In the last 11 months I've been fortunate to attend nearly 20 trade venues in six countries and in each of those venues I've seen such things that I thought my eyes were deceiving me half the time. Due to my experiences in Europe in particular, I've come to see solid surface in a whole new way. This post is illustrated with sinks and vanities designed by Marike Andeweg and her Netherlands-based studio, Not Only White. Not Only White's work is a great example of using solid surface in a new, and stunning way.
Throughout my design career, I'd been conditioned to turn up my nose at solid surface whenever and wherever I saw it. I'm old enough to remember when Corian hit the market and I still cringe at the thought of coral-colored Corian with white swirls.
When I started designing kitchens, the move to granite counters was just getting underway and anyone who was designing then pushed stone over solid surface in our quests to deliver high-end designs. My solid surface sample boxes sat unloved and unused for years.
My bias against solid surface seemed hard-wired.
But a funny thing happened as I was walking around at IMM in Cologne last January. There was solid surface everywhere. There were counters of course, but also furniture, sinks, vanities and more accessories than I could count.
A couple of weeks later in Spain I saw solid surface toilets and bathtubs. The stuff was all over Europe it seemed. I saw Not Only White's brilliant sinks and vanities at 100% Design in London's Earl's Court in September. I was in London as part of the inaugural Blog Tour and by then my knee-jerk, bad reaction to solid surface was but a memory and I could appreciate the beauty of Not Only White's products.
And they are beautiful. They use solid surface in a way that makes jaded design people like me stop and think, "Oooooh, what's that?" I love the idea that their hand washing sinks are so small, that their vanity sinks are so shallow and use interesting drains and I love the simplicity of all of it.
To see the rest of Not Only White's collections, check out their website and give some thought to what's possible with solid surface.