Best Showroom

by Autumn McGarr



Modern 19th Century Space

Brandy Cohen and Erika Klimenko with Bureau AD, 210 Design House, Chicago, IL


Finding the right space to tell the company’s story is a key element for any design firm, but relocating to a building built in the 1800s was an unexpected turn for 210 Design House of Chicago, IL. Brandy Cohen and Erika Klimenko of 210 Design House – along with input from Chicago architectural firm Bureau AD and a number of vendor partners – brought the vision for the 8,000-sq.-ft., three-story space to life. Even the basement was converted to a level that serves as a meeting place and houses some kitchen displays, bath vanities and other smaller vignettes.

Though the space is new to the company, the firm itself has designed with and represented the Snaidero and Plain & Fancy cabinetry brands for over 20 years. There was a strong desire to reflect that experience and their design capabilities to customers, as well as maintain some of the historical integrity of the building, leaving beams, exposed brick and even the old elevator mechanism intact.

The first two floors of the building are dedicated to cabinetry from Italian company Snaidero, including contemporary lines Elegante, Way, Opera, Look and Frame in various finishes. While the first floor is very “by the book” as far as design, the second floor is ultra-designed so that visitors can see what is possible. High-gloss wood finishes, sliding-door systems, closet and wardrobe systems and lacquered wall paneling are among the offerings here.

Cabinets from Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry in Pennsylvania, including Taliesan, Millbrook and Statesman, are featured on the third floor, in a design that features a number of individual ‘rooms.’ The space was designed this way to educate the visitor about how varied even one cabinet line can be with all of the door finish options and selections available.

In keeping with the upscale ambiance, furnishings from Italian firm MisuraEmme are featured throughout the three floors. In addition, 210 Design House displays include Katonah hardware, stone countertops and backsplash tiles and a mix of faucets and sinks from Franke, ROHL, Dornbracht and Kohler. Appliance lines include Wolf, Gaggenau, Miele, Sub-Zero and Asko.



Movable Feast

Desai Chia Architecture, AF|New York, New York, NY


A worn and neglected industrial warehouse in New York City’s Flatiron District has been transformed into AF|New York’s Project 6, the first international architectural specification showroom in the U.S. The 6,000-sq.-ft. space provides product displays and space for design collaboration across five distinct plumbing manufacturers.

According to the designers, the bones of the space and wide column bays promoted a flexible layout, and the design was conceived as an art gallery that would display pieces to emphasize their profiles, material quality and attention to detail. As such, the colors are simple – white, black and light wood tones, including Jet black and Pure white countertops from Caesarstone. Bath fixtures and fittings on display include Clarke Dune, Lunar, Ofuro and Irideon tubs; TOTO Neorest, Aquia, Ultramax, Aimes, Legato, Carlyle, Promenade and Supreme toilets; Alape Terra, Aqua, Bycolor, Darkiron, Assist, Scopio and A-form sinks; Valli & Valli accessories and hardware, and Dornbracht sink and tub faucets Lulu, Mem, Meta, Tara, Imo, Vaia, CL.1 and Deque.

Collaborative ‘Meeting Houses’ were placed in the middle of the showroom, providing areas where architects and designers can present collections of products in an industrially raw, yet refined, setting. A large Meeting House near the elevators can be converted into a presentation space for small panel discussions or product launch events.

Movable plywood and frosted resin plinths allow the showroom displays to be removed and reconfigured in inventive ways. A series of translucent ‘Map Walls’ allow manufacturers to present products as a mapped collection.

A pantry kitchen and two working, themed bathrooms were designed as smaller fixture galleries. Kitchen fixtures throughout the space include Modex, Attika and Radius 10 sinks from Blanco and Elio, Sync, Tara Ultra, Mem, Lot, Eno and Pivot faucets from Dornbracht. In addition, the back wall of the showroom is framed by an open vitrine of working Dornbracht showerheads on “stems” of chrome piping that are meant to mimic a planted garden.




Custom Capabilities

James Justice, Darlene Justice and Tracy Phelps
Architectural Justice, Medina, OH


A great showroom design directly reflects the capabilities and specialties of the company it represents. The latest renovation at the 10,000-sq.-ft. Architectural Justice Design Center leaves no doubt as to the company’s custom capabilities and out-of-the-box creativity.

Presenting two updated kitchen displays, a new bath display and a masculine office/man cave, designers James and Darlene Justice, along with designer Tracy Phelps, used stone, wood, metal and other natural materials to showcase their specialty – how natural materials can come together to create a one-of-a-kind space. The updated spaces also display the firm’s custom capabilities from its on-site artisan shops.

Because the setting is a converted barn, and a number of the displays have rustic and traditional elements, incorporating more contemporary displays was a challenge. More challenging, however, was creating the custom pieces that they had envisioned for the displays.

The first kitchen features a modern industrial vibe, with sleek frameless cabinetry with open shelving, a metal display cabinet and a custom live-edge dining table. The second kitchen space incorporates an updated Wolf range wall display that went from traditional to contemporary. Here, custom matte-black cabinetry is paired with custom-designed floating shelves on each side of a custom zinc range hood. Countertops in the kitchens include Midnight Mist honed granite, Calacatta Valley quartzite; Branco Cinzento marble and Sahara Noir marble, with Calacatta Valley Quartzite backsplash. A Kohler Stages sink is also on display, paired with a Brizo Litze faucet with a Matte Black and Luxe Gold split finish.

Two existing bathroom shower vignettes were taken down and replaced with one new glamorous space designed to show off the company’s exotic marble and stone fabrication expertise. On display is a barrier-free shower of Branco Cinzento marble, featuring Brizo’s H2O Kinetic and Levoir Raincan showerhead in Luxe Gold. Custom marble trough-style sinks with Brizo’s Levoir faucets and ornate metal legs flank each side of the shower. A large Avalon concrete tub from Native Trails is also showcased.

Marble is also on display in the new man cave space. Providing a major ‘wow’ factor is an African Marble Shuffleboard table and Ping Pong table, among other items.


See the rest of the winning projects:

Best Kitchen Over $225,000

Best Kitchen $150,000-$225,000

Best Kitchen $75,000-$150,000

Best Kitchen Under $75,000

Best Master Bath Over $100,000

Best Master Bath $50,000-$100,000

Best Master Bath Under $50,000

Best Powder Room

Best Universal Design Kitchen or Bath

Best Specialty Project



Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More