While shopping can be a pleasurable experience, it can also be a daunting task. The overwhelming number of choices currently available to today's consumers can leave heads spinning and nerves frazzled. The kitchen and bath industry provides a seemingly endless array of products and services to its customers, with big boxes and smaller specialty showrooms alike displaying hundreds of cabinet choices, faucets, countertops and fixtures, among others. For shoppers in Racine, WI, however, there is a respite from the oversized, overstocked showrooms. The Cabinetry Shop, located here, offers a wide assortment of products and services, all within a cozy, comfortable space. The showroom was recently remodeled to coincide with the company's 30th anniversary.
"We show a nice mix of cabinetry while trying not to intimidate our typical client," reports Ray Kant, co-owner of The Cabinetry Shop. He adds that customers often share their overwhelmed feelings if they've been to a larger showroom. "They always comment that it 'feels like home here,'" he states.
Kathy Kant, co-owner of The Cabinetry Shop with her husband Ray, notes that the showroom's presentation is key to this experience. There are no separate areas marked for faucets or hardware or fixtures. "Each section just looks like a kitchen," she reports.
While she concurs that the showroom's size isn't large and it's not really spread out, "by the same token, it's a long, narrow building, and a lot of people are amazed by everything that we've got packed in here."
An Intimate Gathering
The showroom's opening event was also in keeping with the intimate ambiance of the space. Approximately 60 builders, architects, interior designers and realtors were invited to the October opening, which included refreshments and hors d'oeuvres.
"The limited turnout was our intent," says Ray Kant, "in order to spend time with these special invited guests."
The Friday and Saturday following the formal opening featured an open house to the general public, where door prizes were offered as well as specials for those who purchased a kitchen.
The showroom, which was designed by the Kants, reflects their personal style. "We both were instrumental in the selection of wall treatments, flooring, countertops and room accessories," says Ray Kant.
Five kitchens'including two traditional, one country, one Old World and one French Country'are featured. There is also an office area, which is very contemporary in style. "Everything is laid out in kitchen vignettes," observes Kathy Kant. Though none are working, every kitchen display includes appliances.
The Old World vignette is Wood-Mode's European Heritage kitchen, which features Grand Tour doors and a fireside on cherry finish with a black glaze. The cabinetry includes details such as intricate rope carving, classic fluted columns and dentil molding.
Brookhaven's French Country kitchen is also highlighted, showcasing lighter woods and ornate patterns with ovals and curves.
To top the cabinets, The Cabinetry Shop carries Zodiaq, Corian and granite countertop surfaces. Appliances by Sub-Zero, Bosch, Thermador, Fisher-Paykel and Best, Franke sinks and faucets, Grohe faucets, and Moen and Delta plumbing fixtures are included in the selection, as well.
Servicing and More
Four staffers work the showroom. Ray Kant does all of the design work, while Kathy does all of the ordering and pricing and works with customers on color selections. "We are working hard at using 20-20, but still prefer hand drawings," reports Ray Kant. "They have the personal touch that 'wows' the customer."
The majority of the company's sales are on a one-on-one basis, working directly with the consumer, he reports. The firm is trying to create a larger builder base by getting more involved with parade of homes, home tours and home shows.