Welcome to the 21st-century bathroom and kitchen. They are beautifully painted white, with grey countertops, accented by white toilets, sinks, and tubs, and adorned with brass fixtures. Now, that's a room I have no desire to see or live with. However, despite our best efforts, many bathrooms and kitchens lack the allure of an operating room.

Where is the style? Where is the color? Where is the individual design statement?

But do decorative plumbing showrooms care? If that's what my clients want and their designers are specifying that look, we will gladly supply it.

Now, let's step back for a moment and consider how the popular style of 2024, with its dull and flat aesthetic, affects the overall design market and your well-equipped decorative plumbing showroom. Put simply, it commodifies the market.

Designers, builders, homeowners and plumbers can simply ask their browser to go to www.BestDealPlumbing.com and show them the brightest white fixtures and most popular shiny brass faucets. Job done and ordered. Why take the time to travel to your leading showroom to see bold designs?

Also, consider this additional angle: over time, generic fixtures and fittings fade into the background. Homeowners lose that sense of specialness in their kitchens and bathrooms. This also limits designers, as the ubiquitous "Hilton-style" bathroom offers little opportunity to showcase their creative talents. Really, who aspires to a bathroom replicating a generic hotel experience?

Every time a homeowner enters their dynamically designed kitchen and bathroom a smile emerges and its add a bit of joy to that moment. And isn’t that why people want to use your showrooms? Aren’t they looking for those special fixtures and fittings that they want to install in their elegant home?

Sure there are some people that want their home to be s place to relax after a tough day, but relaxing does not need to boring. I think Dawn Renee Robinson with Bocchi says it so well:

“They [customers] want something that is experiential and that is unique to their individual style… It just gives them that unique moment of self expression in a fun way that they can have a smile. Every time they enter the bathroom to start the day it makes them happy personally why is style important to you how you apply it to your home”

“That’s the best thing about design. There are no rules anymore you can do what makes you happy and if you do that, he will find peace in the moment and then you will have joy and that’s me. That’s what it’s all about. In my mind, relaxing isn’t necessarily about a spa feeling. It’s about a feeling of design and it doesn’t have to be like that so it could be a bold orange.”

My takeaway here is that all spaces in an elegant home should be about the style the client enjoy and how they want to feel in those spaces. And I do not think bored is a feeling most people desire. Calm, relaxed yes, bored, not a desire one designs to create.

The opportunity here is to make sure your showroom consultant are not simply order takers. It's easy to take an order write it up and ship it out. The key is to make sure they keep reminding designers architects, builders and homeowners that these rooms are not simply bathrooms there an opportunity to add color and style to a space that is often simply thought of for for cooking and bathing. Yes even in 2024 people still look at bathrooms and kitchens completely differently than they do the rest of the home. And in so many instances these rooms styling is so far down the to-do list it never gets its deserved attention and remains utilitarian and boring. It is up to the showroom consultant to remind them that we are no longer in 1960 and bathrooms and kitchens can be wonderfully engaging spaces and still function worthy of the 21st-century.

As we've underscored throughout these articles, earning trust with designers, architects, builders, and homeowners is paramount for cultivating long-term relationships and becoming The Showroom. When clients present a vision reminiscent of a Hilton-style bathroom, your team has the opportunity to expand upon that palette, incorporating touches the client may never have imagined. By tailoring it to the homeowner's style, you increase your significance to those customers. Additionally, if individuals are left to live in dull, joyless spaces supplied by you, they will inevitably think of your brand as dull.

Now let’s go to work: Gather your team for a brainstorming session. Challenge them – when a client describes a brass-and-white bathroom, how can we "punch that up" and what products can we inject to create a space that sparks joy (or even a chuckle!) for the homeowners.

Once you have a ideas, bring it live! Invest in a two-tiered display table and position it prominently near your showroom entrance. Showcase these unique products and label them "Beyond Grey: Bold Bathroom Ideas." When clients arrive, use this display as a springboard for conversation. Ask them about their vision for their bathroom, then point out these unexpected elements and explain how they could personalize their space. This display will be a powerful tool to demonstrate your team's design expertise.

Showrooms are all about showing off. And if everyone is selling and showing the same products what is there to show off? Destination designer showrooms are all about sparking people’s imagination to create special spaces.

P.S. This article is a lead into our June conversation about Artificial General Intelligence, AGI. For those of you that think it is still a way off, get ready because it is already here and it will only get smarter.