FREEHOLD, NJ — Though the holiday rush is over, consumers are still heading to their local malls to check out the latest fashions, update their homes and take advantage of sales. The calmer pace also attracts people who have the time and patience to seek out something different during their shopping experience.
Something different is what Simply Kitchens Inc. has to offer mall-goers. The kitchen and bath design showroom takes a slightly different approach from other design firms because of its location, which is in the Freehold Raceway Mall.
Simply Kitchens Inc. is different because of the different types of customers it attracts, according to Frances Fedroff, v.p. and partner of the firm. “Some of the people we’re attracting are definitely in the market for a kitchen,” he explains. “They’ve done their homework already, so they know what they want.”
Then you have the customers who aren’t really sure they want to remodel their kitchens. “There may be a little thought in their head, but they’ve never stopped on the highway at one of these places in town because they really didn’t have the time,” he continues. “But now they’re at the mall, and they have the time. They’re there, and they come in.”
Simply Kitchens Inc. held its opening event on October 28, 2005, just in time for the holiday rush. The party attracted more than 100 visitors during a six-hour span, including clients, friends, family and representatives from participating companies, among them Viking, Thermador and Sub-Zero/Wolf. The 3,000-sq.-ft. showroom opened to the public the next day.
In Full View
When visitors to Simply Kitchens Inc. walk through its doors, they’re treated to full-room displays, rather than vignettes. “I’ve always been uncomfortable showing vignettes, because I believe clients need to feel and touch and see what a true kitchen or bath can look like when it’s finished,” stresses Kevin Hillsmon, president and partner of Simply Kitchens Inc. and designer of the showroom. “I think you get better responses and the clients feel more comfortable [with this format] when they make decisions.”
The showroom features three full kitchens, one full bath, a bar, a library and an entertainment center. Also included on-site is a back display area with cabinet doors and granite samples, as well as a children’s play area with a plasma-screen TV and play kitchen.
Located up front is a Tuscan-style kitchen that features cabinetry from Royal Cabinet Co. in a latte finish with a chocolate glaze.
A bar area at one end features complementary cabinetry in white with a honey finish, and sports a stainless steel Kohler sink with Kohler faucets. Stainless steel appliances from Viking include a cooktop, as well as a wall oven with a microwave above and warming drawer below. A refrigerator with front panels blends with the room’s overall design, and golden-hued granite countertops finish the look.
A contemporary kitchen is presented in a round format. Cabinets from Royal Cabinet Co. in maple and cherry feature a cherry band at the top that circulates throughout the kitchen. Dark granite counters top the cabinets and the multi-level round island in the center of the room. Stainless steel appliances from Thermador, Gaggenau and Bosch include an induction cooktop, bottom-freezer/refrigerator, double oven, dishwasher and warming drawer.
“The last kitchen is a country look with a little flair,” describes Hillsmon. “The cabinets from Hanssem Corp. go to the ceiling, and the top 12" are seeded glass. A brown highlight is featured around the Shaker doors.”
A large center island features multiple glass-front seed bins, adding to the room’s country charm. A farmhouse sink and country-styled faucets from Kohler enhance the overall design.
Appliances in the room include a six-burner unit and peninsula hood from Wolf, and an ASKO dishwasher. The Sub-Zero refrigerator, as well as a wine storage unit, feature glass fronts, in keeping with the room’s use of glass.
Cabinets from Royal Cabinet Co. “with a slight appeal of Deco” make a statement in the master bath that is showcased, as do the Kohler fixtures. The vanity features two different heights for interest, and vessel bowls highlight the piece.
A whirlpool is encircled in an olive-colored granite that also graces the step into the tub, while the shower area is done in chrome and white.
Though the kitchens are not working, “everything is wired and ready to go,” stresses Fedroff. “We’re going to have a chef come down once or twice a month to do demonstrations.”
Fedroff adds that the company is planning demonstrations of the equipment for its customers as well as mall shoppers. “It’s a little something for people who are just passing by.”