That is the sentiment of Amir Ilin, president of Kuche Cucina, who not only has two spacious showrooms in Paramus and Madison, NJ (10,000 square feet and 4,200 square feet, respectively), but boasts an even bigger product selection.
“In the showrooms, we show big kitchens and not vignettes. That way, customers can actually walk into a room that looks very similar to what they dream about for their homes,” notes Ilin. “We try and make it as complete as possible.”
He continues: “The showroom offers a large selection of products, and once people are inside and walking through the display areas, they should feel like they are walking through a real kitchen. The idea is to show them a lot.”
A lot indeed, as the firm’s Madison location has nine kitchen displays, two closets and two bath displays. The Paramus location has 14 kitchen displays, two closets and one full bathroom – as well as a selection of vanities and a home office.
Despite the abundance of displays, neither showroom is cluttered – another important distinction, according to Ilin. “I like to give the displays some breathing room. I’ll leave a lot of empty walls. I prefer having a visible wall, almost as if you are walking into a gallery or a museum,” he offers.
Ilin notes that the firm carries an abundant inventory of contemporary and traditional product lines, most notably from Pedini USA, as well as other private labeled items.
“While American-based company displays rarely change, European displays tend to change each year,” notes Ilin, leading him and his staff of designers to constantly stay abreast of new offerings on the market.
For Loriann Savarese, CKD, for Lomita, CA-based South Bay Design Center, a dynamic showroom needs to appeal to the senses.
“For a showroom to be great, it needs to show the latest and greatest products in the industry,” she comments. “It is very important for the showroom to be clean and organized – not cluttered.”
Savarese adds: “Staging the kitchen vignettes with accessories to dress up the space is also very important, and really helps clients envision their new dream kitchen in their home.”
South Bay Design Center offers quite a bit in that regard, with three different divisions (kitchen remodel, bath remodel and kitchen cabinet refacing) spread among 3,000 square feet of showroom space. There are 15 kitchen vignettes and two bath displays in the showroom, each showcasing leading kitchen and bath product lines such as cabinets from Dura Supreme, Medallion, Decora and Kemper & Prestige. Countertop brands and materials include Silestone, CaesarStone, Cambria, Zodiaq, soapstone and granite.
“I believe our biggest selling point for the showroom is the size and amount of displays we have,” Savarese offers. “Seeing the whole kitchen on display really helps clients visualize what their kitchens are going to look like.”
Many of the kitchen vignettes in the showroom have been designed according to NKBA aisle guidelines; vignettes have 36" walkways, all the way up to 45" walkways, “so clients can have a better understanding of what the spaces feel like.”
In addition to the vignettes and products, the design center also features a 42" flat screen television, located in the first display upon entering the showroom. “The television has an ongoing slide show that showcases before and after pictures of our recent projects,” Savarese explains. “Many customers will look at that screen to see the type of work we do and get different design ideas. They may even see a ‘before’ kitchen that looks like theirs. It has been very beneficial to us and adds to the clients’ showroom experience.
A Living Space
“Timing is everything” – so the saying goes.
For In House Kitchen Bath Home in New York City, the timing of its opening – September 2008 – could have proven disastrous, given the economic events that transpired in the months that followed. But, the showroom held its ground in its first few months, and since early this year, it has flourished. According to principals Michael Markoe, director of sales, and Dave Burcher, design director, New Yorkers are spending where it counts – at home.