ROCHESTER, NY— The primary dictum of real estate may be “location, location, location,” but in the world of kitchen and bath showrooms, “space, space, space,” is the more familiar refrain.
When the design team at Bryce & Doyle was planning the move to a new showroom, space was the key to presenting fresh and comprehensive displays.
“We decided to really emphasize our passion for home customizing, which our previous 800-sq.-ft. showroom was too small to allow for,” says Richard J. Doyle, president of Bryce & Doyle Craftsmanship.
The answer was an historic 130-year-old building in the northwest section of Rochester.
Purchased in 2004, the building and surrounding lot were adjacent to the company’s existing showroom. The initial buy was motivated by a need for expanded parking space, but renovating the historic building posed a tempting challenge.
The entire staff had input into the design of the new 3,800-sq.-ft. space.
“The space was designed from the inside out,” says Doyle, who used architectural moldings, including a custom paneled 24"-deep archway separating adjoining kitchen and media room displays. The showroom also has Arts & Crafts-inspired details, numerous windows and coffered ceilings.
The age of the building provided challenges, but these were no match for senior designer Shannon Ryan Cooper.
Additionally, “Interior designer Maury Catcheye was a large contributor to the success of the new designs,” says Doyle, adding that that the firm’s “whole house” concept is what sets the showroom apart.
“We strived to showcase every part of the home, from the powder room to a luxury kitchen to the exterior patio,” he says.
The showroom has a total of eight display rooms, with five of those displays considered to be “working.” Clients are encouraged to use these displays, which include a Wolf oven, a Kohler whirlpool and a custom shower with rain showerheads and body sprays.
“We see a value in people experiencing these luxuries before they determine what they need and what they want,” comments Doyle.
Bryce & Doyle’s largest display is a chef’s kitchen which was designed to accommodate cooking classes by local chefs and as a potential spot for a TV cooking segment.
Bryce & Doyle carries cabinets by Irpinia Kitchens, Elm Manufacturing, Marsh Furniture Co., Woodharbor and the firm’s own in-house custom line, Bryce & Doyle Craftsmanship Custom Design. Also offered are plumbing fixtures by Kohler, Franke, Grohe and Kindred, as well as appliances by Sub-Zero, Wolf, Asko, Bosch, GE Monogram and a variety of smaller appliances by KitchenAid. The media room includes a NEC High Definition plasma television.
The mayor of Rochester,
Robert Duffy, personally toured the showroom before the firm’s planned grand opening, which was attended by some 300 guests. Builders, designers, former clients and well-wishers were treated to wine and food tastings in the new space. The firm plans to hold regular customer appreciation nights, going forward.
Although his target clientele is primarily homeowners, Doyle says he’s happy to work with anyone excited about their project.
“We love to work directly with the people who will be using the space,” Doyle says. “We want to take the pain out of remodeling and really help people rediscover a passion for their homes.”
The company utilizes 20-20 Technologies’ supplier-specific pricing software and is training its staff for AutoCAD and VectorWorks. There are several artists on staff, as well, and Brian DeRue, the company’s field technician, does hand-drawn concept renderings for certain projects.
Doyle says: “We specialize in custom spaces, no matter what the requests or obstacles.” The showroom features an ADA-compliant bath, and Doyle notes, “We use materials not typical of a ‘handicapped’ room.”
The company’s customization potential also makes green design a possibility. “We’re enticed by green design and wish there were more requests for it,” comments Doyle.
In business for nearly 30 years, the firm has witnessed ever-changing trends, from multiple cabinet finishes and door styles in a single room to ’hot ticket’ items of the moment, such as self-closing drawers, according to Doyle. “Rochester is a traditional market and we’re just now beginning to see a surge of contemporary design. This was a key factor in remodeling the showroom,” he says.
The firm has gained recognition in regional publications, and has been recognized by Elm Manufacturing with a first-place Certificate of Excellence in its annual kitchen design competition.
“Above all else,” says Doyle, “our ‘family atmosphere’ is not only present in our office, but also in our customers’ lives. When we walk on a project site, we get hugs.”