest sweatpants, mindlessly watching reruns of Friends.

Because after fighting our way through a year of recovery, carrying an almost unbearable collective burden of stress, grief and pain, we all suffered from resilience fatigue. No thanks to you, “Permacrisis” (Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year).

But we at Italtile are here at the turn of the year to say that while we’re as exhausted as the next person, it’s the good sort of tired.

We’ve had the very real privilege of taking care of the style needs and (let’s just say it like it is) spine-tingling desires of our hundreds and thousands of Italstylistas across the Rep of SA and over the border in Gabs, as well as in our webstore. We’re no longer the little sister of the interior design world, but a proud, purposeful 52-year old influencer and industry shaper.

We’ve had to use some fancy footwork to out-manouevre the competition 24/7, (which is why we’re truly grateful that you chose us in 2022). We’ve watched the style horizons for the next new things on the icon runway. We’ve curated fresh and inspirational new collections of local and international gorgeousness for you. We’ve rolled up our sleeves up and helped you solve your style queries. And then, wow, we grew a lot. We built a new showroom, completely transformed another, broke ground in a soon-to-be-revealed location, and did some good, with your help. We have loved every minute of it.

As with every year since 1969 (only more so in the 21st century!), there’s an awful lot of back end activity that goes into the creation of fireworks and sparkle for our extended Italtile family ... with uber-serious phraseology that involves words like competitors, rivalry, threats, bargaining power and the like. It’s as nerve-wracking as balancing on a high-wire with a unicycle, juggling cats ... but the pros always outweigh the cons. We’ve got great people in our team and we give thanks for them every day. Plus, after 52 years, we know the territory!

Let’s look back on a year that added even more gloss to our inimitable Italtile style. 

We grew for you.

We built new-look premises for our Boksburg Showroom which redefine what we look like, what we stand for and who we are. Nothing like a fresh new outfit to straighten your back and lift your chin. Then, we changed the face of Italtile in KZN with a total makeover of our Umhlanga Showroom, which now rivals the splendid Boksburg Showroom for drop-dead-gorgeousness. We celebrated the first anniversary of our new George Showroom, a new concept décor destination for us. 14 showrooms currently across southern Africa – that’s not small potatoes, people! Meanwhile, our adventurous Commercial teams have been involved with headline-making projects (like the mighty 234m Leonardo in Sandton). Take a minute to read through our completed Commercial Projects.


We gave for you. And with you.

Our operations are purpose-powered. To our way of thinking, Beautiful Living isn’t beautiful if it doesn’t have an authentic heart. Our job, as we see it, is to make life as beautiful as possible for the communities in which we operate and the wilderness areas that surround us – on land and sea. The luxury living you invest in is truly beautiful at heart. It doesn’t just look good, but it represents a brand that does good, too.

The Sharkwise Project. Towards the end of last year, we encountered the most extraordinary human – Dr Sara Andreotti, marine biologist and force of nature. Together with her University of Stellenbosch conservation teams, she spends every waking hour developing ways to create harmony between humans and sharks and shift the narrative from ‘killers’ to ‘shepherds of the ocean’. Her passion project is the creation of the SharkSafe Barrier. Her mission inspired us to support and fund her work, and so we founded our SharkSafe Project, in collaboration with ITD and Tivoli Taps. We donate R2 from every Tivoli tap you purchase to a fund that this year collected hundreds of thousands of rands for Sara and her team.

Ambrosetti. A unique platform that knits southern Africa with Europe in CEO dialogues that fuel initiatives designed to put South Africa on the map. Italtile is proud to sit at the table with these great minds brainstorming for good.

Italian Chamber. With our Italian roots, we are honoured to take part in initiatives alongside a number of high-profile Italian businesses operating in South Africa and adding to the rainbow.

BirdLife South Africa. Our ecosystems cannot survive without birds and yet human activities are responsible for decimating vulnerable bird populations. The BirdLife SA heroes have been giving conservation wings since the 1990s and are entirely donor-powered. We are among a number of platinum sponsors who help fund the annual African Bird Fair which draws world-leading specialist speakers and avid birders from around the world.

We mentored for you. Five years ago, we partnered with the University of Pretoria Marketing Department to bring an immersive module to the third-year study programme. Every year since then, the UP marketing students have responded to the Italtile Sales Brief, studied with us and presented their ideas to a panel of judges. And every year, the top students win internships. They bring fresh eyes to our family, plus new energy to our showrooms, where you’ll encounter these bright sparks.

We found fresh style for you. Living well is the best revenge. With that in mind, we searched the world’s style capitals for you. The result? The. Most. Exquizz. Style.

Too much loveliness, so let’s just pick a few iconic pieces out of the hat. Handcrafted fireclay Shaker Sinks by Shaws of Darwen – each one dated, numbered and stamped with the name of the maker. The Verona Tap Range by Tivoli. Gilded, feminine curves with knurled details for ultimate touchability. Ceramica Sant’Agostino’s Mystic, with dramatic modern marble looks that have totally and utterly turned the marble category on its head.

Spanish Rockstone INOUT, another category redefiner, taking slip-resistant technology to new heights with a velvety smooth finish, with the other varietals in the cohort – Glamstone and Civic. We continually add to our exclusive collection of larger-than-life polished tiles; watch out for even bigger 1200x2400 slabs in 2023. Epic!

We made our annual pilgrimage to Cersaie, the greatest surfaces show on earth, to examine the new tile trends. We still haven’t quite shaken the stars out of our eyes.

See what we saw here.

We upskilled for you. Continuous Improvement. The Japanese call it Kaizen. We call it The Italtile Way. Even if things seem to work well in a particular moment, they can always be made or done better. Style maven and Chapters Interiors CEO Melanie Ewing runs our staff training programmes to keep us up to date with interior design trends, while our new e-learning platform deepens our product and technology knowledge. Our sales consultants aren’t just there to operate the cash registers ... they are there to add value to your shopping experience. Bring us your moodboards and your Pinterest concepts. We’ll advise you and help you bring your reno to life.

 We made new friends for you (and brought some old friends closer). Now you’ll find EasyLife Kitchens, the home of dream kitchens, right slap bang inside our new Boksburg and Bryanston showrooms. What a thrill to have them on board, offering our customers their unique brand of all-in-one kitchen glow-up!

We celebrated our new JV Partners: Neetha Singh (who’s been steering the ship with aplomb in Umhlanga) and Miranda Ngutshani in Nelspruit.

We did it all for you. (And we’ll do it again for you in 2023.) We never forget who our ultimate boss is. It is said in parts of Africa that “Our day has been good if your day has been good” and it’s certainly a thing in every Italtile showroom and in our webstore. Yes, there’ll be errors and glitches ­every now and then – we’re only human – but it’s our pleasure and privilege to serve you in any way we can to make your shopping experience seamless and as trouble-free as possible.

What does next year hold? Who knows, but let’s walk towards it together. Whatever happens, we’ll do our bit to ensure that 2023 is wonder-filled.


Meantime, in the last days of 2022, live beautifully and stay fezzie and fabulous.