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FrancoCrea collaboration with Corian® CASF Australia

FrancoCrea x CASF - Corian

Those of you who have been following FrancoCrea over the years will know well our affinity for DuPont™ Corian® solid surface.

Corian® features often in my luxury furniture designs, and for good reason. At the fore of all my designs is usability. It’s not enough for a piece of furniture to feel like an artwork in a gallery, something admired from afar. The pieces you choose to furnish your home with should be enjoyed from up close and be every bit as beautiful as they are durable.

As an Australian high-end furniture designer committed to a minimalist yet striking heirloom pieces for the home, materials and finishes are of the utmost importance. There is often the misconception that high end necessarily equals high maintenance. This is simply not the case and is something I challenge through FrancoCrea, designing luxury furniture that is both family-friendly and low maintenance.

Time and again Corian® solid surface has proven its ability to withstand the forces of nature as well as it does a home filled with friends and family. Its features and benefits, many of which I address below, are what make it such a great fit for homes and offices across all parts of Australia.

An exciting partnership

It gives me great pleasure to share that FrancoCrea has partnered with CASF, Australia’s national Corian® supplier, to celebrate the versatility and benefits of this lesser-known, dynamic material.

What excites me most about this brand ambassadorship is the opportunity to show Australians precisely why I have been such a strong supporter of the material since early on in my design career. Both CASF and I see the potential for Corian® to become as much a staple in Australian homes and workplaces as it is in my design repertoire. Whether in a residential or commercial setting, indoors or outdoors, the material’s features converge to create a no-fuss, high-powered surfacing solution for everything from dining room tables to vanities, baths, and countertops.

My first introduction to Corian® solid surface many years ago left a lasting impression. Because I have always maintained a design practice that prioritises the end-user, I never design for design’s sake. I put tremendous thought and effort into designing for real life, factoring in not only how often a piece of high-end furniture will be used, but in what ways it will be used, too.

Experience the benefits of Corian® solid surface for yourself with our complimentary Corian® sample kit

Modern, minimalist dining tables

The photography you’ll find throughout is from a client’s home in Balywn. In these images, you’ll see how seamlessly each piece—the Mila table, Mila armchair, Multi-table, and Multi bench seat—fits within the client’s home. However, what’s not captured is how seamlessly each piece fits within the family. To me, this is just as, if not more, important than accommodating a design. I always give considered thought to how a piece will hold up across seasons and generations.   

I apply the same level of intention and attention to my clients’ lifestyle and living space as I do the materials that form the piece they will enjoy. From my experience, the more you work with a material, the more you build a relationship with it. With Corian®, I’ve come to appreciate its almost limitless ability for me as a designer alongside its longevity, usability, and aesthetic for residential and commercial use.

In this case, the client wanted high-end furniture that would add warmth and depth to their home. We chose a warm white Corian® colour for tabletops in both the home’s interior and exterior dining spaces to create a cohesive aesthetic and seamless indoor-outdoor living experience.

Ease of maintenance was another major consideration. The client’s appreciation for practicality is made clear by the home’s finishes: terrazzo flooring, a quartzite island, and plenty of hard, natural stone touches give it a robustness that supports everyday use. We softened the home’s indoor dining space with the Mila table and Mila chairs, balancing a Cameo White Corian® table top with a warm 1st-grade solid wood frame. Together they create a dining set humble enough for a simple Sunday dinner but grand enough for hosting over the holidays. 

The same attention to detail applied indoors is also found outdoors. We complemented the home’s carefully landscaped exterior with the Multi table, an industrious yet approachable outdoor dining table thanks in part to its Corian® solid surface tabletop, and the Multi bench seat.

Both the client and I were extremely pleased with the final result. Not only do the pieces elevate the home, but they’ve held up beautifully through rain and shine. Knowing each piece of high-end furniture will be well used and well-loved is one of the most satisfying parts of my work.

Experience the benefits of Corian® solid surface for yourself with our complimentary Corian® sample kit

Corian® solid surface: A top choice for Australian households

Because Corian® is both durable and robust, it can withstand Australia’s variable climate and endure heavy day-to-day use. It’s an optimal solution for families because the product is aesthetically commanding and at the same time stain resistant, easily repairable, environmentally friendly, and hygienic. Truly the best of both worlds.

As many of us know, the realities of life at home with children are often equal parts joyful and chaotic. A household of busy, growing children gives parents enough to concern themselves with; they don’t need to spend their days fussing over a kitchen table or spending their hard-earned money on costly repairs.

Growing up, my family took pride in keeping their possessions in mint condition. Unfortunately, many of the materials families—including my own—select for residential furniture are chosen solely based on appearance, not functionality. In my view, having to drape a sofa in plastic wrap to keep it from falling into a state of disrepair does a massive disservice to that piece of furniture. Its materiality and story is eclipsed by worry.

Having seen this too many times firsthand, I was inspired to design using materials that wouldn’t require extra layers of protection or become the source of an unnecessary fret. With Corian®, I can confidently assure my clients that their minimalist dining table comes with minimal stress.

Frequently asked questions about Corian® solid surface

When clients ask me about Corian®, their questions tend to fall under a few distinct themes: they want to know what it’s made of, whether it easily scratches and stains, how easy it is to maintain, and how it compares to popular materials like marble or quartz.

By including a few of these questions below, I hope to demonstrate why FrancoCrea endorses Corian® solid surface for indoor and outdoor designer furniture. More importantly, I want to help you through the process of selecting materials that will come together in a piece you’ll cherish for decades to come.

What is Corian® solid surface made out of?

Corian® is a hardy blend of natural mineral and acrylic. Its construction means it can endure far more than laminate or fibreboard.  

A recurring comment I hear from my clients once they’ve had the opportunity to interact with Corian® solid surface is the unique tactile experience it provides. Unlike a painted surface, Corian® has a special kind of translucency many find quite captivating. It reflects light in a way that draws you in and fills the room with warmth. 

 Another often-celebrated tactile feature Corian®’s seamless joins. It is virtually impossible to tell where one piece of Corian® begins and another ends, meaning that kitchen benchtops and outdoor dining tables appear sleek and smooth to the touch. 

 

What are the benefits of Corian®?

Corian® is one of the most versatile and durable surfacing materials on the market, suitable for all types of indoor and outdoor applications. I often refer to it as being “family-proof,” able to withstand heavy usage in high-traffic parts of the home without showing the same type of wear and tear as conventional surfacing materials.

For parents, the safety of their children and guests is paramount. Many are encouraged when they learn Corian®’s germ- and virus-resistant design has made it a popular choice for benchtops, walls, and other surfaces in healthcare environments. The material has undergone rigorous mechanical, thermal, electrical, and other surface property testing to ensure it remains a hygienic material choice even under extreme conditions. 

One quality I’m especially excited to share with clients considering Corian® is that it’s an environmentally-friendly material. It is my responsibility as a luxury furniture designer to not only produce beautiful and functional pieces but also to consider the impacts of the choices I make on the people and places around me. Reducing the environmental impact of furniture manufacturing is a multi-faceted process that includes, among others, better resource management and more efficient manufacturing. Clients are pleased when they learn Corian® is manufactured in a way that minimises waste and energy consumption, and that both the material and the adhesives used for installation are GREEN GUARD indoor air quality certified®. They feel good knowing they are incorporating an environmentally responsible material like Corian® into their piece of heirloom furniture, a legacy that will live on in the family for generations.

 

Do Corian® tabletops scratch easily?

One of Corian®’s many benefits is that because it’s well made, it’s a high-performance alternative to conventional surfacing materials. What sets Corian® apart from its stone or timber counterparts is that it’s completely renewable: in the event, your Corian® tabletop sustains a small chip, break, or unbecoming scratch, these can be easily repaired in-home in a matter of hours (unlike stone or timber, whose repairs tend to be costly and involved).

 

Is Corian® durable?

FrancoCrea furniture is designed to be loved not only for the way it looks but for the way it lasts. Part of why we recommend Corian® for many of our residential and commercial installations is that it cannot delaminate, meaning it retains its structure and aesthetic across inclement weather and run-ins with rambunctious grandchildren.

To give added peace of mind, all Corian® solid surfaces come with a 10-year warranty when fabrications and installed by a DuPont™ certified fabricator installer.

 

Does Corian® stain?

One of Corian®’s most celebrated qualities is that its seamless joins and non-porousness make it a hygienic option for heavy usage pieces like a kitchen or dining table. Liquids—including stubborn liquids like red wine—cannot penetrate its surface, which means you will never be left with a permanent, unsightly stain. That said, as an added precaution we do advise you to address spills as soon as possible after they occur.

 

How do I keep Corian® clean?

Corian® ‘s clean, seamless, and impenetrable design means bacteria and mould have nowhere to take root. Most spills are easily removed without effort; a microfibre cloth and some warm, soapy water will do the trick. Corian® is also non-toxic and cannot delaminate, so no matter how many times you wipe it, it will keep its original condition. 

 

Is Corian® cheaper than quartz?

Because of its appearance, Corian® is often mistaken for quartz and other hard stones when in fact the material is quartz- and silica-free. This means that you, the end-user, still receive a high-end piece of furniture with the visual appeal but doesn’t require near the same attention or investment to maintain.

Whether you are shopping for outdoor designer furniture, a luxury dining table set, or minimalist furniture for your home office, I encourage all of my clients to see, feel, and play with Corian® solid surface before committing. Education and empowerment are central to our process at FrancoCrea because we recognise and respect the emotion that comes with investing in a piece of designer furniture. By teaching clients about the many features and benefits of a surfacing material like Corian® and then inviting them to put that material to the test, we create an environment where clients can comfortably ask questions, test assumptions, and reach a decision that feels good and right for them. In my view, the only thing more satisfying than assisting a family in customising the dining table set of their dreams is knowing that piece will serve as the backdrop for countless meals, moments, and memories.

Experience the benefits of Corian® solid surface for yourself with our complimentary Corian® sample kit.

Photography | Alex Reinders

Experience the benefits of Corian® solid surface for yourself with our complimentary Corian® sample kit