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Announcing 7 new boomerang laminates — “Retro Renovation® by Wilsonart” — woot!

retro boomerang laminateDrum roll, please: Today we unveil the seven new boomerang laminate color palettes that we have developed in collaboration with Wilsonart — the new Retro Renovation® by Wilsonart® collection! Kate and I are in Las Vegas at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) 2016 — we’ll be meeting with design media and kitchen and bath professionals all day today and tomorrow to show them the new designs. Meanwhile, here are all the official press materials, including photos of the seven colorways. We hope you like them — in terms of getting additional retro designs into the pipeline, it’s a start!

retro boomerang laminate

The official news release:

Wilsonart Teams With RetroRenovation.com for Project Boomerang

Seven New Colorways Created for Homeowners Decorating Kitchens and Bathrooms in Midcentury and Vintage Styles

LAS VEGAS, NV (January 19, 2016) – Put on your poodle skirts! Make some milkshakes! Stack up those 45s!  Wilsonart, a leading manufacturer of decorative engineered surfaces for 60 years, has teamed up with home design bloggers Pam Kueber and Kate Battle of RetroRenovation.com to introduce Retro Renovation® by Wilsonart, seven new colorways of boomerang laminate designs.  Developed to coordinate with both vintage materials and new products available in classic retro colors, the seven new colorways were designed to appeal to the growing number of homeowners who want to bring popular colors from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s into their kitchens and bathrooms.

Finding small-scale, tone-on-tone, abstract pattern laminates in a variety of retro colors has been a particularly vexing problem for Retro Renovators, until now.  The new boomerang designs, part of Wilsonart’s Virtual Design Library (VDL) “Retro” category, combine with other abstract shapes in the following colorways:

  • Retro Renovation® First Lady Pink – A warm pink color popularized by Mamie Eisenhower in the 1950s, super popular in pink bathrooms and great for a sweetheart kitchen, too.
  • Retro Renovation® Delightful Jade – Inspired by vintage jadeite milk glass, a beloved color and collectible among retro enthusiasts. Kate used this color in her 1962 bathroom. We love it for vintage-style kitchens, too.
  • Retro Renovation® Créme Caramel – A delicious pale golden yellow background with butterscotch boomerangs. This colorway looks great with wood cabinetry.
  • Retro Renovation® Rock ‘n’ Roll Ruby – The only design that is not tone-on-tone, this one is a bold retro design inspired by diners with waitresses on roller skates.
  • Retro Renovation® Aqua Ripple – A soft, retro aqua that also plays well with blue.
  • Retro Renovation® Nostalgic Gray – A warm, relatively light gray that would work well as a neutral or with color-coordinated tiles or décor.
  • Retro Renovation® Friendly Beige – A warm, light rosy-beige also intended as a neutral.

Tapping Wilsonart’s Design Heritage

“With an ever expanding collection of curated laminate designs, our Virtual Design Library (VDL) allows for beautiful, individual, customization. VDL gives the designer the opportunity to make every space unique,” said Natalia Smith, product design manager at Wilsonart. “From High Pressure Laminate designs that include footballs to folk art, and checkerboards to cherry groves, the digital design library contains something for every space or inspiration. Adding Retro Renovation by Wilsonart to our collection will expand our selection of popular retro patterns.”

“My blog is all about helping owners of midcentury and vintage homes find the products they need to get their projects done,” said Pam Kueber, publisher of RetroRenovation.com, a popular home renovation design and decorating website with more than 325,000 unique visitors each month.  “Because this market is still a niche, there’s been a real shortage of mass-market laminates available to use in retro kitchens and baths. When I learned about the flexibility of the Virtual Design Library, I knew it was a great place to offer these beautiful retro-classic colorways.”

Retro Renovation® by Wilsonart will be available online February 1. For more information about Wilsonart products, including the new Retro Renovation by Wilsonart, visit www.wilsonart.com or call 1-800-433-3222.

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About Retro Renovation

Founded by mid mod mad journalist Pam Kueber in 2007, RetroRenovation.com today attracts more than 325,000 unique visitors each month – enthusiastic fans of midcentury and vintage design who are looking for products and ideas to help remodel, renovate and decorate their homes in a way that is sympathetic to the original architecture. The site’s top goal is to help readers find the often hard-to-find products they need to get their projects done. It contains more than 3,000 stories, including categorized research on scores of products suitable to renovate and decorate a midcentury home; detailed stories about readers’ remodels; photos of more than 100 time capsule houses to scrutinize for ideas; an archive of rare architectural features from the era; a history of vintage steel kitchen cabinets and list of more than 70 brands, and more. The New York Times called RetroRenovation.com “the go-to destination for enthusiasts who want to restore houses built during the post-World War II boom.”

About Wilsonart

Wilsonart is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of High Pressure Laminates and other engineered surfaces used in furniture, office and retail space, countertops, worktops and other applications. The company operates under the Wilsonart®, Resopal®, Polyrey®, Arborite®, Ralph Wilson® and Durcon® brands and has achieved success through a combination of outstanding service, high-quality products and a focus on continuously redefining decorative surfaces through improved performance and aesthetics. For more information, visit www.Wilsonart.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Let’s take a closer look at the seven colorways:retro boomerang laminate

retro boomerang laminate
Retro Renovation® First Lady Pink – A warm pink color popularized by Mamie Eisenhower in the 1950s, super popular in pink bathrooms and great for a sweetheart kitchen, too.
retro boomerang laminate
Retro Renovation® Delightful Jade – Inspired by vintage jadeite milk glass, a beloved color and collectible among retro enthusiasts. Kate used this color in her 1962 bathroom. We love it for vintage-style kitchens, too.
retro boomerang laminate
Retro Renovation® Créme Caramel – A delicious pale golden yellow background with butterscotch boomerangs. This colorway looks great with wood cabinetry.
retro boomerang laminate
Retro Renovation® Rock ‘n’ Roll Ruby – The only design that is not tone-on-tone, this one is a bold retro design inspired by diners with waitresses on roller skates.
retro boomerang laminate
Retro Renovation® Aqua Ripple – A soft, retro aqua that also plays well with blue.
retro boomerang laminate
Retro Renovation® Nostalgic Gray – A warm, relatively light gray that would work well as a neutral or with color-coordinated tiles or décor.
retro boomerang laminate
Retro Renovation® Friendly Beige – A warm, light rosy-beige also intended as a neutral.


And finally, more background that we wrote up in a fact sheet:

An Evolution

  • Wilsonart already had an established “Retro” Virtual Design Library Category in several midcentury styled patterns and colorways. This retro pattern includes three abstract characters – line-drawn boomerangs intermingled with a loose figure eight and a rounded rectangle.
  • To refresh the palette and open the design to more potential uses, Pam and Kate envisioned lower-contrast, tone-on-tone colorways that would meld with the most popular midcentury bathroom and kitchen colorways, especially those calling for warm pastels.
  • In the new colorways, Pam and Kate wanted to see the boomerang more clearly “floating” on top of these other elements to ensure dynamism, but with carefully controlled contrast.

Setting the Mood

  • Pam and Kate compiled design boards that were the influence for each of the colors. The boards included both new products available today in appropriate retro colors, such as tile and flooring, as well as vintage materials, like wallpaper, chalkware fish, hardware modules and even several cabinet doors.
    • These products – both vintage and new – reflect what actual renovators might be using or decorating around in their kitchen and bathroom projects today.
  • Pam and Kate created collages that would give even more life to the boards and to evoke the happy feeling and vibrant color that retro décor inspires.

Developing the Colorways

  • Wilsonart’s design team selected colors for each character of the design to get the right combination.
  • A sample was generated and compared against the design boards for coordination. Through each phase of this process, the slightest alteration needed evaluation to ensure a perfect balance of color and contrast.
  • Laminate samples were sent to Pam and Kate for review. Changes to one layer of any design potentially impacted the whole look of the pattern, affecting intensity or color. Some of the retro shades were more difficult than others to get just right, so the review process continued until the seven new colorways were achieved.

Epic, huh? Yup. This has all been pretty epic.

We are at the show today, so may not have a lot of time to respond to comments until much later. Wish us luck and lots of publicity for The Retro!!!

retro boomerang laminateBoomies-samples-now-availableFB

When can I get samples and/or buy these?

  • UPDATE FEB. 1: The designs are now available — you can order free 8′ x 10″ samples within their Virtual Design Library Retro collection. Of course, it’s important to get samples to see this in place in your space; as you can even see from our photography and graphic representations, colors render differently on screen vs. in place.
  • UPDATE: You can buy these online at Home Depot. You can also go to a specialty retailer like Heffrons A Moment in Time Retro Design [disclosure: A longtime Retro Renovation advertiser). NOTE: When I ordered samples from Wilsonart to test the system – a list of dealers in my area came up alongside my order in the Cart Checkout.

Disclosure: I want readers to know: I do not make money if you buy this laminate; “the deal” that I have with Wilsonart includes other elements of consideration. For example, on Feb. 1 they will launch an advertisement on the blog, for which Retro Renovation is compensated. So, I do not have any incremental financial reason to promote the laminates in this collection over other options — see all our research on countertop options to find the product that’s right for you! – Publisher Pam.

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