Highland Park, IL —
Armed with a positive perspective, Rick Glickman, president of Dream Kitchens, has opened a new showroom in the northern suburbs of Chicago. The new showroom is designed to be as inviting as the staff itself.
“I feel like we get the jobs where the customer comes in and likes our personality. If they have a question for our firm, even if they don’t go with us, I consider that it’s meant to be. That attitude creates peace of mind and your clients feel at ease. That’s how we look at the business here,” Glickman pronounces.
The 2,500-sq.-ft. showroom was originally a bare concrete area. Audrey LaVecchia acted as lead designer and Glickman oversaw the project, but the entire team helped to create the space. With 18′ ceilings, the space was designed so that the lights hang down 9′ to meet the vignettes.
Glickman has designed 20 showrooms and creates a zigzag-shaped wall for the displays in each store. This allows the client to easily view displays from front to back.
The showroom features 14 vignettes, including a working galley-style kitchen. The team incorporated eco-friendly elements into the displays, using LED lights, recovered wood countertops and cabinetry made of synthetic materials.
A large island sits in the rear of the showroom and serves as a product selection center. Instead of displaying the offerings on the wall, however, the drawers hold samples for various products. The office, which doubles as the conference room, is located at the back of the showroom. This space is used for Dream Kitchens’ mini-seminars and meetings with clients.
Incorporating technology is important to Glickman. Within the office there is a 42″ high-definition television, a mouse and wireless Bluetooth keyboard linked to the PC on Glickman’s desk. This involves clients in an interactive presentation of their design plans.
“Using Planit, I show the clients their kitchen in 3-D photo realistic dimensions. They walk around the plan on the large format high-resolution TV. It looks realistic to them and they immediately understand what we’re talking about it. It helps them make decisions quicker,” explains Glickman.
When this setup is not used for clients, the computers, televisions and digital photo frames throughout the showroom all run screensavers of past projects. This technology extends to the entire company’s computer network and is considered a cornerstone of the firm’s selling strategy.
Client participation is encouraged in the showroom. “Every single drawer and door has something interesting behind it. We want the client to open and close everything. I tell them ‘Don’t be shy. Try it out. Use everything,’” Glickman declares.
Incorporating various styles, the showroom’s open design plan provides a way to present an expansive selection.
“We are a part of the BKBG, and everything in the showroom is something we sell. Whatever’s in the vignette is something we can sell, except for some of the decorative items,” states Glickman.
Ranging from contemporary to traditional, the showroom reflects a diversity of trends in the area.
The company carries QuakerMaid, UltraCraft and Omega cabinets and Silestone, Corian and Craft-Art countertops.
The showroom offers Eurocast hoods and Danze faucetry, as it is a distributor for their products. Crossville, Dal-Tile, Mirage and Stone Impressions are some of the tiles displayed in the space. FisherPaykel, KitchenAid, DCS and InSinkErator round out the appliances available for clients.
The company works on new construction jobs, but concentrates primarily on remodeling and renovation. Glickman sees his target market as designers, architects, builders and anyone interested constructing or remodeling a kitchen or bath.
The six designers making up the design team all possess a Bachelor’s degree in interior design. The company won the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Bluechip Enterprise Award, and the University of Illinois and LaSalle Bank inducted Glickman into the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame.
Dream Kitchens and Glickman provide the public with local, BKBG and NKBA seminars, a Web site and e-mail.
Celebrating the opening of the showroom, members of the BKBG, past and potential clients, city officials and local business owners attended the invitation-only open house. For the occasion, the design center was transformed into a café, where a chef prepared sushi and two guitarists performed for attending guests.