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Adding Storage Solutions to Kitchen Backsplashes

A beautiful backsplash can be a stunning focal point in a kitchen – but did you know this prime piece of kitchen real estate can work harder for you if you add a bit of dimension? We’re not just talking textured tiles, laminates or other decorative surfacing materials… think storage rail systems, open and recessed shelving and ledges. Here are a few examples:

Although certainly not new to kitchen design, rail systems, such as the ones below, provide flexible storage options for commonly used cooking utensils, dish towels and even plants. 


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Photo: 2012 Küchenmeile in Germany via Formica®

Open shelving can easily be mounted to a variety of backsplash materials, as seen below…

Photo: Formica® Laminate 180fx® in Calacatta Marble

Photo: Formica® Laminate 180fx® in Travertine Gold

… or integrated into the backsplash design.


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Photo: 2013 imm cologne’s LivingKitchen® via Formica®

Recessed shelving provides niche storage for commonly used cooking supplies. According to Ellen Cheever, CMKBD, ASID, CAPS, in her recent article “Ideas for Smashing Splashes & Counter Designs” for Kitchen and Bath Design News, kitchen planning standards allow any surface 16″ or deeper to be considered a functional work area, so keep these measurements in mind as you develop plans.


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Photo: via Formica®

Ledges also provide convenient resting places for spices, sauces and timers. As you can see, these are perfect for traditional kitchens…


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Photo: via Formica

… as well as more contemporart ones.


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Photo: via Formica®

(You are reading an article originally posted on Formica® Share the Love Blog)

Three Emerging Global Design Themes

How will fashion, architecture, materials and culture influence the future of design? The Formica Group design team shares its unique perspective in the new 2013 Trend Vision Report. The report outlines three major themes: PURITY, NUTOPIA and CLASH – and highlights the related trends. Here’s an excerpt …

THEME 1 | PURITY

PURITY is an über-modern style that ties together technology with the soft and feminine. Biomorphic shapes are digitized and bring about a new aesthetic language. Light-infused, filtered colors complement clean and pure textures. White is central along with translucent of pale pastels that blend seamlessly with intense dark bases of spruce, sweet violet and mocha and vibrant neon accents of coral, hot pink, absinthe and turquoise. Synthetics are authentic and elegantly shiny surfaces create futuristic interiors. 


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Photo Credit: Formica Blog | Share the Love


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Photo Credit: Formica Blog | Share the Love

Purity Key Terms: serenity | feminine | soft tech | futuristic | translucency | biomorphic shapes | simplicity | light | the white story | prismatic | color gradients

THEME 2 | NUTOPIA

NUTOPIA emerges from the chaos of the new world and the resulting desire to maintain balance and serenity by going off-grid mentally and physically. Good quality products will be key; luxurious materials must endure. Craftsmanship, artisanal processes and blended materials will be important, as will environments in warm colors, prints and styling. 

Urban farming and gardening are key inspirations for a host of new environmental greens and earth tones. There is a certain nostalgic feel with sun-bleached colors and ash roses. Mustard seed evolves, championed by brighter shades of melon. Lowlights of prune, navy and olive provide contrast and newness. Wood, preferably reclaimed, is the essential material.


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Photo Credit: Formica Blog | Share the LovePhoto Credit: Formica Blog | Share the Love

NUTOPIA KEY TERMS: slow – artisanal processes | the hand-made | complex crafts meet simplified aesthetics | preserving local knowledge and traditions | get rid of excess stuff | primitive – archaic aesthetic | a touch of vintage | upcycling | urban farming | deceleration | living off-grid | slow food | preserving the heritage

THEME 3 | CLASH

CLASH is the most provocative of the three trends. It deals with growing urbanization, participation by the people and frustration with politics, education, housing or jobs. Reflecting today’s harsh realities, communities will be formed by cultural magpies that pick and choose from the multi-cultural societies in which they live.

A new generation is seduced by rebel aesthetics. The base palette for CLASH is grays (think concrete and asphalt, oxidized or corrugated metal), accompanied by very vibrant colors and patterns from the spectrum palette to intensive orange and yellow. Yellows and mints are essential for the coming year. Blue stays prominent, especially in fashion. Geranium and hunter green are important to manipulate harmonies. While the palette shown is quite pretty, CLASH is all about disharmonious combination.


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Photo Credit: Formica Blog | Share the LovePhoto Credit: Formica Blog | Share the Love

CLASH KEY TERMS: industrial aesthetic | color blocking and shocking | urban decay | upcycling | street art | style clash | contrast – opposites | geometric – loud graphic pattern | metal | corten steel | burnt wood | concrete | yarn bomb

(*You are reading an article originally posted to Formica Groups’s Blog “Share the Love“)

Top 10 Colors for Fall 2013

Formica Corporation is ready to indulge in the fresh pastels and crisp brights arriving in home and fashion retailers now that Phil had promised an early spring. But with the release of the PANTONE® Fashion Color Report Fall 2013 at New York Fashion Week, our thoughts are already shifting to brisk fall weather. 

So what does fall fashion have to do with home design? We’ll likely see these colors influence home textiles and accessories – you’ll now have a bit of insider knowledge once your start planning fall décor.


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Photo: PANTONE® via Formica Corporation ‘Share the Love’ Blog

The fall 2013 forecast, according to the Pantone Color Institute®, is “a palette of many moods” that range from “sophisticated and structred to lively and vivid, encapsulating our inherent need for wardrobe variety to reflect emotions that run from thoughtfully introspective to irrepressibly elated.”

The report notes that Emerald, the 2013 Pantone Color of the Year, will continue to sparkle and will be joined by:

  • Linden Green – A yellow toned green that adds lightness and brightness to the deeper shades of fall.

  • Mykonos Blue – a bold, meditative blue for a classic and relaxed fall look.

  • Acai – a plum full of exotic mystery and richness.

  • Samba – a spirited red that brings an expressive and dramatic look.

  • Koi – a decorative orange with dazzling and shimmering qualities.

  • Vivacious – an unruly and wildly deep fuchsia that adds an ebullient sensuality.

  • Deep Lichen Green – a naturally lush shade of green that serves as an anchor.

  • Turbulence – a dark mercurial gray.

  • Carafe – a rich, glamours brown.

We had a little fun seeing how closely we could “match the forecast with our own Formica® laminate solid colors – you’ll see a few of our new 2013 colors made it into the mix!


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Photo: via Formica®

Kitchen Counters High-Tech Surfaces Make Maintenance Easy

Solid-surface countertops are the stuff of George Jetson, in which high-tech plastics can be heat sculpted into any imagined shape. These modern surfaces take on many appearances, including stone, yet shed the shortcomings of their counterparts with a nonporous surface that doesn’t age or develop a patina. In this cutting-edge countertop right for your kitchen? Read on to learn more.

Photo: Wilsonart Solid Surface in BedrockThe basics: solid-surface counters are a blend of acrylic or polyester resins, powdered fillers and pigments, cast into slab. There are many manufacturers of these synthetic counters, including Dupont Corian, LG Hi-Macs, Wilsonart, Formica, Durat, Staron and LivingStone.

Cost: $50 to $100 per square foot installed.

Advantages: solid surface is durable nonporous, making it resistant to stains, mildew and bacteria. Its unique composition makes buffing out scratches a breeze and provides that appearance of a seamless installation, including for integral backsplashes. This product outshines its competitors with an ability to be thermoformed into unusual shapes and configurations.

Disadvantages: its resin-based composition makes this counter material sensitive to heat and vulnerable to scratches. As with many countertops, keep your trivets and cutting boards handy.

Sustainability: many solid-surface manufacturers tout GreenGuard‘s approval, which certifies that due to the nonporous surface and low chemical emissions, the countertop contributes to healthy indoor air quality.

The ecological shortcoming of these products is their composition, which comes from finite, nonrenewable resources, including petroleum and aluminum trihydrate (ATH), which is strip mined. Choosing a solid-surface product with recycled content, like Durat or Corian’s Terra series, will reduce the negative environmental impact.

Maintenance: soapy water will suffice for everyday spiffing up of this easy-to-clean surface. However, it’s essential to dry the surface completely after cleaning or spills, as wet counters can lead to a dull or uneven, blotchy finish.

Special considerations: acrylic solid surface is more pliable, whereas its polyester-based counterparts claim a deeper coloration. Dark colors will show more fingerprints.

Kitchen Counters | High-Tech Solid Surfaces Make Maintenance Easy

Solid-surface countertops are the stuff of George Jetson, in which high-tech plastics can be heat sculpted into any imagined shape. These modern surfaces take on many appearances, including stone, yet shed the shortcomings of their counterparts with a nonporous surface that doesn’t age or develop a patina. In this cutting-edge countertop right for your kitchen? Read on to learn more.

Photo: Wilsonart Solid Surface in BedrockThe basics: solid-surface counters are a blend of acrylic or polyester resins, powdered fillers and pigments, cast into slab. There are many manufacturers of these synthetic counters, including Dupont Corian, LG Hi-Macs, Wilsonart, Formica, Durat, Staron and LivingStone.

Cost: $50 to $100 per square foot installed.

Advantages: solid surface is durable nonporous, making it resistant to stains, mildew and bacteria. Its unique composition makes buffing out scratches a breeze and provides that appearance of a seamless installation, including for integral backsplashes. This product outshines its competitors with an ability to be thermoformed into unusual shapes and configurations.

Disadvantages: its resin-based composition makes this counter material sensitive to heat and vulnerable to scratches. As with many countertops, keep your trivets and cutting boards handy.

Sustainability: many solid-surface manufacturers tout GreenGuard‘s approval, which certifies that due to the nonporous surface and low chemical emissions, the countertop contributes to healthy indoor air quality.

The ecological shortcoming of these products is their composition, which comes from finite, nonrenewable resources, including petroleum and aluminum trihydrate (ATH), which is strip mined. Choosing a solid-surface product with recycled content, like Durat or Corian’s Terra series, will reduce the negative environmental impact.

Maintenance: soapy water will suffice for everyday spiffing up of this easy-to-clean surface. However, it’s essential to dry the surface completely after cleaning or spills, as wet counters can lead to a dull or uneven, blotchy finish.

Special considerations: acrylic solid surface is more pliable, whereas its polyester-based counterparts claim a deeper coloration. Dark colors will show more fingerprints.