Our home is our shelter, so why not make it functionally and aesthetically dynamic? Cabinetry can be found in every room of the home, not just the kitchen, but are today’s kitchen and bath designers truly capitalizing on this?
Showrooms across the country feature incredible displays showcasing kitchen and bath cabinetry, but how many showcase other living areas of the home?
I was once waiting for a flight in Chicago, a Restoration Hardware shopping
bag in hand, when a gentleman initiated a conversation asking what I had purchased.
This, naturally, led to a discussion about what business I was in. When I told
him I was in the cabinet industry, he replied, “Oh, maybe you can help
me. I’m moving my office to my home and have been to a number of furniture
stores and all I find is particle board junk! Where can I find good quality
all-wood office cabinetry?”
I immediately informed him that any firm that carries kitchen and bath cabinetry will also be able to outfit him with great quality cabinets for his new office.
This brief encounter solidified my thinking that our industry simply does not market the design of other room cabinetry well. The words “kitchen” and “bath” are often in the title of our businesses, and these products are also what’s in our showrooms. But why can’t more designers break out of the rut and create truly “living” showrooms for customers to experience?
Most kitchen and bath firms – and most people, for that matter – tend to look at things from their own perspective.
Unfortunately, this inward focus can blind them to the things that are essential to moving forward and keeping up with emerging lifestyles. It takes humility to view the world from the customer’s point of view, but that’s exactly what today’s kitchen and bath designers must do. Ask yourself what your customers really need and want, even if the answer isn’t something you currently have to offer. Design centers and designers can capitalize on today’s lifestyle trends by taking their customer’s perspective when it comes to reinventing their showroom experience.
Customers’ lifestyles are changing, therefore their needs are changing. As a result, the way we present products and services must change as well. Thinking differently about showroom design and marketing strategies could quite possibly create exciting new profit centers and revitalize designers. Creating an experience-based showroom that spotlights innovative space planning for all rooms, technology and exceptional cabinet design could be the key.
It’s critical in today’s home to be able to create spaces that flow so that people may interact while performing day-to-day activities. As humans, we do not like to be segmented into specific closed-in areas. We like to congregate and socialize. So let’s focus on creating functional, social headquarters…exciting spaces for people to live and entertain in.
It all begins with the showroom layout. This educational tool will lead to better home layouts that meet the needs and desires of today’s savvy consumer, if well thought out and designed for the total home environment. The result is something I call “Shelter Dynamics,” a restructuring of interior space for smart design.
This smart design concept is simply a result of listening to customers. Instead of potential missed opportunities, like the home office scenario mentioned earlier, designers focus on the total living spaces in the home and market these. When it comes to cabinetry, we’re not just kitchen and bath designers any longer; we’re whole-home cabinet designers, with all of the added profit opportunities these entail. Cabinetry can unify spaces while providing intelligent storage solutions and facilitating socialization simultaneously.