KBB - September 2014 - (Page 14)
Size Doesn't Matter
Technology can be integrated into any size showroom
In today's age of technology, for every person who refuses to own a smart
phone, engage in social media outlets and send emails and texts in lieu
of a call, there are probably a hundred at the other end of that scale. That
number may seem high, but according to Joel Warners, owner of Faucets
N Fixtures and the Faucet Factory showrooms in California, "Technology
is not going away - it will continue to advance - and it can ﬁll a void to
make anyone's life easier."
"The more tech savvy a studio can be, the more this broadens the
market for the ideal customer," said Erica Kalkofen, a designer at ek
kitchens&design in Winter Park, Colo. "If you can ﬁgure out a way to harness technology so you can meet with a client in another state, you have
increased your reach to a much larger pool of ideal clients."
When it comes to technology in the kitchen and bathroom showroom,
there are several facets on which to focus: how you want to illustrate your
work and share ideas with clients pre-sale, how you want to communicate
during the course of a project post-sale, how you use different programs
to design your projects and how your clients can use interactive displays
to learn more about your product lines.
The Faucets N Fixtures and Faucet Factory showrooms feature several
working displays, including several units that show the use of different types
of therapy offerings.
Pre- and Post-Sale Technology
"On the front end, we rely on iPads to show clients our work through sites
like Houzz, where we can share ideas," said Troy Pavelka, design manager/
architect for Normandy Design Build Remodeling in Hinsdale, Ill. "Houzz is
extremely important to us, as it is a very visual way to communicate styles,
and the iPad makes communication pretty straightforward."
In the 8,000-sq.-ft. Normandy Design Build Remodeling showroom,
there are three different areas with 30-in. computer monitors - one of which
pops up out of the countertop - that are linked to the Internet and can
be used by one of the 18 designers to hold a client meeting. Both client
and designer can use these "selection stations" to access manufacturers'
websites to help make selections easier and more interactive.
At Main Line Kitchen Design, a ﬁrm in Narberth, Pa., just outside of
Philadelphia, there is no physical showroom. The designers visit clients in
person at their home to evaluate and measure their kitchens and go over
pictures of ideas from various design websites on laptops. They then show
clients drafts of ﬂoor plans and make necessary changes. This method
allows the clients to choose preferences in such items as countertops,
ﬁxtures, appliances, etc., from various websites, and then the designers
provide pricing estimates for each, as well as the construction costs.
The small ek kitchen&design studio is run primarily via the Internet. The
designers meet with clients to draw out their ideas and preferences and
then integrate those into their design via software and hand sketches.
"We model our ﬁrm after a design studio - not a showroom," said
Kalkofen, "and we have access to many lines and brands depending on
taste, budget and time frame."
Two rooms make up the small showroom - a workroom with sample
libraries of tile, wallpaper, paint colors, etc., and a client meeting space.
According to Kalkofen, between those two areas she and her team can
In the Normandy Design Build Remodeling showroom, there are three areas
with 30-in. computer monitors - one of which pops up out of the countertop
- that are linked to the Internet. Both client and designer can use these
"selection stations" to access manufacturers' websites to help make the
process more interactive.
get a good sense of what the client is looking for and share their vision
Jan Neiges, CKD, uses a van in Denver, Colo., that she brings to potential clients as well as job sites. It is outﬁtted with samples and ﬁnishes and
allows her to maximize on the sales and selection process. She is also
afﬁliated with the Kitchen Traditions of Colorado showroom in the Denver
Design District, so she is able to provide two methods to accommodate
customers' needs depending on their schedules.
In the actual showroom, there is a large-screen television by the presentation table used to show clients large views of potential plans via a CAD
program, which can also be used to make changes to the plans. Neiges
also loves to use Houzz.
September 2014 / www.kbbonline.com / The Ofﬁcial Sponsor of KBIS www.kbis.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - September 2014
KBB - September 2014
Show Director’s Note
People & Places
KBIS Countdown to Design & Construction Week
2014 Design Award Winners
Miracle Working in a Tight Space
A Tall Order
Start Spreading the News
The Usual Suspects
From Dull to WOW
A Classic Plan
On the Beaten Path
KBB - September 2014