13 new retro modern style laminates from Formica

Formica last month introduced several new laminate designs that I think could be great for a Retro Renovation kitchen countertop or even a bathroom vanity. In particular — I’m loving the new “dogbone” design, and the new Warp and Weft designs. Dogbones are a classic midcentury motif — as in “dogbone sofa” … and Warp and Weft, in my mind, is a clear play on vintage Linen laminate (the most popular design in midcentury America).

I received some 5″x7″ samples from Formica — and point retro-modern fans in particular to: Dogbone in White, and Weft in Neutral, Seed (a light green), and Cafe (heading toward harvest gold). These are really nice — a great addition to our arsenal of midcentury modern kitchen countertop laminate alternatives.

Here is a slide show of the new Formica lineup. To launch it, click on the first image and it will enlarge. Move forward via the arrows underneath the photo:

Additionally, here are some selections from the Formica news release… I’m always interested in reading about the theory behind the choices.

Here’s what they say about the influences for this collection:

Menswear – Classic and highly usable, subtle optical solids and classic patterns are workhorses with the ability to be mixed and matched in many ways

Weave– A modern introduction of woven patterns, whether manmade or organic, is in high demand

Graphic– Focused mostly on architectural and organic elements, these inspirational patterns grab attention, communicate from a distance and are simply fun

Color Texture– Texture is key to achieving the dimension and realism that the architecture and design community desires, adding drama and depth to an otherwise flat color

Graphic Patterns are fun, inspirational and compelling, focusing mostly on architectural and organic elements and influences. Whether breaking down patterns to the cellular level or viewing them from 30,000 feet, they convey depth and complexity while remaining usable, evoking a tactile quality and inviting touch.Solid Color Extension

Seven “Newtrals” – new neutrals – in complex shades of chameleon browns, beiges, greens and grays, reflect the emerging “less is more” attitude. Efforts to be more conservative and make color selections for the sake of longevity are becoming more prevalent. These seven “Newtrals” are available in Matte, SculptedTM or MicroDotTM finishes:

·     5342 Earth – Truly harmonious neutral in a stylish mid-tone grounded brown
·     5443 Possum – Versatile yet calming botanical khaki with a touch of green
·     5344 Seed – Warm gray green that is minimalist in its approach
·     5349 Fossil – Sophisticated grayed blue that maintains the clean, fresh and healing feelings associated with water
·     2297 Terril – An “almost black” architectural gray with blue-black undertones
·     1097 Citadel – Classic mid-tone warm gray that is a fresh respite from neutral brown
·     1903 Café – Classic gold that easily transitions between contemporary and traditional; it contains influences from nature and the global community

Patterns Extension
The Optical Solids — Warp and Weft –appear to be a solid color from afar, a closer look reveals subtle menswear and weave details. In weaving, warp and weft fibers take on different qualities when threaded through the loom and are the inspiration for the two new weaves:
·         Warp Pattern – Stronger and more graphic in nature
·         Weft Pattern –  Softer and more subtle

Graphic Patterns are fun, inspirational and compelling, focusing mostly on architectural and organic elements and influences. Whether breaking down patterns to the cellular level or viewing them from 30,000 feet, they convey depth and complexity while remaining usable, evoking a tactile quality and inviting touch.
·         Dogbone Pattern – A playful, geometric featuring dog bone-like shapes seen in modern sculptural and architectural wall installations
o        5281 Dogbone White – Warm neutral white negative background with positive gray dogbones
o        5283 Dogbone Storm – Negative background of dark gray with positive dogbones that coordinate with 2297 Terril
·         Geo Pattern – Inspired by the structure created by crossing and meandering lines on a map, the orderly yet chaotic Geo models the network of roads, interstates and rivers from a bird’s eye view
o        5270 Geo White – Clean white with a gray pattern
o        5272 Geo Folkstone – Warm gray background with a dark  gray pattern
o        5273 Geo Citadel – Warm gray with a darker charcoal gray pattern
o        5274 Geo Fossil – Grayed blue background of fossil with gray pattern

Formica® brand high pressure decorative laminates have received FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Chain of Custody certification and are GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified.
Please Note: Formica®, 1-800-FORMICA, and the Formica® Anvil Logo are registered trademarks of The Diller Corporation. ©2010 The Diller Corporation

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  1. Elizabeth Mary says

    Thanks for this. I would definitely have considered one of them if I hadn’t found the wonderful charcoal version of the boomerang — which I love.

    Seeing them coming up with new patterns, and seeing the amount of display space the laminates get at the home improvement type stores heartens me. It tells me that there must still be a lot of renovators resisting the insane pressure to use granite. And that makes me happy.


  2. Sabrina says

    Wow!! We’re talking seriously lately about our kitchen renovation project, and some of these are really speaking to me… I’d thought we might go with a quartz composite for resale value (hate that I need to think of that!), but these really have so much more character! And truth be told, I LOVE the laminate we have in the kitchen now, and would save it if I could. It really is such a functional, easy-to-maintain, and fun choice.

    DH will be pleased at the much lower cost, as well!

    • pam kueber says

      Sabrina, I have the 5″ x 7″ sample in front of me, and I’m tellin’ you: It’s beautiful. A lovely mesh of retro-mod, the dogbones are quite small, so it lays out like a nice, subtle pattern… keep us apprised of what you decide!

      • Sabrina says

        Thanks, I will!

        One question, though– how do you think the white would “wear” over time? I’m wondering if it would very prone to stains. I am in the kitchen making a mess pretty much constantly, and with 3 kids ages 6 and under, spills definitely don’t get wiped up immediately. Any idea as to how this would hold up to the abuse of our family?

        • pam kueber says

          Sabrina, perhaps you should contact Formica for advice on this. I tend to think it would be fine – see the post on Countertop Magic, as well.

        • Gavin Hastings says

          Ok…so I spill some Kool-Aid or Cherry Jell-O in my 1969 light yellow Formica….
          I take a bit of paper towel, hold it over the mouth of a bleach bottle and let it sit for a minute over the discoloration. Gone. I wipe down the countertop. No problem.

          But, this is 1969 Gloss Formica…I am sure they make it differently today.

  3. Dot says

    Ohhh! I’m glad I’ve been dragging my heels on renovating. Formica also has a couple of patterns in their solid surface collection which have a retroish feel – the ‘ice’ and ‘mica’ patterns (this one is available in vintage green).

  4. Stacey says

    I don’t think the laminate/formica counters in my 1957 house are original, but they do have the weft pattern. They are seafoam green but unfortunately they have to go; they have come to the end of their useful lifespan.

  5. Paula says

    I love the new patterns! For everyone looking at retro style laminate just a heads up that Formica Skylark Boomerang is being discontinued (in Canada – not sure about the US) So grab it while you can!

  6. Johnna says

    Thanks Pam! That Geo White is perfect for my laundry area, and I would never have known about it if I didn’t read this blog.

  7. Pat says

    Too bad they don’t have formica befitting my 1930 house, guess I’ll be doing butcher block. Formica would be easier to care for though.

  8. jackie says

    I second the go-ahead to Sabrina on the the white Formica – we don’t have the high gloss variety, but they are original to our 1969 ranch – and are the only surviving piece from that time! Soft Scrub Gel with bleach works wonders on them, along with occasional use of Countertop Magic to bring back the sheen where age has dulled them. But even that is slight, and this house has seen 3 families through 6 children and numerous dogs. Happy remodeling!

  9. kat sciacca says


    Does anyone know WHEN those new colors will be available? I tried to get a sample on their website, but could not find any of them. Thank you.

  10. Kirsten says

    Have just ordered the GEO Folkestone for our bathroom. Reminds me of vintage spaghetti lamps. So excited!

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