Wilsonart Endora and Betty laminates — two terrific new retro designs for countertops

retro laminate

Photos hot off the presses!

Need new countertops for your midcentury kitchen or bathroom? If so, you might want to hang on until summer, when Wilsonart will introduce two new abstract designs — “Betty” and “Endora” — for sale. Hmmm. With their colorways, scale, and well-designed retro pattern, Wilsonart Betty and Wilsonart Endora skyrocket to the top of my list of  laminates to consider for countertops in a midcentury modern or vintage-style home. Also good news: These will be standard residential laminates — so the price should be very affordable.

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Wilsonart says these will be available nationwide “this summer.”

Wilsonart’s 4972-38 Betty laminate:

wilsonart-betty-countertop-2

Reader Melanie took this photo at the Builder’s Show in Las Vegas, at the Karran exhibit promoting these sinks meant for laminate countertops. She says the countertop field reads “a dove gray I would say. Really pretty – in fact, the laminate is what drew me to the exhibit.”

retro laminate

Wilsonart says:

Betty is a small to medium scaled abstract pattern overlapping box and square in retro color blend of teal and orange.  The name is indicative of the mid-century names to connect to a moment in time when women named Betty and Endora would work in their very modern kitchens.  This pattern reflects the quirky optimistic quality that reflects that period in time.

retro modern kitchenretro modern kitchenFrom their vignette shown at the recent KBIS show, it looks like the so-called “teal” in this pattern will harmonize quite nicely with aqua cabinetry or accessories. The field looks to be grey (golly, I’d prefer an off white) — but I certainly understand the choice considering the continuing popularity of gray in the contemporary mass market today.

We’ve asked to see samples as soon as we can and will report back as soon as we have them in hand.

Wilsonart’s 4973-38 Endora retro design laminate

retro laminate

So… will the pinks in “Endora” go with all the Mamie Pink tile in millions or American bathrooms?We can’t wait to get a look-see and let you know.

Endora is a small to medium scaled abstract pattern overlapping box and square in retro color of pink and gold.  The name is indicative of the mid-century names to connect to a moment in time when women named Betty and Endora would work in their very modern kitchens.  This pattern reflects the quirky optimistic quality that reflects that period in time.

Formica’s Nassau pattern from the 1960s:

formica laminate nassau patternThe new Wilsonart designs remind me of Formica’s Nassau design, shown above. According to materials expert and historian Grace Jeffers, this pattern introduced in 1955, then removed from the market in 1957, because it did not sell well.

Again, my view on the best laminate designs for a retro kitchen: Tone-on-tone, multidirectional, small-to-medium abstract patterns in colorways that will harmonize with our “real color” interiors. The new Wilsonart Endora and Betty designs look to be a great step in that direction.

Super mega thanks to Robert of ElectraChime for sending me the box of Formica paper samples that the three samples of Formica Nassau shown above came from. What a generous contribution to my archives! xoxo

The complete new “Stylistic History” collection coming from Wilsonart

There are additional patterns in the Stylistic History collection that includes Endora and Betty. The other designs in the collection are moving to the Residential line from the Contract (Commercial) line or another country in the Wilsonart family:

Stylistic History

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

Personal styles evolve and change.  These 8 fresh new patterns are an exciting nod to our collective stylistic history.  Baby boomers are searching for those things that feel like simpler, more innocent days, while the millennials incorporate optimism and originality.  Fun patterns, unusual textures and bold colors represent this direction, without being bogged down in the past.  Think individuality, difference and distinction.

These easygoing, aspirational lifestyles are centered on both the meandering road and the techno highway.  Plastic laminate was originally used for its low cost versatility and has grown up to be the perfect material for these unique forms of self-expression.

These bold and whimsical new colors and patterns offer an updated nod to historic and vintage patterns while being firmly rooted in the present.  There would be no denying that these new patterns are anything but.

4942-38 Crisp Linen (Standard)

retro laminate patternA neutral background with crisp white warp and weft “threads”.  Reminiscent of a woven fabric, it has evolved into a compact small pattern that provides texture and highlights.  Crisp Linen is a crossover from the contract line.

4943-38 Classic Linen (Standard)

retro laminate patternA taupe background with lighter taupe warp and weft “threads”.  Reminiscent of a woven fabric, it has evolved into a compact small pattern that provides texture and highlights.  Classic Linen is a crossover from the contract line.

4944-38 Casual Linen (Standard)

retro laminate patternA brown background with lighter brown warp and weft “threads”.  Reminiscent of a woven fabric, it has evolved into a compact small pattern that provides texture and highlights. Casual Linen is a crossover from the contract line.

4962-38 Gesso Tracery (Standard)

retro laminate patternretro laminateThe quatrefoil is a conventionalized representation of a flower with four petals or of a leaf with four leaflets.  The small scale quatrefoil motif is repeated and fades in and out and is rendered in a warm white with hints of grey.  Gesso Tracery is a crossover from the contract line.

4973-38 Endora (Standard)

retro laminateEndora is a small to medium scaled abstract pattern overlapping box and square in retro color of pink and gold.  The name is indicative of the mid-century names to connect to a moment in time when women named Betty and Endora would work in their very modern kitchens.  This pattern reflects the quirky optimistic quality that reflects that period in time.

D502-60 Ocean Matte Finish (Standard)

retro laminate colorThe colors in the mid-century were a reaction that went against what was there before which was very somber, subtler, quieter colors. Colors in the ’50s and ’60s became brighter and stronger — anti-establishment, but optimistic.  Colors were mixed in ways they hadn’t been put together before, such as black, turquoise, and red, a clear example of all the rules being thrown out the window.

This color comes from one of our international sister companies.  Ocean can be found in Polyrey’s collection as E026 Emeraude, as well as in Shanghai’s and Thailand’s collections as 0028 Emerald Sea.

D501-60 Orange Grove Matte Finish (Standard)

retro laminate colorThe colors in the mid-century were a reaction that went against what was there before which was very somber, subtler, quieter colors. Colors in the ’50s and ’60s became brighter and stronger — anti-establishment, but optimistic.  This dynamic orange perfectly reflects that sentiment.

This color comes from one of our international sister companies.  Orange Grove can be found in both Thailand’s and Shanghai’s collections as 0387 Orange.

4972-38 Betty (Standard)

retro laminateBetty is a small to medium scaled abstract pattern overlapping box and square in retro color blend of teal and orange.  The name is indicative of the mid-century names to connect to a moment in time when women named Betty and Endora would work in their very modern kitchens.  This pattern reflects the quirky optimistic quality that reflects that period in time.

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Comments

  1. mike says

    Pam, Formica or Wilsonart needs to hire you as a design consultant!

    Nobody “GETS” retro as well as you do. If they would stop wasting time and money on artists who clearly weren’t around back in the day, then they could open the archives and give us back our sparkles, cracked ice, and other GENUINE patterns.

    • pam kueber says

      Hi Mike, I’m trying! When I wrote the story about Wilsonart’s reproduction retro laminates Compre and Daisy, I noted the following disclosure: Earlier this year [2014] I met with Wilsonart to discuss vintage laminates and laminates available today for midcentury style kitchens and bathrooms and ways we might be able to work together to get more vintage-style designs and colorways back on the market. While I was not involved specifically in the rollout of the Compre and Daisy designs shown, I saw the original document prints, provided a few suggestions, and encouraged this effort. I continue to work with Wilsonart in this area and if any collaborative projects result, will disclose the blog’s involvement.

  2. Melissa says

    It hasn’t been the best week but this sure cheers me up! We are going to make our 1958 kitchen awesome again and I think this is just the counter top look I want 😀 Thank you for the news!

  3. Kristine says

    Please send info. when Wilsonart’s 4972-38 Betty Laminate …. will be available!!! Info. on cost !!!

  4. Bob says

    I am looking to replace my current laminate counter tops and I really like the Betty and Endora patterns,but I cannot find them on the Wilsonart website.

    • Bob says

      Sorry, I just noticed these will not be available until summer. I’m surprised that their website still does not mention them though.

  5. Nancy says

    We are ordering Betty for our 1964 ranch kitchen remodel! Thanks for having brought it to attention. I kept it in mind while planning. WilsonArt sent me samples of Betty and Endora. Endora may find her place in our bath remodel!

  6. Patti Cannan says

    I ordered my 8×10 free samples from Wilsonart yesterday. Can’t wait to see them in person! Thank you so much for telling us about them 🙂

  7. kim says

    Thanks so much for showing the counter top done in Betty. I have decided this will be my new kitchen counter top!

  8. Kristine C. says

    We have the Bronze Nassau in our kitchen. I can see why it wasn’t too popular. I’m not too fond of it either but I love that it is original to the house. It’s been a challenging pattern for decorating but it’s still in beautiful condition. It’s difficult to envision in a small sample how busy the pattern really is in an entire kitchen.

  9. Joe Felice says

    OMG! Ocean and orange grove mixed in a kitchen would be the bomb! The wall paper I’m using in my dining room has these colors in it, and I’m jumping off from there to using those colors for paint on the walls & trim. The booth is Ocean vinyl in Malibu style (white V-back). Pics can be forthcoming if anyone is interested. It will be “Joe’s Diner.” I even have a clock that says “Eat at Joe’s.” (Though nobody ever does.)

    • Mary Elizabeth says

      It sounds lovely, and you should definitely send photos to Pam and Kate when it is done.

      As for your lack of dinner companions, let us know your address, and we’ll be over next Saturday. 🙂

  10. Diana says

    Thank you two-fold!!

    First, I now have a name for the laminate in my peachy-pink bathroom: Formica’s Nassau! I love it! But my time-capsule was built in 1964 and the article says it was discontinued in 1957. NOS?

    Second, thank you for finding my new kitchen countertop, Betty! It will go great with my wood, coppertone, and turquoise kitchen. I’m so excited, as my husband will be when he hears about his next project!

  11. Heather says

    Fan-tastic! My pink kitchen’s current formica top is badly chipped and I was looking for something “retro” to replace it. (Yes, dear husband, if you are reading this – I am keeping it pink!) Home Depot has been our home away from home since moving to our 1960 rancher a month ago. Thank You for sharing this!

  12. says

    I found a sample of Betty @ Menard’s yesterday…there is actually a bit of tan in the sample, as well as a greige, soft orange & blue…going with this for my 72 Serro Scotty camper unless I chicken out & decide on white!

  13. Autumn says

    Just discovered from this post that my 1955 Cape Cod kitchenette indeed has Formica’s Nassau laminate in a light grey pattern, and in perfect condition 😉 Thank you, Retro Reno, for helping me pinpoint our print! Also, we are looking to add backsplash tile that coordinates with our great print! Any suggestions out there about an authentic tile size/shape/color?!

      • Mary Elizabeth says

        Toni, I believe Autumn said she has the original laminate and is keeping it. She can’t get any more in the Nassau pattern to do a backsplash.

        Autumn, you could put up a new laminate in a coordinating solid color for a backsplash. But I think that looked best in the 1950s when they had the same laminate for the counter and the backsplash, especially in a small kitchen.

        If I were you, I would look at some of the old stories on this site about kitchen retro renos for ideas of tile shapes and colors. One of the things many people have done is to take colors from collections they already have (such as Fiesta dishes, a vintage mixer, etc.) and incorporate them into the kitchen tile.

        • Autumn says

          Thank you for the suggestions, Toni and Mary Elisabeth!! I’m going to dig up some of the older kitchen posts and see what was done. The wood cabinets are teal with stainless hardware. I should mention that the original stainless edging on the counter tops and backsplash is still in good condition as well. Appliances are white- a 1957 Tappan Deluxe gas stove and GE NF-8E Refrigerator. Black and white tile floor.

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