Textile-look / non-referential pattern laminates

palimpsestMay 30, 2013

A number of laminate companies have introduced or expanded their offerings of textile inspired, but relatively non-referential laminate patterns. (But no re-introduction of Formica Irish Linen).

There are expanding offerings and even a couple new companies offering laminate (InteriorArts, part of Treefrog Veneers and Chemetal, for one.)

So, somebody is using it--mostly commercial in the US I think.

Anyway, I think in the right kitchen or right bathroom in the right house, it could be used for cabinet facings, since it would read primarily as a color, but provide enough pattern to be a bit forgiving.

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It's about time that the residential market rediscovered the fun in a kitchen design. While there was a lot to dislike about some of the designs from the 60's and 70's, there were a lot of affordable options that brought some light hearted informality into the kitchen. Everything these days is so serious as to be on a par of having the Palace of Versailles have a La Corneau plopped in the middle of it.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:10AM
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This is the Wilson house, which is now a house museum.

Mr. Wilson was the founder of WilsonArt, so he filled his house with it. I got this picture from Mid-Centuria

I think we are much more afraid of color. Or at least doing large blocks of color like this.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:20AM
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We actually put the second one you posted in our laundry room. I like it because it's different. Laminate isn't stone and never really passes for stone - so we felt if we were going to use laminate, we might as well pick something "fun" - particularly because it is in the laundry room and not somewhere more prominent like the kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:30AM
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I think you posted about the Irish Linen a while back. I had something that looked just like the first one you posted in an apartment but it was more green. The apartment complex was built in the late '60s, and my dad said it was sort of a swinger's place-although he wouldn't tell me how he knew that.

Anyway I loved that counter, and the pattern and color still looked pretty and current decades later. It also helps that kitchen was a small galley with a huge window in the end over looking a big Crab Apple tree. It would be nice to have fun counters again. I've always had laminate, and I will also forgo the back splash when we build a house. It will be closed off from the rest of the house so I don't need it to look show ready.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 12:14PM
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That top sample was a finalist when we were selecting our laminate last fall. The linen-like look seemed like it would have been very easy to live with. We really liked the laminates with subtle textures too, like microdots, grooves, etc. In the end we chose one with a linear texture which we really like.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 12:16PM
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I've always been fond of the textile-look laminates (and the ones that look like paper). My impression is that most folks who go for laminate go for a stone look (certainly those are what dominate Formica and WilsonArt's offerings). But the result is that then laminate always seems like the poor man's substitute for the real thing. Now textiles and paper--there is no "real thing" in countertops (well, there are a couple paper based products but they don't look like paper).

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 4:57PM
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palimpsest: what is a non-referential laminate?

I designed a custom desk around the perimeter of half a room and into a dormer. I spec'd a laminate that had black in it so that I could put a black band on the front edge, so that the black seam would not be obvious. I love it as a desk surface. It is warm to the touch and it's a great writing surface. I have put 10 years of sweating iced water glasses or hot coffee on it, and it still looks like new.

I used Formica's Fallen Leaves that had forest-y greens and blacks. Looks like they no longer make that color variation.

Here's a different color of "fallen leaves"

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 7:00PM
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Laminate is not a crime.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 7:41PM
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I am using it a bit loosely, but in design non-referential means in character or style it doesn't refer to anything too specific. These patterns technically refer to fabric but vaguely enough that it's mostly read as an abstract or variegated color.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 7:51PM
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Indeed, LoPay. Everyone does not spend a fortune on their kitchens, well monied or not.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 7:52PM
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Holly- Kay

DD just renovated her grandmother's house in entirety. She wanted it to be a nice reno but not terribly expensive. I just love the changes that she made and it looks lovely. She put a beautiful laminate in the kitchen. She chose to not try to mimic stone and I love her decision. She paid a G.C. to totally gut a small two bedroom home. She spent less than an average kitchen remodel and it looks great!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 8:07PM
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Exactly, you have to use the strong points of laminate to your advantage.

I am waiting for flush mount ceiling lights to be the next thing.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 6:46PM
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