Just Go With It: A Century Of Laminate Kitchens (Yes, It’s Really That Old!)

red ellipseI have a confession to make. For a real estate agent in the year 2013, this is going to be an outrageous confession. So… here we go:

I don’t hate Formica, at least not per se.

And sometimes — now it gets worse — I’d even prefer it to granite. (The latter situation occurs with each encounter one of those cheap-o flip renovations, where the least expensive cabinets available at Home Depot had been paired with random-patterned and -colored left-over slabs. The term “granite kitchen” in a real estate ad is intended to invoke visions of luxury and state-of-the-art-ness.

endless indigo Well, not in my mind. I happen to think that the next big wave is something other than stone or granite, and I’m looking forward to it. The next craze will probably not be the pretty concrete with the colorful shaved glass pieces (too heavy), not butcher block (not durable enough), nor stainless steel (too clinical) or resin or tile whatever else we’ve had since the 20th century, but something rather different.

In the meantime, let’s just embrace the reality that the majority of homes in America have Formica (or another such brand) counters in their kitchens, not to mention the millions of offices, cafeterias, partition walls and — you name it. If you decide on laminate as a less expensive alternative in a renovation, just go with it. It doesn’t have to be the sunny yellow of the 60s or the granite imitation print of the 90s. There are a lot of cool and funky designs available today.

blueberry  halftoneAdmittedly, they have to fit into their environments, but my favorite ones are the red ellipse and the dotted retro patterns that came out recently in celebration of Formica’s 100th anniversary. Neat, huh?

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(Images: formica.com)

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About DC House Cat (Catarina Bannier)

I'm a journalist-turned-Realtor based in Washington, DC. My clients have come from five continents--not unusual in a city that's full of life, history, world politics and stories Some of them, however, have lived here all their lives, and they have been the ones that taught me the most. For the past eleven years, helping people buy and sell homes has been more than a business for me. It feeds my passion for house history, it's a way to make new friends, and it has become a way of life. Nothing tells more about you than the home you choose for yourself.
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2 Responses to Just Go With It: A Century Of Laminate Kitchens (Yes, It’s Really That Old!)

  1. I’d have to agree with you about preferring formica to granite….. I think that granite is a passing fad and formica will be hot again as something timeless and classic for kitchen counters. I’ve lived in houses with the old formica countertops and there is something very charming and homey about it.

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