July 17, 2015
Showroom design is all about balance – showing off the products while not confusing the client. For one Wyckoff, N.J., showroom designer, his new space needed to also wow potential customers walking through the door.
“I consider my showroom more of an art museum,” said Peter Salerno . “I consider myself an artist, not just a kitchen and bath designer; therefore, I needed to create something different than the competition.”
Focal Points and Form
Working with designer Ellen Cheever, Salerno began the project by arranging the displays so they would naturally direct clients in a counter-clockwise motion. This natural flow would showcase each display’s most powerful focal point when the client rounded a corner.
“Each display is intentionally different,” he said. “I wanted my clients to walk through the door and be drawn from one display to another.”
Since each display has its own design theme, there are intentionally no sample doors, color blocks or hardware racks in the displays. Instead there is a separate room for door styles, countertop surfaces and hardware. Too many selections up front can be very overwhelming, so Salerno starts by looking at displays with a client and garnering what their favorite styles and colors are.
“Right from the beginning, I tell them this is going to be an enjoyable experience; let’s have fun doing this project together,” said Salerno. “I assure them I will walk them through the entire process, and there will be nothing to worry about.”
Once they have narrowed down the style and colors that attract the client the most, Salerno will take them into the sample room to fine-tune the process. By not having a multitude of samples integrated with the displays, the initial selection process is less overwhelming and decreases anxiety levels in the consumer.
“If a client does not see exactly what they are envisioning in the showroom, I can use my portfolio,” he said. “The portfolio is broken up into multiple albums of various genres: panted kitchens, stained kitchens, modern kitchens, bathrooms, libraries and bars and wine cellars.”
To display the best of his work, Salerno focused on creative displays and eye-catching designs. The drama begins in the front window of the showroom, where a former cherry display is soon to be replaced by a white cabinet set against a marble water jet wall. A sleek, polished and brushed metal hood will be placed in the center of that wall.
“The objective is to take their breath away,” he said.
The front display is not the only one with this purpose. A display featuring a La Cornue stove also integrates a 42-in. television along with an antique tin ceiling with Swarovski crystals and two crystal chandeliers. An electric drop-down spice rack in a contemporary kitchen design pairs with a glass backsplash that can change colors.
Along with an ocean sound effect, one concrete island contains 9,000 fiber optic lights built in to synchronize and form ocean waves and an animated seagull in flight.
In another setting, an actual wine bottle acts as a faucet in a concrete wine barrel sink, while the showroom’s powder room sports walls painted by a New York City graffiti artist. Surrounded with moody colors and grunge-chic décor, the powder room gives the visitor an escape from the expected.
“I really enjoyed working with a young, enthusiastic artist,” Salerno said of the experience. “Our artistic minds were so different, but the end result was perfect for both of us.”
One of Salerno’s favorite artistic touches is a 1959 Corvette with a bar area integrated into the hood, which can still close with the sink inside. Next to the Corvette, a Husky tool chest was converted into a 27-in. refrigerator and coffee station.
“The challenges that I faced designing my showroom were that there was no client to satisfy, only myself, which can be an impossible task,” said Salerno. “I am very happy with the results.”
Designer: Peter Salerno, Peter Salerno Inc.; Ellen Cheever, Ellen Cheever & Associates
Photography: Peter Rymwid Photography Antique Tin Hoods/Panels: Simply Amy LLC, Milford, N.J. Appliances: La Cornue, Paris France; Oberg & Lindquist Corp, Wyckoff N.J.; Sub-Zero Wolf Inc.
Concrete Counters and Specialty Pieces: J & M Lifestyles LLC, Randolph, N.J.
Lighting Fixtures: Capital Lighting Inc., Paramus, N.J.
Reclaimed Wood Products: Southbend Building Products, Cornelius, N.C.
Stone Counters: Stone Surfaces Inc., East Rutherford, N.J.
Tile Backsplashes and Flooring: Stratta Inc., Wyckoff, N.J.