Jonathan Adler for Formica laminates — two patterns, four colorways new for 2016

retro laminatesAnother new product introduction at KBIS 2016: Two new Jonathan Adler for Formica patterns, in a total of four colorways. Pam and I made sure to check out the Formica display, where it was fun to see large samples of the laminate up close and in person. 

Grasscloth laminatelaminatelaminate

From the news release announcing the new 2016 designs:

Formica® Laminate Jonathan Adler Collection
Formica Corporation continues its relationship with the world-renowned potter, author and designer Jonathan Adler into 2016, resulting in four new chic, eclectic and bold patterns.

Grasscloth laminate
Lime Grasscloth
Grasscloth laminate
Natural Grasscloth
Grasscloth laminate
Slate Grasscloth

Grasscloth – Grasscloth was styled using Jonathan Adler’s real grasscloth wallpaper to create a visual texture that is unique, yet timeless. Available in Natural Grasscloth, Lime Grasscloth and Slate Grasscloth.

Jonathan Adler laminate
Gray Josef Linen

Gray Josef Linen – a simple, yet complex pattern inspired by Josef Albers. Reminiscent of Midcentury Modern, this pattern features geometric shapes in shades of charcoal, smoke gray and white – all under a fine gray linen texture.

>> There were three patterns in a total of nine colorways of Jonathan Adler for Formica designs introduced in 2015. See this story — in which we scooped the entire internet!

laminate Grasscloth laminateGrasscloth laminateThe new Jonathan Adler patterns are what we’d call “retro-contemporary.” The new grasscloth designs appear to be virtually photographic in quality, rather than abstract, which is what we’d have seen in midcentury America.

Jonathan Adler laminateThe scale of the Gray Josef Linen is quite large and graphic, as you see in much of contemporary design; in midcentury America, patterns were smaller — designed to be “optical solids.” We recently learned this term from our good friend, materials expert and historian Grace Jeffers. Optical solids are typically small-scale, tone-on-tone patterns that (1) viewed at close range, clearly have a pattern, (2) at mid-range, you can sort of see the pattern… you see motion, and (3) at a greater distance look like a solid. 

laminateThe linen laminates introduced last year were also on display. Vintage linen laminates are among our favorite and most useful vintage designs. These Formica interpretations are more photographic in quality. We like the colors!

laminateThe orange might look nice in a tiki bar, what do you think? Pam says that she thinks she spotted the laminate in Vinyl, in Devon’s Connecticut kitchen. Anyone else catch it? 

laminateabove: Lime Grasscloth.

laminateThe lime looked good on this small run of countertop. 


laminateForever on the lookout for a place to take a load off and rest, we also discovered these fun geometric benches in one corner of the booth. We liked the contrast bold of color against white, and that they were both entirely clad in one of our favorite materials — laminate!

Link love:

  1. Clint says:

    Update June 2018; I just called Formica & the adler collection was discontinued in January 2018. Unfortunate to stop a product after only 2 years.

  2. Kathy says:

    Nice to have more options. Checked the website and they have a new off white on white Greek key choice too. Thinking about it for my pink bathroom.

  3. Joe Felice says:

    I like the Gay Josef Linen, but the Charcoal Malachite would look cool in a mod ’70s kitchen.

    1. David Thompson says:

      We did the Charcoal Malachite in or 1966 side split in Brampton Ontario Canada. SO cool! A bit shocking at first, (and the countertop company thought we were crazy) but for sure the correct choice for us anyway. Cabinets are high gloss white and high gloss grey from Ikea. And the greys are exactly the same. LOL… don’t spill pepper corns on it. You will never see then, as we laughed.

  4. Amypie says:

    Hey Pam, I recognized Devon’s countertops as JA too, and got all excited ????????????. Also, the phones in the house are orange, yellow and green ????

  5. Elizabeth Mary says:

    OH, I got so excited to see the Gray Josef Linen —- until I realized this is “formica” not “linoleum”. It would be perfect on my floor, I think — if it would be OK with the charcoal Formica counters. Shoot!!!! Foiled again in my quest for a new floor.

    1. Mary Elizabeth says:

      Hi, Elizabeth Mary! This is your reverse namesake. You should look at all the stories about kitchen floors in the RetroReno archives to get ideas to redo your kitchen floor in vintage style. You can use different colors of vinyl tiles or Marmoleum that go with your boomerang countertops.

      1. Elizabeth Mary says:

        Hi back, Mary Elizabeth,

        Yes, over the years I have looked at many of the stories and styles, but this pattern really appealed to me. Re-doing the floor and getting rid of the faux gray stone vinly tiles is amazingly tough for me for some reason. For one, finding what I want to use is hard, but even harder is finding someone who will do it for me. I give up for a few years and then start all over again trying to solve both those issues. The minute I thought this pattern was for the floor was a minute I felt like taking on the installation issue again.

  6. erica says:

    hey ladies! I’ve emailed you a couple times about this, but still hoping you’ll share it with everyone: New England Demolition & Salvage in New Bedford, MA is closing. This is an entire mill building full of architectural salvage; like matching colored bathroom sets, stained glass windows, shutters, metal railings, every kind of door imaginable, light fixtures, load of hardware… There are two full floors, and apparently now they’ve opened up the third floor of storage to customers. Everything is 50% off and their facebook page says the closing date just got pushed from March 31st to April 16th so there’s still time to grab some goodies! They were really hoping to sell the business, but sadly nothing worked out. Thanks!

    1. Valerie says:

      What ever did they do with what was left? I’ve moved down the Cape and am looking for tons of retro stuff………

  7. Mary Elizabeth says:

    I love Jonathan Adler’s designs, and these Formica patterns are an example of how he bridges the contemporary with MCM. My favorites are the linen-textured ones.

    It seems to me that the appearance of more and more interesting laminate patterns means that people other than MCM enthusiasts are again embracing laminate counters as decorating elements in their own right as opposed to faux substitutes for something else (such as laminates that look like granite or butcher block). And all the color that is creeping into decorating is making me very happy.

  8. Carolyn says:

    I think I’ve seen more grass cloth laminates in my life than the boomerangs. Probably because it’s been in farmhouses and working class homes. They wanted the easy-care of formica but not the out-of-this-world patterns.
    “Charcoal Malachite”(?) – a real Pucci vibe going there OR is it sliced agates? Whatever, I’m drawn to it even though I can’t picture where it’d be used.

    1. Carolyn says:

      Oh, for Pete’s sake! It wasn’t grass cloth but the linen design and in red on the kitchen countertop. Gray boomerang on the bathroom vanity.

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