orange kitchen countertop laminateThe new crop of laminates suitable for mid-century kitchen countertops continues. Reader Jon gets snaps for spotting this new “Motion” series of laminate from Pionite. Jon writes:

Hi Pam,

First, I love the site. I’ve been reading it since December when I purchased my teeny tiny 1946 house (originally a summer home) on the shore in NJ. Anyway, I was looking around for laminates for my upcoming kitchen redo, and I came across 9 great linen looking laminates from Pionite. Alas, no red, but still some very nice colors. I ordered samples of all of them from Pionite’s website, and they look even better in person!

The colors on their site are not always a good representation of the true color… I urge your to order some samples for yourself (samples not available in gloss, but it’s offered if you buy a sheet).

– Jon

To view slide show, click on the first thumbnail, and move forward or back via the arrows below each image.

Thank you, Jon. I agree — these offer some great new choices for our kitchen countertop arsenal. I called Pionite right away after receiving your note, and they sent me large samples sizes. I, too, really like the scratchy linen-like look … their sales & marketing manager mentioned “scratched metal” — I think this one is where industrial meets mid-mod.  Ahem, many of the colors are on the drab side — consistent with the seige of the Greige Nation currently under way across our great nation — as a defensive volley, I did forewarn the kind Pionite folks that I am going to make fun of their “Graveyard of the Atlantic” color. Click here for the rant.

That said, I quite adore the orange — that’s my favorite color of all time and my 2011 Retro Renovation Color of the Year. The white is nice, and the blues are pretty cool. I’m thinkin’: Mid century modern kitchens more so than perky mid century modests….


  1. emma edwards says:

    Hi, I am in the UK (unfortunately as everything great is in the USA!) and the pionite site is not letting me order samples for some reason. would you say the star of the west is a light salmon pink and orville a nice pale yellow?
    Thanks alot

    1. amy pie says:


      I am have a sample of “star of the west” in front of me and no, sadly it is not in any way a shade of salmon pink. Would that it were, my search for the perfect laminate would be over! I would describe it as a more of a tan color with some warmth, not too yellow and not very pink. It might work with peach tones and is fairly neutral but definitely not salmon. I think of it as a perfect 50’s western tan, would go great with that kind of decor, and actually it would make a pretty nice top on a tiki bar. I left the sample of “orville” at my new house but I know that it is definitely not a pale yellow. It is more golden, but grayed down, and deeper. I love it but not with the cabinets I have. I had looked at a house last spring with dark wood cabinets and great orange and yellow floral wallpaper in the kitchen and that is when I ordered the samples. The “orville” and “summer heat wave” (a subdued pumpkin-y orange) would have worked beautifully in that house, which was built in the very early 1970’s. I am searching for either an aqua or a salmony-pink or non-flourescent yellow laminate but so far have found nothing I love in current production (all the aquas and turquoise choices are too green or too blue. I was spoiled by another house I looked at with the same cabinets as mine that had gorgeous original turquoise counters). I do love “graveyard of the atlantic”, a great neutral, but would really prefer a little color.

  2. Lauryn says:

    Full disclosure: I fell in love with the Graveyard of the Atlantic color (and the name, just because I’m a sucker for Russian novels and sad songs). After ordering a sample of grey cracked ice and being horrified (and heart broken) at how pixilated it was, we set out to find a suitable laminate for our 1939 kitchen. We wanted it to be somewhat neutral (or greige!) because we will have lots of color, with a warm yellow paint on the cabinets and a red amaranth marmoleum floor. We ended up choosing a Nevamar laminate, as they also have some great linen-like laminates, though nothing very colorful. After ordering samples from Pionite and Nevamar (who I believe are sister companies), it seems that the linen texture is more noticeable in the Nevamar samples. All their linen-look laminates’ color numbers start with “VA” and are found in the abstracts section of their website:

    1. pam kueber says:

      Wow, Lauryn — a great find! I’ll do a post and get them into our catalog of choices — all props to you! Be sure to send me a photo of your kitchen when it’s ready for prime time! Thank you!

  3. vintigchik says:

    I absolutely love orange! I would use this on my ktchen counters if we were going to stay here a long time. But I probably better stick with something more toned done (boring) so it won’t take so long to sell the house when we’re ready. The trend towards greige has been going on for a while now. Just go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and you’ll find 50 different shades of vanilla. BLAH! It just seems like it’s been amplified to the max. Drab everywhere! I agree with Pam, we need color around our homes, not monochromatic shades of dull everywhere. It is depressing. Color is one of our best decorating assests and they’re killing it.

    1. vintigchik says:

      Oh, I got on a rant and forgot to say that I love orange paired with turquoise!! There is a Village Inn restaurant in the next town from me and they redid the interior in a totally retro midcentruy style pairing orange, turquoise, and chocolate brown! One of my fav color combos. It’s so awesome and the tables are Aqua Boomerang Formica. You know, the ones the’re not going to make any more…sob 🙁

  4. Gavin Hastings says:


    I LIKE the drab-er colors and think they represent honest retro styling. That orange is a great shade…not in-your-face orange…and actually pretty calming.

    One of the biggest criticism of 1940-50’s decor is that it indeed tended to be a bit “boring”…not in design…but I have seen one million countertops: Hospital Linen Green, as featured in your North Adams Forest Ave tag sale house.

    I think of it as “Pat Nixon Republican Decor”.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Yes, I agree they are retro – but I do think they are grayer than what was used then. And certainly, we’re not getting proxies for the clearer more exuberant shades of the mid-century era. Again: I think that today’s shades are incorporating the color marketing world’s promotion of Greige.

      1. Annie B. says:

        I agree completely, Pam. I for one do not want to live in Mr. BLANDing’s Dream House. I’m glad we have choices; greige would just not be my choice.

          1. Sandie Sinatra says:

            Ha Ha! Do you remember how MRS. BLANDings picked her colors?? With a piece of thread, butter, robin’s egg, etc. And the painter going yep green, yeller, blue. LOVED that movie! Hey, another funny one is “the Money Tree”. Now, that’s something we ALL need! LOL! 😀

          2. Annie B. says:

            Thanks, Gavin! I liked your Pat Nixon (good cloth) Republican (coat) Decor. Reminds me of a great big slice of Mock Apple Pie.

          3. Gavin Hastings says:

            I think 90% of posters have no idea of the things we are talking about!
            I hope you are enjoying your grandchildren…… : )

  5. Syd Reinarz says:

    Pam: I am so glad my friend Greg Carlson suggested I follow you on FB. Your resources and ideas are just what I need in taking out a failing 1970’s remodel and planning my mid-century kitchen (in my 1914 Craftsman four-square). Thanks.

  6. Ellen says:

    I like the orange, too. My 1960 Florida house has orange in the terrazzo floors and I’ve never gone wrong with orange. I figure my hair is greige and that’s enough!

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