Des Peres, MO — The city of St. Louis is well-known for its Gateway Arch – a national memorial dedicated to the westward expansion of the 1800s. The spirit of those frontiersmen still extends throughout the state today.
Indeed, with similar drive and determination, the team at Des Peres, MO-based Thompson Price Kitchens, Baths and Homes created a brand new 5,000-sq.-ft. showroom in just eight months. Positioned within a busy shopping complex, the showroom is in a centrally located area for consumer convenience, and offers a green twist.
Designed by an architect, several interior designers and Thompson Price himself, the space was transformed from a retail drug store to an upscale showplace for ceramic tiles, countertop materials, faucets, sinks and lighting. Brands featured in the showroom include KitchenAid, DCS, Fisher & Paykel and Silestone by Cosentino.
The showroom’s team consists of a project manager, showroom manager and salesperson. The goal of the staff is to provide clients with a quick turnaround on projects.
According to Price, the design team usually begins by sitting down with the client and creating plans using 20-20 Technologies software. The power of technology is also used for presentation purposes. Using computers and flat-screen TVs, the designers construct one plan and continually make changes to it instead of creating various drawings. This approach works well with their target market of consumers, builders, designers and contractors.
A large, flat screen television greets clients in the reception area, announces events and creates a path into the showroom. Along that path, product selection centers and vignettes display a plentiful selection for potential clients.
Seven complete bath and four kitchen vignettes are integrated into the space. One working kitchen vignette includes a warming drawer, oven, microwave, dishwasher, cooktop and built-in side-by-side refrigerator/freezer. A complete working bar area is also incorporated in the showroom.
Another vignette prominently displayed in the front window showcases a kitchen and sitting room, complete with lush cabinetry, wainscoting and a built-in working electric fireplace and mantle.
Two working baths with unisex facilities are also featured, and the team encourages clients to use these bathrooms to receive the full idea of what can be done within a space. One of the working baths includes a heated Brondell bidet toilet seat with a blower, while the other incorporates a KWC faucet with light feature that changes color according to the water temperature.
Thompson Price Kitchens, Baths and Homes addresses environmental issues with regard to both design and business operations. For example, one display is made of lyptus – an ecologically friendly wood – and champions the Custom Wood Cabinets brand. This brand utilizes a green production technique in the overall creation of its cabinets, as they are constructed in one piece, minimizing waste.
The showroom also focuses on the little things that make a business greener, such as reducing its use of paper.
“We have a fax, copy and e-mail machine set up so the fax goes to our receptionist desk in e-mail form,” offers Price. “Our receptionist then goes through the faxes and distributes the crucial ones via e-mail. While most fax machines print out all faxes and confirmations, ours is set up to eliminate that step.”
A Push to Promote
In the coming months, the team will host cooking demonstrations in the working kitchen to draw in potential clients, Price notes. Consumer seminars focusing on how to buy kitchens and baths and the design process are also being considered for the months ahead.
In addition, the company advertises in local magazines and on radio, takes part in various home shows and announces events and seminars on its Web site.
The company also welcomes anyone to use the showroom. “We’ll make the showroom available after hours if people want to bring their friends in and have a meeting here,” notes Price. “The more people who see the showroom, the more people tell other people about it. It’s great advertising.”