It has been said that “half the fun of a journey is getting
there,” but Morton Block, CMKBD, IIDA, president of Kennett Square,
PA-based Morton Block Associates will tell you that even more fun
can be had creating the destination especially if it’s a kitchen
and bath showroom.
In fact, this sentiment inspired Block’s seminar, “Creating the
‘Destination’ Showroom,” held at last month’s Kitchen & Bath
Design & Remodeling Expo at the Valley Forge Convention Center
in King of Prussia, PA.
Block believes that creating a true “destination” location
offers a number of important perks including the most important,
the ability to benefit a kitchen and bath firm’s bottom line.
To accomplish this, Block suggests that designers should first
review the business, such as its history, current standing, the
future and the means to which it will reach its goals.
He further suggests researching possible areas, such as through
the U.S. census, as well as through other local businesses and
Firms should determine how much square footage will be necessary
for the showroom, taking into account the showroom proper, loading
docks, parking space and garage, among others.
Once this is done, Block believes designers must move forward
with the showroom as if it were a regular project done for any
other client, including the creation of a master floor plan and
perspective drawings to better develop traffic flow and establish
“[The key to creating a true destination showroom] is
flexibility, adaptability and versatility,” he notes.
For new showrooms, he also cites location, complete with high
visibility and convenience for customers as well as ample parking
space, as key.
In terms of product selection, he adds that it’s key to
determine your market, know the competition and offer “good,”
“better,” and “best” choices, leaving price out of the
He advises leaving space for product samples, and emphasizes the
importance of showing products that are likely to sell (as opposed
to those a designer simply likes). He also points out the
importance of maintaining industry standards for clearance and
ensuring designs are accessible and adaptable.
While accessories can be very helpful, he warns that they should
not dominate a display unless they are actually being sold.
Block further notes that designers should create design displays
with the future in mind by utilizing standard kitchen and bath
layout shapes, including U- and L-shaped layouts. If the showroom
is undergoing a renovation, displays can always be changed for a
new look simply by updating countertops, floor coverage,
backsplash, wall coverage or hardware.
He also points out that in order for employees to work to their
highest potential, the showroom should be well lighted and back
offices should be utilized to promote privacy.
Lastly, Block suggests creating a “sensory” experience, by
incorporating scents, as well as using lighting for ambiance.