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Colour Trends

Can I Still Choose Laminate Countertops?

By 01/16/2018June 21st, 202222 Comments

I was so honoured to be asked to be a part of the Design Hounds, with Modenus to attend this years Kitchen and Bath Show in Orlando.

First up the hotel. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a hotel with colourful hallways like this in the meeting rooms (and I’ve been in a gazillion hotels most of them are ALL grey or brown right now). Loved the blue!

And the bathroom in the guest room was very trendy but well done.

The subway tile was 4″ x 8″ so the scale worked better (than a traditional 3″ x 6″)  with the larger scale Encaustic tiles on the floor. And lets be clear, this kind of pattern is NOT modern, so large rectangular modern tiles would not have worked as well.

Also the grout was a charcoal grey which ‘reads’ blue in this bathroom on the subway tile. I loved that extra, contrasting detail.

They used cream subway tile to relate to the cream and blue floor tiles! The mirror was fun and playful and looked great with the shower curtain.

Definitely a bathroom to copy if you really want to introduce this trendy tile in your house. It’s rare that I see this tile installed correctly.

Lowes Sapphire Falls Resort in Orlando

Okay, onto the Kitchen and Bath Show!

Black was EVERYWHERE, we saw lots of black millwork, black and white tile, and black hardware including bathrooms. So I would say it’s official. Black is the new grey. But it will take some time before this trickles down to the masses.

CONTRAST is huge. And along with black you need the balance of strong, bright colour. Which is what I’ll talk about next.

Brass and copper were at the show as well, in farmhouse and bowl sinks! It’s just that black is what’s NEWS at the moment.


Coastal Shower Doors

Not only is black the latest trend in shower doors, but so is COLOUR. Any of these strong colours would look great paired with black and white tile, DO NOT however, add a colourful shower door if you have an EARTHY colour scheme.

Introducing a shower door in black or a colour makes it the focal point of your bathroom.

Keep the look clean. Solid black floor tile competes too much with the black door as well as contrasting black grout with white subway tile. Repeat the black in a small scale black and white tile and a black countertop and THAT’S IT.

Here’s black grid windows which is equally as trendy at the moment. The slimmer, the better.




Next up Wilsonart #icantbelieveitsnotstone laminate projects.

Here’s the best time to specify or install laminate in your house:

If you live in an area where it would be over-renovating to use stone

Higher end homes usually have stone countertops, it’s what buyers look for and if everyone else in the neighbourhood has it, you should too.

However, there are many older homes where installing stone would be over-renovating.

If you have old kitchen or bathroom cabinets where installing stone would still give you an ‘Old cabinets, new countertops’ (yesterday and today) kind of look.

I have saved many a client from installing very expensive stone on old cabinets where its just not worth it. And the next homeowner will rip it all out anyway because it should have been done already.

Or if you can’t afford real marble or a marble looking quartz these are a fabulous solution!

And here’s the good news! Until you look closely, the new marble looking laminates at Wilsonart look just like stone, just gorgeous! Prices are approx. $30 a foot vs. stone which is approx. $80 a foot (US).

Wilsonart Drama Marble


Check out this waterfall edge? (above left) YES it’s laminate. And you could make floating shelves and include it as a backsplash as well (above right).

Wilsonart Calcutta Marble

Here’s a pretty installation using their Calcutta Marble pattern! 

See all of Wilsonarts products here.

Then we saw the LIXIL and DXV brands at American Standard:

This is the bathtub in my master bedroom (below). I ordered this tub because I loved the design but then I worried if it would be comfortable since I never actually sat in it.

Well, it really is comfortable. I now bathe every day instead of shower it’s such a wonderful bathtub!

My mom stayed with me at Christmas when Terreeia went home to see her family and she said “Wow, this tub is totally worth the price!” The sconce lights for my master arrived one week before the holidays so I’ll be photographing it soon now to show you on the blog.


Claire Jefford hosted a panel with Leslie Carothers, Laurel Bern and I on the second day!

Follow these smart and talented women if you want to learn how to make more money with your blog. Claire will teach you video blogging, Leslie can help you in many ways including creating a gorgeous opt-in page and Laurel is brilliant at helping you source products for all your interior design projects.

Stay tuned for more in another post!

This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

PS. We have found a location in Dallas – Le Méridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh Hotel, May 22 – 24, 2018 see the rest of the dates for my Spring colour workshops here. 

We have scoured Manhattan and it is double or triple what we normally pay for space and food and beverage so we have started looking outside downtown. Any leads for a room with 30 people in half rounds with natural light, please email [email protected]

Related posts:

Bad Design Advice: Fall in Love with All Your Finishes

Maria Killam’s Trend Forecast for 2018

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet (Don’t forget I said it here first)














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  • Nancy says:

    I love white with touches of black .
    That is timeless .
    You can use any color you want when you go that route .
    Wow that bathroom in the hotel .
    I would never do that floor but if you can afford to change it out and like that look .
    What fun those faucets would be !

  • cathy says:

    Hi Maria!! Lots of great stuff here and so many great ideas (including the hotel suite), as always…and beautiful, thanks! Wondering what colour the kitchen cabinets might be close to ( Benjamin Moore) in the last photo of Wilsonart/laminate (calcutta)?? Thanks!

    • Maria Killam says:

      Looks like some kind of taupe, maybe BM Ranchwood. Hope that helps, Maria

      • cathy says:

        Thanks so much Maria! Interesting…have that on our kitchen walls and often wondered if some of those cabinet colours, we often see, were close to BM Ranchwood!!

      • cathy says:

        And I wish I had asked….How do you feel about putting new counters on old cabinets that have been ‘refreshed’ with paint? thanks!

    • /kd says:

      From the source: “Tanner installed base cabinets from Lowes for the island and then trimmed out the front. We painted the cabinets with a Behr paint called Grey Squirrel that I had matched from one of my old mirrors and then installed matte black cup pulls.”

  • Janet E says:

    Exciting trends! Thanks, Maria! A belated happy new year to you!

  • Joanna says:

    This was a fun read. I love seeing the new trends, even if I wouldn’t install trendy in permanent fixtures in my kitchen or baths. Black window frames – swoon! Those I would love!
    I look forward to seeing your new bath. I’ve been wanting to upgrade my builder bathrooms and a free standing tub is on my list for the master.
    That was lovely that your mom (& best friend) came to stay with you over Christmas.

  • Kay says:

    Black window frames seem timeless and classic to me. They look so elegant. And that hotel bathroom is so atypical and amazing. Really attractive.

    One thing I don’t like is black handles and pulls on white cabs in a kitchen. It looks way too busy. On pretty wood, they would look great.

  • Lisa H Mende says:

    Awesome post! you nailed it. Black has been here for awhile as I did the black kitchen for High Point Showhouse in 2015 but I think it was really strong at KBIS again this year. I loved that you took pics of the hallways and the bathroom at the hotel. You have such a gift at explaining things and are so analytical. oxoxo lisa

    • Maria Killam says:

      For sure black has been around for a while, but for most people it’s still NEWS. Just like we all talked about brass for about two years before it became mainstream, which is why I chose the headline that I did. I sure loved your kitchen Lisa, it’s the most gorgeous kitchen category in my books! Thanks for your comment! Maria

  • Bert says:

    Loved the black window frames. So elegant. I’m really looking forward to the pictures of your new bathrooms. Can’t wait to see what you’ve done.

  • Lucy says:

    Great post as usual! Such fun seeing all of the new trends! Wilsonart sure has come a long way! I love their new patterns. The black grid windows are just classic and I have always loved them. The only problem the window unless the grid came out. Your tub is beautiful and the floor in the picture is just outstanding but I think you would need a very large bathroom to pull it off. Also the hotel is so well done which normally is unusual.

    These shows are always so exciting and that is why we keep designing!

  • Gery S. says:

    Love how you’ve shown the light and bright look with black as an understated contrast. I like the addition of black without a huge commitment, such as a drawer pull or light fixture.
    I am thinking of thin black picture frames, but I guess I need at least three things in black to pull it off?
    Am also thinking of a kitchen, or powder room vinyl rug in one of those tile patterns so it can go when I get tired of it. Thank you Maria. Your blog is a bright spot.

  • Barbara Meglis says:

    Honestly, as a home stager, I am constantly faced with homeowners who simply want to slap a granite counter top onto old cabinets in order to sell. I am VERY excited about the new Wilsonart laminates — finally a reasonable solution for old cabinets.

  • Charlotte says:

    I always love reading your posts!

  • Cathy says:

    Great post Maria. I’d like to know how they do the 90 degree flat edges with the laminate, and no visible seam? I’ve asked around here and I still keep hearing it can’t be done??

  • Wonderful post Maria! I love your recap and I too enjoyed the hotel decor. We are using the encaustic tile in a couple of projects, so I’ll share with you when they are complete to see if you think we got it right. 😉 So wonderful to see you again, cheers for the shout out. I’ve received fabulous feedback from the panel discussion, thanks again for all of your insight and advice! xo

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    Thanks for showing all the latest & greatest.
    Installing stone could be over-renovating in some cases but every realtor recommends it to sell your house in my area. And every House Hunters episode shows the buyer wanting granite. So dumb!!

  • Laurel Bern says:

    Hi Claire,

    It was so fabulous getting to spend time with you last week and especially be on the panel. It didn’t take long before I was painfully reminded by the bitter cold that I was no longer in Florida. Great images you have! I’ve saved some images of the Corey Damen Jenkins bathroom as well. I think it’s a lot of fun and a beautiful design!

    Wouldn’t it be funny if I said. “This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are Maria Killam’s.” Well, it made me laugh! xoxo ~ Laurel

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