NEW YORK, NY — The advice “show, don’t tell” is typically reserved for fiction writers, but it holds equally true for kitchen and bath designers.
Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than at In House Kitchen Bath Home, a new design firm that uses its 3,500-sq.-ft. showroom as a springboard for projects ranging from kitchens and baths to wine bars and home offices.
Called The New York Design Center, the showroom spotlights a plethora of products and vignettes with working displays that add to the “real appeal” factor.
Dave Burcher, one of the firm’s principal owners, offers: “We have the showroom space, and 1,500 square feet of office and design space. Our windows and entryways are inviting, attracting trade and consumer traffic. This, of course, impacts our success, as does the layout of our showroom, the traffic flow and the vignettes we’ve designed.”
The showroom features a working washer/dryer, a working demo kitchen, stocked wine storage, a complete live kitchen, a working Zen bathroom – including a Japanese soaking tub – and a kosher kitchen complete with butler’s pantry.
The firm specializes in kitchens, baths and all other rooms in the home that might require built-ins, millwork, cabinetry, appliances or fittings and fixtures, while catering to working professionals.
“The design elements we’ve used in our displays of sinks, faucets and hardware help the client in a way that makes for easy purchasing decisions,” Burcher states.
On with the Show
A key aspect of what makes the showroom unique is the way it reflects how people live, Burcher says.
“Many people have commented that our showroom is so inviting [and] that it’s just like being a guest in our home. We believe that when clients visit, it’s like having company, so we truly strive to make people feel welcome,” he notes.
He continues: “The way we designed our showroom, from the entryway that is just like a foyer in a home to the vignettes, truly represents the lifestyles of our clients.”
The showroom features six complete bathroom displays, which include tub, shower, medicine cabinets, bidets, commodes, basin, accessories and lighting – each done in a different design theme.
There is also a kosher kitchen vignette, which Burcher says “shows how meat and dairy tableware can be stored and displayed [even] in a New York City-sized apartment space. For instance, instead of two sinks, we have easily changeable equipment to convert a sink from meat to diary.”
He adds: “Our vignettes are designed to show how people use the space, complete with food, dishes, silverware, a wrapping station, a gardening nook, a washer/dryer area complete with supplies, and a wine grotto with wine refrigerator.”
He adds: “The branding we’ve created is always consistent and tasteful, from the hand towels in our working Zen bathroom, to chocolates and water with our logo, to the leather portfolios used by our staff, to our signage on the front window and on our ‘vendor’ wall. Our branding is who we are and what we represent, and it helps to demonstrate our attention to detail.”
Founded in 2007 by Burcher and Michael Markoe, In House Kitchen Bath Home relies on its diverse staff to carry out its customer service mission.
“We’re the only showroom in New York with three CKDs and one in training, and we have an experienced bathroom staff, with three professionals with a combined 85 years of experience. Our total staff has more than 150 years of experience,” Burcher explains.
One of the staff CKDs brings a background as a chef, while another, who serves as the kosher kitchen specialist, holds a degree in interior design. Burcher himself brings a construction background into the fold, which helps make the design process work seamlessly.
Burcher notes: “We listen to our clients’ needs, then assess those needs to create spaces that are a reflection of their visions.”
This mix of design and service has led the firm to some remarkable projects – including one with a $12,000 sink. “It was designed and modeled after our SoHo display. The client liked the vignette and the style of the sink in the display, but had a large space,” he says.
“We had the sink fabricated locally because of the size, and included additional stainless steel countertop space on either side as well as the integrated storage tray. The sink has the drain board, deep basin, sliding wood cutting board and tilt-out storage tray all in one unit.” The sink module was then surrounded by white marble countertops, he adds.
Drawing a Crowd
While the showroom’s location drives traffic, the firm is certainly not stopping there.
It has already produced several special events, says Burcher, including a series of famed chef demonstrations and wine tastings.
“We are part of the Wood-Mode and the New York Design Center co-operative program, so we appear in their ads in national magazines,” he points out.
The firm also has a public relations firm to promote its name, message and designs, he concludes.