We DO Feel The Music!
Given the multitude of DIY shows and big box stores that make it seem as if it’s SO easy to renovate your home, we wondered why homeowners would and should choose to work with kitchen & bath showrooms at all. Can’t everyone just ‘Do It Themselves’?
We spoke with Sarah Bride, a salesperson in our Concord, New Hampshire store to find out from her what customers appreciate about working with a showroom rather than a big box store.
Q: Hi Sarah, can you tell us how long you’ve worked at The Ultimate Bath store?
SB: I have been working at the Ultimate Bath Store for 1 year.
Q. Do you have a background in design?
SB: I have an associate’s degree in Interior Design as well as 7 years’ experience in the construction/design industry.
Q. Are you finding that homeowners are more involved in the renovation process now, then they were before all of these DIY shows? Have these types of shows helped? Or do they give people an unrealistic sense of how easy it looks to renovate?
SB: Homeowners are definitely more involved. The builder or plumber used to select products and install them, but now the homeowner is spending time to make the product selections that reflect their personality and lifestyle. With all of the DIY shows, consumers are getting great design ideas that help them to hone in on their style, as well as showing them some of the unexpected issues that can happen during a project. Homeowners have a better understanding of the remodel and construction process, however the shows don’t show all of the time spent selecting, ordering, installing, etc.
Another Contemporary Bath Vignette
Q. If you had to name one reason above all else as the reason people should work with showrooms – what would that be?
SB:. Whenever someone embarks on a new construction or remodeling project they should work with a showroom. The staff has superior knowledge of the quality products and the process of construction and remodeling. We can explain all of the parts and pieces that are needed, what makes one product a better quality than another, and assist with the overall design of the space.
Q. Do you find that homeowners do a lot of comparison shopping and how does the online world affect your showroom?
SB: People comparison shop all types of products before they buy, whether it is a car, a new fridge, or a lawn mower. At the Granite Group we work very hard to be competitive in the marketplace while still offering beautiful showrooms where the homeowners can see and touch the products while having their questions answered by knowledgeable associates.
Q. How much training does your staff get and how often?
SB: The showroom staff is constantly receiving training so we are up-to-date on the newest technology and products in the market. Some of the training is done in the showroom by the manufacturer’s reps, while other times it is a trip to a factory to see how a faucet, tub, toilet, etc. are made from scratch.
Showroom Salespeople Receiving Training From Kohler
Q. What do you do to keep up with trends in the design world?
SB: To stay up-to-date with the ever changing trends I read design magazines, keep in contact with local design firms, peruse websites like Houzz and Pinterest and of course watch the DIY shows.
Q. What are some trends that you see happening in bathroom design?
SB: Bathroom designs are becoming simpler with clean, sleek lines, but that doesn’t always translate into “contemporary” as many may envision. Traditional styled homes are using these designs as well as modern or contemporary homes. Bathrooms are a place to escape, they are used as an oasis from the day. The simpler designs help to set the stage to unwind and relax. One of the biggest changes in the products are the use of freestanding tubs. There has been a great increase in freestanding tubs versus a drop-in tub that has a tile surround.
Q. And finally – if there was one thing you wished homeowners knew, when it comes to bathroom or kitchen design – what would that be? Now’s your chance to tell them!
SB: I would tell them to really think about how they live and what is important to them. Taking the time to look through design magazines or talk to family and friends about what they like best or wish they had done differently in their own homes will give homeowners some great ideas to incorporate into building their dream home. Does a single bowl kitchen sink fit their lifestyle better than a double bowl sink like they have always had? Would they love to have a big soaking tub to help relieve the stress of the day or maybe a steam shower to improve health and wellness? Knowing what is most important to you will help make the decision-making process easier.
Sarah, thank you so much for your time and your thoughtful answers.
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