Myth no. 4 ’“ all solid surface is white
A few months ago we developed an Infographic
about the "Colours of Corian®". Here are some facts that came out of it:
- The number 1 best seller is Glacier White;
- The number 2 best seller is......Designer White; and
- Even the number 3 on the list, Antarctica, is white, just with particles (white ones) in it.
For every sheet of any colour we sell at CD UK, we sell at least 6 sheets of Glacier White.
I'm sure you can see a trend developing here.
A White Christmas
As the Xmas rush comes to an end with thousands of new kitchens about to be viewed for the first time by friends and family (as an aside I've never understood why you would want to put yourself under the pressure of inviting the hoards round for Xmas dinner, to cook for them in a kitchen which may not be finished and if it is, will be full of appliances that you've never used before....), the colour of choice that they will be expected to praise to the skies will undoubtedly be white.
Bold and Beautiful
All the solid surface manufacturers have wide palettes of colours. There are solid brights stone-type veined colours
with particles, semi-transluscent pastilles
something for everyone. Corian® alone has over 125 colours currently in circulation. The issue here is not the lack of choice.
Despite the massive choice of colour available in solid surfaces, everywhere you look you see white. Whether it is buildings clad in solid surface commercial interiors
or stunning, modern kitchens
in the interior magazines, gleaming white solid surface winks back at you.
Calling all Designers
In a recent discussion string on a kitchen-related Linked In forum, there was a debate about why so much white solid surface appeared in all the magazines. Is it because the consumer asks for white or is it the fact that designers were staying with white come what may? Either way, the consensus was that white is the "safe" choice.
On the commercial side of things much of what goes in will be at the behest of the designer. In the home, there may be people with very certain tastes demanding that sleek, minimalistic look; however, there is an equal amount of people who will be guided by what they see in the magazines and what their kitchen designer shows them.
So why are designers staying with the safe choice?
Undoubtedly sometimes it is the fact that white does look superb but so can any number of other tones - solid surfaces come in an array of neutral creams for example which are often used seen as safer choices than white which can be clinical and cold.
Perhaps it is habit - white has been associated with solid surface for many years. As colours come and go white is always there. They may be an element of pavlovian conditioning at work here - a designer thinks of using solid surface and immediately turns to white. If they want colour they use an alternative product?
I don't have the answer at all here, I just have the evidence from what we sell and what we see. I'd love to hear from designers out there why white is so popular.
Give a Colour a Home
Ultimately, the fact that so many people are turning to solid surface these days is all that matters; however, I feel it is important that we don't lose sight of all the wonderful options out there through the variety of colour available. If solid surface is always thought of as being only white then in time its appeal will start to waiver as trends change.
Part of the responsibility to ensure colours and patterns are more widely used lies with the manufacturers who must keep their palettes up to date and relevant. I think that this does happen - for example, look at the subtle grey and blue tones that are being introduced at present that mirror the movement towards matt, hand-painted kitchens.
So, white is lovely and underpins the solid surface industry but the opportunity to design with colour, from neutrals to brights, from stone-effect to metallic-effect, is there for designers and home-owners alike - with so much choice at least there's something for everyone.....even if most of us will end up with white.