October 24, 2016
Rooted deep in the South, Bluffton, S.C., has long been the quintessential sleepy little town. Increased development in nearby Hilton Head Island and recognition of the city’s historical buildings starting drawing in visitors in the late 1990s, and now the area is a flourishing haven for creative professionals and the perfect setting for a showroom.
“This town used to be the kind one passed and didn’t even know they had even been by it; now it is a destination,” said Amy Dickson, owner and designer at La Source Showroom. “We chose a space in the heart of Old Town [for the showroom] because we wanted to be in an area that was authentic, walk-able and retail friendly.”
Solving Space Constraints
The showroom had to fit within the front section of a shopping center, which was 700 square feet in total with offices in the back. The actual showroom was only a modest 400 square feet, and it needed to incorporate what most 2,000-sq.-ft. showrooms had to offer.
Dickson’s solution was to design a showroom with the appearance of a large kitchen, but it would showcase multiple design and product options without making the space feel disjointed. In that way, it would ultimately combine modern, transitional and traditional displays that all blend with each other and can be combined in any project.
“Each display can be paired with [another] in terms of colors and textures,” said Dickson. “The flooring and walls can also work with each display. It is truly a blend of all styles, and it includes elements from practical layouts in most kitchens, including an island, integrated appliances, ranges, wall ovens and cooktops.”
One set of cabinetry is modern European style, with an induction cooktop, glossy white cabinetry and black stone countertops and a backsplash. Across is a transitional look, with dark cabinetry and integrated appliances. A traditional kitchen is perpendicular to both of these, with a stone backsplash, gray cabinetry and a La Cornue range to pull it together. A large wood island with a white countertop centers the room.
Unifying the Space
According to Dickson, the key to blending three genres was to use neutrals.
“I used different materials for every surface to show visual interest,” she said, “but I played up texture and played down sheen so they all seem to get along.”
The hardwood flooring throughout the room also unifies the showroom, as well as the white walls, trim and ceiling. Three types of lighting illuminate the space, including modern streamlined pieces, bronze transitional lights and bell-shaped pendants over the traditional stove.
“The showroom also doesn’t feel overcrowded because clearances were respected and often more generous than some actual home interiors,” said Dickson. “This was done to increase the sense of space and luxury in the small showroom.”
Serving All Clients
It was important to the owner to have a showroom that caters to a variety of clients with a large range of budgets. Most of the displays featured can be built using both stock cabinets and custom-made cabinets.
“The idea is to showcase high design but be able to serve all clients with a variety of budgets, said Dickson. “The La Source showroom was conceived to serve a design–driven market, and the requirement was to provide a consolidated and comfortable space for clients to make design selections without being overwhelmed.”
The variety of appliances and brands around the island showcases how customers can pick and choose their favorite layouts and functionality. All the appliances shown are available in common standard sizes so a client can easily choose their preferred brand.
“I believe if your budget is tight, you should still have designer options, and quality should never be sacrificed,” said Dickson. “If your budget is less constrained, then there can be more options and greater levels of personalization. It’s really up to the client.”
Designer: Amy Dickson, La Source Showroom
Photographer: Amy Dickson
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