It's laminate, but not as you know it

Image from Fenix for Interiors

We were chatting recently with Edwin of EJ Ryder bespoke joinery, who revealed that the material of the moment for him is Fenix. Always keen to share the latest interior design trends, we thought we’d look a bit further into what it is and how you might use it in your own home renovation.

Made in Italy by high pressure laminate specialists Arpa Industriale, Fenix is upping the game in the world of laminates. 

Image from International Decorative Surfaces
Image of Kitchen by EJ Ryder

How is Fenix made?

Traditionally high pressure laminate is made from layered sheets of paper or board in melamine resin, which are bonded under the combined effect of heat and high pressure to make a strong, hardwearing surface that can be applied to furniture and worktops.

As a material it shot to fame in the 1950’s and has become synonymous with its original inventor, Formica, who still supply a great range, however there are plenty of other laminate companies out there to choose from such as Polyrey or Egger. All have a slightly different colour range and finish so be sure to get samples to find the perfect fit for your project.

The amazing range of colours available means laminates have made a comeback in recent years as a cheap and playful way to finish plywood worktops and add some pop to your kitchen design. 

Fenix is the latest development in this trend. According to its manufacturers, it’s a high-tech nanotechnological material, unique thanks to a multilayer coating and the use of next-generation nanoparticles and acrylic resins which are hardened and cured through an innovative Electron Beam Curing process. 

Image of Esters, Stoke Newington by EJ Ryder

What is Fenix like as a material?

While the science may be baffling, the result is an extremely durable material with an opaque finish that is soft to the touch. It is also anti-fingerprint, heat resistant, water repellent, mould resistant, hygienic, easy to clean and resistant to the solvents and reagents typically used for household cleaning.

As if that wasn’t enough, the surface of the material is scattered with a dense grid of crosspolymers with their own memory, which can be reactivated by the application of heat. Meaning that superficial microscratches can actually be repaired using a tea cloth and an iron.

But apart from all this, it’s the way it looks which has made it a current favourite with designers. Its ultra matt finish is soft to the touch and gives it an almost velvet look. It comes in a rather restrained colour palette which makes it feel like Formica’s sophisticated older sister. We’ve fallen in love with the Blue Fes, a dark midnight blue that works perfectly with crisp white tiles and a grown up brass trim. All we need now is a new kitchen to use it in!

Image from International Decorative Surfaces
Image from International Decorative Surfaces
Image from Custom Fronts

Our HomeNotes Journal is here to bring you clear and up-to-date information for homeowners renovating their homes. For more in-depth help we provide online courses to help you get started the right way!

Viewing a property: The ultimate checklist

You’ve done your research! But when you’re in the actual property, remember to consider the following things…

Read More →

Our 10 top tips to buying a house

Buying a house is potentially the biggest financial commitment you will ever make, so take the time to prep with our tips!

Read More →

Don’t move, Improve! 2022 Shortlist

Check out the 15 incredible London renovation projects shortlisted for this year’s Don’t Move, Improve! Awards and get inspired!

Read More →

How to prepare your house for builders: 10 things you must do

When getting ready to receive contractors into your home it’s important to prepare your property. Get started with these 10 must do tasks!

Read More →

How much will my extension cost in 2022?

When it comes to home-renovating this is the most common question we get asked. So let’s get right to it, how do you work out the REAL cost? Read on to find out!

Read More →

Where NOT to scrimp on your renovation

Sometimes it’s tempting to cut corners and save a few pounds but it’s likely you’ll regret it in the long term. We share our top tips of where it doesn’t pay to scrimp in your dream home.

Read More →

How to make the most of a Trade Show

Returning to thoughts of renovating your home? Then jumpstart your project by attending a trade show. But first make sure you read our top tips on how to make the most of your visit!

Read More →

Top tips for renovating from industry experts

We asked a range of architects and experts working in the residential sector to give us their top tip for homeowners who want to renovate.

Read More →

Worried about increasing construction prices?

Everyone is concerned about increasing construction costs. We talk to BuildPartner about what measures home renovators can take to reduce risks for their projects.

Read More →

Your handy guide to assessing builders

Linden from Weaver shares his a handy guide to assessing builders. So before a spade is in the ground, it’s worth taking a moment to prepare.

Read More →

Product spotlight: Little Bishop Hook

A neat solution for pendant lighting; we take a look at the clean design and appealing simplicity of the Little Bishop Pendant Hook

Read More →

The ‘Iron Triangle’ you should embrace

It may sound daunting, but knowing about the ‘Iron Triangle’ in advance can help you plan your project and set realistic expectations.

Read More →

Making the most of your outdoor space

If you’re living in London, then chances are you’re severely lacking in one department: outdoor space. But even if you only have a small patch to play with, this space can do so much for you with a bit of care and forward planning.

Read More →

Your ultimate guide to extractor fans

Our complete guide answers all your extractor fan questions (even those you didn’t know you had!)

Read More →

EJ Ryder and the world of joinery

Edwin J Ryder and his team specialise in bold, creative design and impeccable workmanship in their joinery and interior finishes. We spoke with Edwin to find out how they work with clients on their property renovations.

Read More →

Why well designed homes cost more

Good design isn’t just a luxury for those with the biggest budgets; it’s a sound financial decision for everyone. We take a look at The Modern House and their approach.

Read More →

True or false: millennials are bad at managing money?

Research shows that millennials are the group most likely to overspend on their home improvements. Poor money management, or is there another explanation?

Read More →

Being the boss (yes that’s you!)

As a homeowner undertaking a renovation project, you become ‘The Client’. It can sound pretty clinical, but what does that actually mean?

Read More →

Your ultimate guide to cabinet handles

Handles are that small but important detail that can really lift a piece of furniture or a space. But look no further for your ultimate guide!

Read More →

How to use colour in your home renovation

Committing to colour in your renovation can be daunting but read on and find out the ways you can use colour in your home – with confidence!

Read More →

Coming soon . . .

Our membership is launching at the start of June.  Sign up to get notified when it goes live! 

Sign up for

HomeNotes news

Get monthly renovation articles, advice, news and offers to your inbox!