As a homeowner, entering a home design showroom for the first time ill-prepared is never a good idea. It can be easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of design concepts, products, and supplies that cover every square foot of the showroom, not to mention all the ideas that will be swirling through your head as you look around.
What is the key to a successful showroom experience?
Simply put: Ask the right questions.
1. Why am I here?
Walk in with a plan, well aware of what project needs you have and where to look to find them. To get yourself ready, make a list of favorite design concepts and ideas, or even a scrapbook of images from sources like Houzz that will help you keep in mind just what you need to inspire you when you walk through the showroom doors. If you’re planning a kitchen remodel, head straight toward the Kitchen Showroom to take in the different configurations, cabinet and countertop materials, and door and drawer hardware available. From there you can more naturally make your way to, say, the windows and doors. Starting in the right place will help you focus your energy – and creativity – on what you need most, whether for yourself or a client. No matter which stage of project planning you may be in, asking this crucial question will maximize your time to keep things running smoothly and on schedule.
2. What am I doing?
Are you updating your kitchen or patio area to entertain friends or enjoy with your family? Or are you looking to improve certain rooms to sell your home in the near future? It isn’t uncommon to make upgrades to a room’s layout, appliances, lighting, or accessories to increase the value of your property. But, you should always remember that “improvements” that you make might not be improvements to future buyers! Keeping the distinction of improvement for your own enjoyment vs to increase home value is critical before heading on into what’s essentially a candy store for home remodeling.
Defining the purpose is important, as it allows you to enter a showroom in search of products or advice that are either catered specifically for you, or more simply, the needs of your home.
“Our HomeScapes Kitchen Designers will lead you through the creative, aesthetic, and functional aspect of the design process, using state of the art showroom and 2020 design software, to present your final project in 3D,” says Kate Marchisio, CCL HomeScapes Kitchen Designer. Clarity will also help showroom consultants as they put together the most creative and efficient options to suit the needs of your project.
3. How much do I have to spend?
Like it or not, money matters, especially when selecting the right materials. It is just as important as knowing what you need and how or if it fits into your budget, and home showrooms have a large selection of options to consider. Knowing your budget before you start product-hunting is critical to keeping project expenses under control, because impulse buying can ultimately rob you of the joy that comes with completing a home project. One of the added bonuses of having your budget clearly defined is that it allows you to navigate the showroom comfortably without worrying about choosing something that you’ll later regret when your bill comes in.
Kevin McIver of CCL HomeScapes assures that “our product lines encompass every budget and your HomeScapes kitchen design associate will absolutely consider your budget needs during the process.” Having control of your wallet will also help showroom experts guide you toward products that best fit your needs and budget, making the most out of the time spent in the showroom.
4. How am I going to get this done?
For homeowners who are handy with some DIY projects, a complete kitchen remodel or new patio may be something beyond the skill of their own toolbelts. Such projects may require the expertise of a professional installer. No matter if you’re a homeowner or a designer, help from trusted partners is essential to bring ideas to life. Though finding a contractor or other professionals can be daunting, many showrooms have a team of consultants who can help get you started in the right direction and recommend the right partner for your project. Even if you’re confident that you’ll be able to complete a project yourself, it’s always a good idea to run ideas by an expert to see if there are unforeseen consequences that would’ve been avoided if you contracted tasks out. Often times, you’ll save time, money, and anxiety by having a professional do it!
Home showrooms provide a wealth of resources for anyone in the early stages of project planning, but poor preparation will cause you to miss your opportunity to get useful information, overspend on materials, or even result in not getting the ultimate project results you want, be it securing the perfect product for a remodel or adhering to the needed project timeline. Plan early, budget thoroughly, and think through the complete scope of your project to involve the right people in the process. If any of these questions seem daunting, make a note of your concerns and bring them into the showroom with you as well. From the moment you enter the doors, you’ll meet people eager — and knowledgeable — to help you be successful.
Simply by getting solid answers to these four questions, you’ll be able to go into any showroom armed with a project, timeline, budget, and desired result. Never again will you have the deer-in-headlights look (we hope!).