Just as the “wow” factor has begun to take a back seat to the more homespun, traditional feel in home design, the sleek, bright-and-shiny look of kitchen and bath showrooms is toning down to take on the more casual, comfortable feel of current lifestyles. Kitchen and bath designers are continually being commissioned to create comfortable living spaces as opposed to showplaces, and showrooms are reflecting that transition.
But, without the splashy, in-your-face design elements, today’s showrooms have had to shift gears and create new ways to draw in clients – customers who, in these challenging economic times, are leery about parting with their hard-earned dollars.
From optimal locations to comfortable design to event coordination, the following kitchen and bath showrooms have created formulas that are spelling success in the most challenging of circumstances.
The Showroom Next Door
When Bill and Joe Feinberg, the owners of Allied Kitchen & Bath in Fort Lauderdale, FL, began the search for a location for their new, 15,000-sq.-ft. showroom, they didn’t go much further than their own front door. The two-story, state-of-the-art luxury showroom – double the width and height of the original – is situated right next door to the old location.
“The same location assured that past customers and South Florida residents would still know where Allied is located,” stresses Bill Feinberg.
Included in the facility – designed by Feinbergs along with international design firm Pavlik Design – is a state-of-the-art working kitchen and two functional bathrooms. Over 25 vignettes designed by members of the design staff are featured throughout the showroom.
The space also boasts one of the largest selections of hardware and plumbing in the area. Products in the updated showroom include cabinets from Omega, Holiday, UltraCraft and Adelphi, countertops from IceStone, Silestone and CaesarStone, and Toto, Hansgrohe, Ginger and Jacuzzi plumbing fixtures. In addition, technologically advanced systems throughout the showroom include multiple flat screen televisions and a projector system that continuously displays creative design ideas to inspire customers.
One of the key strategies that Allied has in place, however, is the offering of the use of the showroom to fellow vendors. “Since the displays are complete with large kitchen appliances in a beautiful kitchen setting, it makes it a perfect place for vendors such as Viking to show the beauty of its products in a natural setting,” stresses Feinberg.
Allied also openly offers the showroom as an event venue, and has hosted many functions – including organization and committee meetings, charity events and fundraisers, and networking events and socials. This strategic program – which provides guests with an upscale venue with a full kitchen for food preparation and live cooking demonstrations – has exposed the company to a broader clientele and launched its business into a new arena of service, according to Feinberg.
“We have hosted many culinary evenings, with special guest chef appearances,” he remarks. Recently, the showroom hosted a charity event for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation with Iron Chef Ralph Pagano from the television show “Hell’s Kitchen.”
Allied also recently hosted a special culinary evening for the Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options (JAFCO) – East Chapter. In addition to contributing 100 percent of the event’s proceeds to JAFCO and absorbing the costs of the event, the company also donated kitchen plans for auction, with proceeds to benefit the charity.
Hosting these events has proven to be a great way for Allied Kitchen & Bath to give back to the community that it has been a part of for 25 years, and boost its recognition and widen its reach for those interested in a kitchen or bath remodel.