Neighborhood Fixture Gets a Whole New Look
By Anita Shaw
But corporate leaders at the Portland, Oregon-based Consolidated Supply were aware that the showroom in Boise was in urgent need of modernizing. The 2,500-sq.-ft. site had not been updated since the 1970s, and the opportunity to display new faucets and vessels was becoming increasingly small.
To effect the necessary changes, the original site was gutted,
and the newly remodeled showroom welcomed visitors to a grand
reopening this past summer. The event, which was attended by about
150 invited plumbers and building contractors, featured a showroom
tour and door prizes, among other things. "We had a big open
barbecue pit, a Diamond Lil and a live band," adds Marilyn Kerr,
Prior to the remodel, Kerr notes that the showroom was in desperate need of updating. "We wanted to be more current with the times, and needed to redesign so that we could show more current products," she notes.
Overseeing the design of the updated showroom were Karla Neupert-Hockley, daughter of Consolidated Supply founder Karl Neupert, teaming with the previous showroom manager. In fact, Kerr notes that she came on board just two weeks before the showroom was gutted.
"It was an interesting way to get started with the company," she reports. Once the design was complete, "my staff and I did all of the displays and that kind of thing," she continues.
"It's a very open design, all on one level, and our displays are such that they can be changed whenever we feel the need. That's the nicest thing about this showroom the versatility of the displays, which allow for updating."
Kerr adds that the remodeled site features a lot of the new vessels, and a large variety of faucets. And, the site is still being adjusted. "We're still in the process of expanding," Kerr explains, "so I expect that we will have the largest display of faucets in the Valley by the time we're finished with everything that we have planned. We're still adding and tweaking."
The current showroom set-up features 12 full displays of suites,
as well as three separate areas with 18 kitchen sinks and faucets.
The Fixture Gallery is heavily focused on the American Standard and
Porcher lines. Faucets from Rohl, Jado, Grohe, Delta, Moen, Elkay
and Hansgrohe, among others, are also displayed, as are sinks and
vessels from Stone Forest, Porcher and Gravity Glass. "We have a
faucet bar with working faucets," Kerr points out.
"[The showroom also has] three farm-style sinks with apron fronts from American Standard, as well as a granite farm sink and a copper farm sink by Stone Forest," she adds.
A working steam shower by ThermaSol is also a prominent feature, as is a fully operational Victorian style footed air tub by Oceana Glass. "We also have a working jetted tub by Aqua Glass a big corner tub with all of the goodies on it," she reports.
Other tubs, including a cast iron footed tub from Porcher, as
well as the Indulgence line from Aqua Glass, are also featured. "We
do the higher-end tubs, rather than the basic bathtub," she
Open for Business
While plumbers and contractors are the focus of the business, the showroom is open to the general public, and all are welcome. "We are one of the few showrooms in the area that is open on Saturdays for browsers," Kerr remarks.
For the future, Kerr is hopeful that the showroom will be included in the NKBA's progressive tour of showrooms.
"We're active members of NKBA, and support those functions," she comments. She adds that they are also active members of the Boise Contractors Association, and participate in the association's trade show.
"We also have plans to do some design seminars here in the showroom with some of the local designers and architects, but that's still in the planning stages," she notes. "At six months, we're still a pretty young showroom." All in good time.