Attending the International Builder’s Show this year in Las Vegas is always fun, and I’m constantly on the prowl for new products and ideas that can stimulate me and get my design juices flowing. It’s not always easy to get jazzed about building materials, but there were some pretty neat things happening at the FORMICA booth.
First of all, the company was introducing its new line of ANNIVERSARY collection patterns, all of which have a great “retro” vibe…here’s what they look like. It’s a new twist on the old “boomerang” and speckled patterns of the 1950s with a gorgeous color palette.
But it didn’t stop there. Formica has just introduced a new process for fabricating edge details on countertops called IdealEdge. It’s a detached, pre-formed edge made in two shapes: ogee and bullnose which is applied separately, creating a fluid transition between top and front. What this does is eliminate any “black line,” which I like on retro-type installs, but not when a stone or a more natural look is called for.
Formica has also reduced the size of the front edge to 1 1/4 in. from the conventional 1 1/2 in., which makes it the size of a natural slab of stone. Also, let’s not forget that it’s now possible to undermount a sink into the laminate !
Now, you may not think this is such a big deal, but for a designer who’s constantly honing her craft, it’s given me a lot to think about. How many clients do you have who insist that granite countertops are the holy grail? Can’t there be something else besides that boring old slab of stone? Between the retro patterns and the new edges, I can think of hundreds of fresh new possibilities in kitchen design that I’m itching to do. Also bathrooms, kid’s rooms, laundry rooms, bars, offices, and so much more. Thanks, Formica, for giving me a much needed design boost.