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My name is Margot Austin and I am the editor and founder of The Design Edit, a collection of the best design stories I encounter in my life as a stylist and design communications specialist. Meet top talents, get inspired by beautiful spaces, get a first look at innovative new products and maybe even try one of my dead-easy DIY projects. 

KBIS 2017: 10 Wilsonart Innovations You Need to Know About

KBIS 2017: 10 Wilsonart Innovations You Need to Know About

Wilsonart KBIS 2017

Wow. I have to say I was very impressed with the Wilsonart stand at KBIS (The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show). I'm probably guilty (and maybe you are too) of putting Wilsonart in a mental box as a supplier of first-apartment-grade laminate. Sure, they've go that down — but so much more. In this instalment of my news dispatches from #BlogTourKBIS I'll share 10 ways Wilsonart is stepping things up in the surfaces game.

1.  You can build a dog wash station using Wilsonart Solid Surface

Wilsonart KBIS 2017 Sink

If you know anything about me and The Design Edit, you know that modern country and dogs are us! No wonder this set above was my fave. What we have here my friends is a mudroom design featuring a counter and dog wash station made form Wilsonart Solid Surface material in the colour Europa. Hello gorgeous, practical and durable. If you have no K9s in your life, then steal this design idea to make a sink for a laundry room or country kitchen. (More about the reclaimed "wood" you see here in a bit.)

2. These new solid surface colours will rock your world

These are all the greys and whites you need with just enough patterning for interest, and not too much to make you feel woozy. My pick is that Grey Beola — it gets a thumbs up emoji from me.

3. Wilsonart wood-look laminates offer a world of design possibilities

This one is called Modern Marquetry and is from the Artfully Repurposed Woods collection. It's the look of skillfully cut and pieced bits of wood but without the astronomical price and the tendency to buckle and gap common in real wood marquetry. I see this cladding a chimney breast or even just a credenza in a cool boho room with a worn leather sofa, rattan chairs, lots of plants (and a surfboard leaning in the corner, natch).

y0365-repurposed-oak-reworked-full-sheet.jpg

Also from the Artfully Repurposed Woods collection, this sample is called Repurposed Oak and it's the product used on the wall and cabinet fronts of the mudroom set above. There are 21 more wood designs to choose from. It's quite wonderfully executed. So, you may be asking yourself, why would I use laminate and not actual reclaimed wood? Answer: have you ever tried to wipe down a piece of reclaimed wood? Have you ever seen up close how much dust catches in the crevices of reclaimed wood? 

4. You can create a custom backsplash with sexy inlaid laminates — including metallics!

This cool backsplash design combines several laminate products. The shelves and section behind the sink are made from a contract-grade (for commercial applications) product called Warehouse Oak, For the rest, a striée off-what called Vapor Strandz is pieced with accents of Decorative Metals collection in Satin Brushed Gold Aluminum. I'm a fan.

5. You can still have an undermount sink with laminate counters

Here's a closer look at that sink shown above. There was a time when opting for a laminate counter meant you had to go for a drop in sink with a rim — and we are all kind of over those right? Well, rejoice because feast your eyes on this install. So sweet, so rimless, so easy to sweep crumbs right into the sink!

6. Special edge designs are possible with laminate

Wilsonart has also conquered another former disadvantage of laminate counters — limited edge profiles. Look at these great options I spied at KBIS — a waterfall side, mitered straight edge and rounded bullnose (in a remarkable marble lookalike). Can you believe a waterfall design in laminate?

7.  The new Ultra Matte Laminate Finish is The Bomb

OK, between us girls, sometimes when you think laminate, you think of that pebbled glossy finish that screams LAMINATE. Say goodbye to all that because the new Ultra Matte finish is just that. Very low sheen and a very realistic look and feel of honed stone. You see it, feel the need to touch it and then say to yourself, "Is this...wait....what is this?" This pic shows a few samples launched at the show. The grey is my favourite. (This product is so new there isn't even a link on the web site yet!)

8. Laminate is not just for the kitchen

Ever considered designing a wardrobe system using laminate? Why not? That's what you se above and it's quote chic, don't you think?

9. You will soon be able to cover up nasty old tile with a sheet of waterproof laminate. Boom!

Wlsonart waterproof laminate for use in showers and other wet zones, launching later in 2017. photo: Felix O.B./FXO Photography.

Wlsonart waterproof laminate for use in showers and other wet zones, launching later in 2017. photo: Felix O.B./FXO Photography.

Even though the mudroom is my favourite design, this is without at doubt the biggest news at Wilsonart. Take a look at that shower above. That is a shower wall that is a waterproof laminate sheet. YESSSS! Wake the kids, call the neighbours! This was a huge hit at the show because it truly has the potential to save us all from the scourge of shabby tile and nasty grout. To install you just slap on adhesive and apply the panels right over the old tile! Then chuck out your toxic grout cleaner and scrub brush. This product is not even on the market yet -- look for it in late 2017/early 2018. You saw it here first!

10. Danny Seo is brand ambassador for Wilsonart and he's fab.

Danny Seo leads a tour of the Wilsonart stand at KBIS 2017. photo: Felix O.B./FXO Photography.

Danny Seo leads a tour of the Wilsonart stand at KBIS 2017. photo: Felix O.B./FXO Photography.

OK, having a brand ambassador isn't an innovation, but Danny Seo is certainly an innovator. I have admired his style and work since seeing his cool Pennsylvania home in Country Home magazine (RIP). Danny was a wunderkind of environmental activism with a stylish twist back in the early oughts. His claims to fame include an appearance on Oprah and collaborating with fashion design collective Imitation of Christ. He's also got a magazine, cookbook and TV show under his Naturally, Danny Seo brand banner. Get caught up on all things Danny at his site. Danny and Wilsonart are a match made in enviro heaven because Wilsonart products excel in all measures of sustainability. Read all about Wilsonart's best environmental practices on the web site: go to the Technical Resources navigation menu item, then you'll see each product on the drop down menu includes a section on Sustainability. Read up!

Don't miss my other posts on news from KBIS 2017:
KBIS 2017: Bathroom Design Inspiration and New Releases from Lixil Brands
KBIS 2017:  News and Favourites from Mohawk Flooring 
KBIS 2017: An Unfitted Loft Kitchen Inspired by Wellborn and Thermador
KBIS 2017: Metrie Makes Choosing Mouldings Simple

My trip to KBIS 2017 in Orlando, Fla was partially sponsored by Wilsonart. Special thanks to #BlogTourKBIS organizers Modenus/Design Hounds. The ideas, words and design of this post are all my own.

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KBIS 2017: Bathroom Design Inspiration and New Releases from Lixil Brands

KBIS 2017: Bathroom Design Inspiration and New Releases from Lixil Brands