Formica Ellipse laminate looking great in these retro kitchens

formica-ellipseWhile on the Vintage Vegas Home & History tour, I also took side trips to see a few other midcentury homes. Each had done some degree of kitchen remodeling — and coincidentally, each had used Formica’s Ellipse laminate on their kitchen countertops. Above: Pam — who was a tour guide at one of the homes on the tour — took me to her home to see her kitchen remodel, which is nearly complete. She used Formica Ellipse in “White Ellipse” — although I’d say it definitely reads very light gray. My photo doesn’t do the countertop justice — it looked great!

And the wallpaper? Pam told me it’s “Leisure Time” from Spoonflower. The scale of the little flamingos — wonderful! She also had a perfect pink paint color that I need to get. She said she tried about six cans to get the pink right — oh, don’t we understand!

formica-ellipseLater on, Heidi Swank, Executive Director of Nevada Preservation Foundation, which sponsored the home tour, also let me take a sneak peek of her house, which still has renovations under way. In her kitchen — yup — Formica Ellipse, but in the darker shade “Grey Ellipse.” I’m just tantalizing you with this photo — the kitchen is complete — and it’s GORGEOUS. Story to come!

pink-sink-in-vantiyAbove: You may also recall that reader Mary Elizabeth used Ellipse in her pink and gray bathroom freshen-up. Looks like the darker Ellipse Grey to me.

formica-Anniversary-Collection-Chips-EllipsePart of the company’s 100th Anniversary set of designs, Formica’s Ellipse pattern comes in three colors. See our original story — including more photos of the collection — here. 


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  1. Carolyn says

    In the last 2-3 months I’ve picked up magazines that all either featured MCM or mentioned decorating elements of this era. Kinda funny that this blog had a discussion in the last year or so as to what to say to friends/family who rudely asked when and how we were going to “update” our decor! By looking back, we are trendsetters!
    I think the Ellipse colors have background colors onto which the ellipses are printed – they look better in use than on the sample pieces. Pam’s choice of the white highlights her wallpaper where a plain laminate or gray might have overwhelmed.
    So…Heidi’s kitchen laminate – where did she get the edging band between the counter and backsplash – is that a product or something that needs to be adapted?
    I wanna hear the story of the tilt-out toaster!

    • says

      I believe I found the edging for the back of the counter through RetroRenovation. Hmm… I’m almost positive. I know I didn’t find it on my own.

      It does need to be ordered in larger quantities. We have a couple of rental houses we are restoring in Vegas, so we bought enough for our kitchen and one more. But you might want to find a friend or plan on reselling the leftovers.

      • Carolyn says

        I meant that piece just under the toaster (which I REALLY can’t wait to hear the story on that!). You can see below the light switch and outlet where two pieces were joined. Patty jury-rigged her Yabba Dabba kitchen using “aluminum 90 degree L from Lowes. I used contact cement to adhere it.” And, hey, it works! Heidi’s is skinnier and looks like I remember from a former farmhouse kitchen.

  2. Adrienne says

    ADORE the silver and pink combo, but the red sample chip!! THAT is my dream color. Paired with some 50s diner vinyl bench tables…love it. And a shout out to flamingo wallpaper. Sooo sweet!

  3. Jennifer says

    Sadly, the ellipse pattern has been discontinued. We bought the red ellipse to use in our pink kitchen. Yes, red!

  4. Jennifer says

    In reference to my comment about the ellipse pattern being sold out, I meant to say that we grabbed up some red as soon as we heard.

    I checked into the white a few weeks ago, and Formica replied that they still have some stock–although you have to order through a retailer. I don’t know about the other colors though. If you’re interested in the ellipse pattern, order it before it’s gone!

    The red is beautiful. Red and pink seems to be a classic color combination for kitchens; I hope it works in our renovation.

  5. Jukesgrrl says

    I’m in love with Pam’s building. I wish I was ready to move because there are currently three apartments for sale in her building and I would take on any of them. Unfortunately family business is keeping me in Arizona, but when I’m free to go I’m Las Vegas bound. And I don’t want a condo in one of the 1990s complexes.

  6. Mary Hutka says

    Hi! We used the white ellipse with Formica Jonathan Adler Orange Greek Key- John and Mary Hutka renovate a 1980s kitchen in the Retro Renovation blog December 2015. I am sorry to hear they are discontinuing the Ellipse pattern. We love ours!

  7. Nikki says

    Thanks for a great tour Pam! I really enjoy seeing what folks have done with their homes. So nice to see products showcased as well. The wallpaper website is awesome, so sorry now that I tiled my back splash!

  8. Mary Elizabeth says

    Yes, Pam, you are right that my Formica was Gray Ellipse. (We used the leftover to line the new recessed shelf and medicine cabinet DH built, as well as the open shelf on a new hanging cabinet over the toilet.) The reason I chose it was that there are many shades of gray in it, so it picks up on the many shades of gray in the swirly plastic tile. (And no, I’m not talking about our love life, just our decorating choices.) 🙂

    Too bad they have discontinued the pattern. I love Heidi’s counter, and do I spy a vintage built-in toaster?? Does it work? Can’t wait for the story.

  9. Peggy says

    You are ruining me for French Provincial and chalk paint! Just bought a 1953 bedroom suite at Habitat Restore in Norman Oklahoma. Out with the chalk paint and in with the clean lines of mid century.

  10. Erica Leal says

    Is that a toaster inset into the wall? A Murphy toaster, so to speak! I don’t think I’ve ever coveted anything so badly in my entire life!

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