Pair Restore Historic Plot to Create Showroom

CORVALLIS, OR — Having history repeat itself is often presented as a bad thing, but at Corvallis Custom Kitchens and Baths it could not have turned out better.

The firm, based here, is led by owner Brian Egan, CMKBD, and his wife Kris Egan. The couple spent more than a year converting the Caton House, a home found on the National Register of Historic Homes, into a one-of-a-kind kitchen and bath showroom – a bold move by any standard but made doubly so as the condition of the space left little to be desired.

“One windstorm would’ve knocked the place down,” reports Kris Egan.

Undeterred, the pair – whose philosophy is ‘what’s good for the community is good for our business’ – opened its doors, becoming the only kitchen and bath showroom between Salem and Eugene, OR.

To commemorate the opening, the pair hosted three separate open houses – one for the general public, the second for the local Chamber of Commerce Networking Group and a third for the Downtown Corvallis Association. Each event drew about 75 people.

Dignified Renovation

It was critical to Brian Egan that the historic exterior appeal of the Caton House – a residence that has stood since 1857 – be preserved.

“I did a majority of the design work with help from Pynne Luebbert, CKD,” he notes. “We gutted the interior in order to install completely new plumbing, electric and HVAC systems.”

He adds: “The location offers great visibility, easy access and is well-known by residents.”

To attract its target audience of local homeowners, the pair offers quarterly remodeling seminars. The educational seminars draw possible clients into the 1,900-sq.-ft. space, which encompasses not only display areas but meeting rooms as well.

On display are high-end plumbing fittings and fixtures from American Standard, Grohe, Hansgrohe, Elkay, Blanco, Toto, Moen, InSinkErator, Oceania, Waterstone and Stone Forest. Cabinetry from Pacific Design and Corbin Cabinets are teamed with hardware from Top Knobs, Hafele America, Emtek, Trimco and Cliffside, and countertops from DuPont, including Corian and Zodiaq, as well as Cambria, CaesarStone, Livingstone, Totally Bamboo and Boos Block. Appliances from Dacor, Heat N Glo and others round out the selection.

Upon entering, visitors are treated to three kitchen and two bath displays, as well as a “decision center” that features display sample doors, hardware, etc. “The two bathrooms are working displays, as is one of the kitchens,” he reports.

“We really consider our showroom an educational resource for the general public to learn more about kitchen and bath remodeling,” stresses Egan, who is a recognized “Aging in Place” speaker and is working toward a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) certification.

“Our showroom was designed, first and foremost, for total accessibility, and we embrace Universal Design concepts, using them wherever possible in all of our client’s homes,” he comments.

Sustained Effort

Along with a firm connection to the community comes a commitment to sustainability for the pair.

Brian Egan explains: “We choose product lines based on their green policies, and we have written a sustainability policy that is followed by all members of our organization.”

He adds that, during the renovation, he and Kris salvaged many of the original materials from the home’s interior for re-use in current showroom displays. The pair also installed solar panels on the back roof of the structure, as well as storm windows and thick insulation to make sure it is as energy efficient as possible.

The firm donates old cabinets and other items salvaged from job sites to Habitat for Humanity’s Re-Store. A storage facility was also added to Caton House to house old items until they can be repurposed. Corvallis has also hosted, “GreenHomeCorvallis,” a sustainable building materials fair and, once a year, we participates in “Downtown After Hours,” a business networking event.