Guest Post: Kitchen Trends in Laminates

One of the fastest changing materials in our industry is laminates. MasterBrand sat down with Leslie Randolph, the Design, Marketing, and Communications Team Lead at Schattdecor North America to discuss new technology and up and coming kitchen trends related to laminates.

Schattdecor Company Logo

Tell us about Schattdecor.

As the international market leader in decor printing, Schattdecor supplies customers from the wood-based materials and furniture industry and, through them, architects, designers and contractors with an extensive product portfolio – consisting of printed or impregnated decor paper and Finish foils for direct further processing.

Our surfaces are used on furniture, floors or wall panels. With our decors, we reflect nature as real as possible, but we also pick up on current furnishing trends in home life, work and living spaces and pass them on to our customers.

With an international design team, we analyze and advise on current developments, new ideas and trends – with the aim of developing surfaces today that will be in demand tomorrow.

What is happening in kitchen trends related to laminate – specifically any new technology, products or features we could share?

Consumer buying habits have changed considerably in regards to laminate surfaces. The importance of ‘real’ wood has decreased and the focus is more on whether or not the product looks good and is affordable. Additionally, consumers seem to be less species savvy and value color, structure, and durability over all else. Laminate is often the first choice for kitchen remodels due to the advancements in photo realism and cost effectiveness.

New Technology
Smartflex Nature is an excellent option for thermoplastic surfaces in the furniture industry and in interior design. This extremely elastic surface combines the efficiency and ease of care of a plastic film with a decor-synchronous look and a matt finish with the character of real wood.

Thanks to its closed and easy-care surface, Smartflex Nature is particularly recommended for use in kitchens and in damp rooms. Due to its flexibility and deformability, the material is particularly suitable for sheathing. Some of the advantages include:

Suitable for damp rooms

Elastic & flexible

UV light resistant

Natural feel & look

Particularly high quality

Easy care


Very good coating quality


Very good splitting strength

What overall style trends are you seeing related to the home?

Home is not only our retreat and our safe place but it is also transitioning into the nucleus of all our daily activities. Many of us are working from home, at least at a part-time level, and due to that shift our environments have had to ‘flex’ in order to remain practical. Multi-functional furniture, formerly more common place in Europe and crowded cities, is rising in popularity. Resilience seems to be the main focus in creating comfortable living spaces that now also serve as our offices, schools, gyms, and studios.

Earthy red-based brown woodgrains are contributing to an overall warming of the color palette, while blues and greens continue to be popular solid color compliments. Warm and cool combinations nod to our natural environment, inviting the outside in. Wood grains will be less and less engineered to perfection and will maintain characteristics found in nature like knots and cracks.

The once popular open floor plan is now being reimagined, with the exception of kitchen spaces. The need for quiet areas will inspire many to seek partitions, both permanent and adaptable. As life regains a sense of normalcy, the kitchen will reclaim its spot as the homes most popular gathering area. Eye catching stones on islands and counter tops will draw in visitors while combination cabinets, solid uppers and wood grain lower cabinets for example, will add a sense of depth to the room.

Of those style trends you just shared which of those do you feel will have the most traction in the coming year(s) from your own design perspective?

The trend theme I think we’ll see the most traction on in the coming years is the invitation of natural elements into the home. Nature and health have a strong mental association, so it is no surprise that after a global health crisis we will find a resurgence of these elements in our living areas. The amazing resilience we’ve all had to show over the last year will launch us forward into a more flexible and environmentally conscious future.