Wilsonart is launching a new wave of laminates on June 1 — with one of their big themes, “What’s Old is New Again”. I asked their PR team to send me samples of the new designs, so that I could ogle the colors and patterns. Alas, we are currently living amidst of design wave of gray kitchens, so few of these laminates are what I’d describe as “midcentury cheerful”…they have serious gray undertones — very low chroma, I think is how you describe it. Even so, there are a number of neutrals — and even one aqua — that Retro Renovators in needs of new kitchen counter tops or bathroom counter tops will want to take a look at.
Above: Pinball laminate from Wilsonart — which Wilsonart describes as having a 1980s vibe — like all the arcade games we were nuts about — or, they say, it could also been seen as a 1950s vibe. I agree. This is a great new neutral to consider but, again, very gray.
Want more styles kind of like this? Take a look at Formica’s Dogbone etc.
Above: Linens also in the lineup. However, while I was excited to hear them coming, I am less excited to see them in person. They do not replicate the massively popular, midcentury linen laminates. They are very literal. It’s like they took a photo of a really tightly woven linen. These seem “uptight” to me. But, check them out yourself, different strokes — errr… warps and wefts — for different folks…
Above: I’ll show you the Linearity lineup, too, even though I’d call it 2012 contemporary, not midcentury modern. This line has the “faux bois”, or cartoonish fake woodgrain, look that I’ve noticed is being massively marketed currently.
- See these laminates — and more new Wilsonart designs — here in the Contract/Commercial section of Wilsonart’s website.
You know, I continue to self-analyze why I am so negative on the greige (mausoleum) look being pushed by mass marketers today. It truly pains me. I really don’t think that I just don’t *like* this color — because I like grey and beige and greige just fine, in doses — they can be restful backdrops, just like white and off-white. But all over every surface of the room? I just don’t get it…. On this question, I am going to play the age and experience card: I have always been “into decorating”… I have been reading home design magazines since I was five years old… and have lived through and soaked up virtually every decorating trend wave since, let’s say, 1969. In addition, I have been immersed in the world of earlier 20th century design for a good solid 20 years. My takeway from all this experience: We humans are ornamental creatures. We always come back to ornament. We love decoration — including color, sparkle, excess. In addition, we are fundamentally optimistic creatures — who want our homes to be happy places. In contrast: All these greys being marketed today (again: not in doses, but covering massive amounts of space) are quite sparse, washed out, anti-ornamental and glum. Color, sparkle, happy ornament — they always return. I just do not believe all these gray kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms will endure: In contrast, I think this whole era will go down a greigenormous, “What in the world were we thinking?” — and not soon enough for me, that’s for sure. Yes, certain “best of” elements will be revived around the year 2062… by which time my bones will be tucked away my own pink marble mausoleum… my soul, eternally rocking and rolling along red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet rainbows accompanied by flower power butterflies and laughing bluebirds.