The Best Flooring Showrooms in Lancaster County and How They Work for You
An Interview with Interior Designer
Kayloni Kurtz and Marketing Coordinator Tammy Evans
How would you describe the current looks you designed for Martins Flooring’s showroom?
Kayloni – We have about 6,000 square feet of floor displays. There are vignettes that include two bathrooms, two showers, two kitchens, a fireplace and a seating area, which allows us to show a lot of different styles. Our goal is to show as many looks and inspirations as we can. Everything we picked was sort of safe but pushes outside the comfort zone a little. We want to show customers something a little more unique than white subway tiles, for example, since everyone has already seen white subway tiles somewhere.
In terms of color trends, we are seeing warmer tones. Whites are warmed up, with more green tones and warmer backgrounds, and also some reds. We try to pull in more colors than just cream, to make the displays more visually interesting.
In the showroom we display every type of flooring – carpet, luxury vinyl, hardwood, tile, sheet vinyl, and of course hardwood.
How is the showroom floor organized?
Tammy – We have brand new displays in the showrooms for hardwood, luxury vinyl, and laminate. These displays are no longer organized by vendor, instead, each display includes multiple vendors. The panels are now organized by color so that customers can explore colors ranging from light to tan to dark, regardless of who the manufacturer is.
Kayloni – The colors gradate through all the color options. We also have an online visualizer that you can scan and it will show you how the product looks in your room and you can even show two products side by side. You can really see how it will look in your space and it simplifies the process of choosing what you want in your home.
On the other side of the showroom, carpets are organized by new categories: Expressive, Structured, Classic, and Relaxed, and then by color within each category. Expressive is very wild and fun with patterns and large geometrics and even animal prints. Structured carpets are more like regular shapes, like diamonds that repeat or lines. Classic is exactly what it says, classic traditional carpet. Relaxed includes longer piles with flecks of color, not so tight and flat.
This display reorganization makes shopping so much simpler and easier for customers!
Tile displays are still organized by vendor but we have walls with multiple products showcased to show the many tile varieties that are available, across different manufacturers, which really helps people compare different products.
How often do you redesign the showrooms?
Kayloni – On average, every two or three years, when there are big products dropped.
Each showroom is a little different which is a huge benefit to the customer. If I know that a customer will be more interested in something that is in one particular showroom, I’ll meet them at that location. We have so many options for people to explore and discover what they like.
Tammy – Kayloni redesigned all three showrooms this year, after just having her third child and while still handling all her new home accounts with builders throughout the area. Redesigning three showrooms in one year is a huge undertaking. It takes a lot of brainpower to pull all these pieces together. You have to dismantle everything and lay it all out from scratch. Plus, one showroom moved to a whole new location that has numerous level changes.
We recently purchased our fourth showroom in Oxford, PA. Kayloni will also entirely redesign this showroom, with a goal to complete it by March. Kayloni will be there when all the products and installers come in and she will guide everything they do. Kayloni has a wealth of knowledge and experience.
How do you balance the need to stay on top of the latest trends, while still keeping designs from being too trendy (and thus having a short lifespan)?
Kayloni – It’s a struggle! I like to play with the color and use it as an interest catcher, like a red triangle tile wall over a cabinet is very attention-getting in the showroom, and draws your eye to these beautiful tiles. But customers can also see options for the same tiles in softer colors like white, right there next to the red tiles. Using strong colors in the showroom starts the conversation but then you can also see the same product in a more neutral option.
We also make sure to show people lots of options in the details. With tile, for example, each area is designed a little differently, showing different grout sizes, different tile edges, different drains, different trim sizes, different curbs, different bevels, large niches, small niches, tile shelves, metal shelves, and more. It makes it easier for the customer to visualize what all the choices are and how they will look.
The private spaces in the home are where people are more willing to experiment with new colors and styles. They will do fun stuff in laundry room, or master bath, or family room, and keep it more neutral in the main home areas. This way they’ll achieve balance across the home.
The trend lately is toward a lot of hard surface flooring in the entire home, which is a pretty timeless approach and works especially well with open floor plans. Hard surfaces are easy to clean and can be dressed up using area rugs. Area rugs can be used to add a brighter splash of color to the room. Hard surfaces are also increasingly being used in bedrooms, although some people still prefer carpet because of its softness underfoot.
I personally love the look of hardwood, it’s timeless. All the luxury vinyl tiles are trying to imitate hardwood and while they have come a long way, you can still tell it’s not really hardwood, you can see the pattern repeat. If money is not an issue, hardwood is better visually.
What your favorite look you created in the showroom.
Kayloni – I love the green and cream shower. It has alternating 12-inch bands of tile, the cream tiles are square and the green tiles are rectangular vertical, and it is accented it with gold trim and fixtures. The shower is all ceramic tile, and the floor is a pale luxury vinyl tile.
Tammy – I love the free-standing tub that has big dark tiles with a reddish rust color swirling through them. The flooring is luxury vinyl plank and the color really brings out the rust veins in the wall. You can see the size of the grout lines and how that impacts the design, which is something you cannot see just from a board of tile products. It’s just great to show all these grout colors and widths fully installed in the showroom.
Kayloni – The larger rectangles that are with that tub are a trend now, so we have tiles like that installed in different ways, with different patterns and directions and we can show you how it will look depending on how it is installed. This really helps people visualize what’s going to happen in their home.
Tammy – We have flooring installed in the showroom in herringbone style or diagonal, to showcase how to make a statement in a certain area.
One design element question I asked Kayloni about was if you can use large format tiles in front of a shower in a small bathroom space. Does that work?
Kayloni – Yes, those large format tiles really work in a small space, even if only a few tiles can be used. It can take a lot of work to install correctly but it is so worth the effort because it actually makes the space look larger.
When designing for the showroom, how does the lighting translate to the light in a customer’s home?
Kayloni – Lighting in this showroom is LED light which may not be the same as what people have in their homes. Sometimes we’ll bring products outside the showroom into natural light, and I definitely recommend people take product samples home. We can order samples if we don’t have them on hand. The lighting will change how things look – something may look white in the showroom, may look more pinkish at home. Also how much sunlight is in the home is another factor in how products will look.
What advice would you give to people who see something they like in the showroom and want to bring that look into their own home? Can they just drop that look right into their space?
Kayloni – We can drop the showroom designs right into the home because we use standard sizes which are accurate for the home. The large bathroom in the showroom is a standard 3×5 shower, so you just pull out your tub and we’ll put the new shower with tile in your home. Of course, we also have the ability to manipulate what is in the showroom as needed so that it works in the home.
Some things, like the master bath, are very separate so they don’t need to coordinate too much with the rest of the home. For other areas, there are always a lot of color options to make what you see in the showroom match the rest of your home design better. We can customize the elements to meet anyone’s home style.
Tammy – In the light blue tile showroom shower, there is a diamond tile inset which can be replaced with a white/black/grey/ combo or more of a white/beige/green combo or whatever the person wants. We can keep the beautiful tile design and swap the colors as needed. We can really customize it but seeing that tile panel in the showroom gives you that starting point. The vignettes in the showroom really help inspire the customer.
Kayloni – I used a beautiful pale pink tile in one showroom piece, and pink is a color that isn’t necessarily for everyone, but one woman loved it and had it recreated in her home. Seeing it in the showroom helped because it can be scary to commit to something like that before you can visually see it. Once you can see it, you can see how it works. It’s a little outside the ordinary, but it’s not your old 1950s pink tile. It’s slightly glamorous with different soft shades of pink and had some white marble around it in the showroom.
I used those same pink tiles in a project for Lancaster Cupcake.
Tammy – It’s stunning! The pink tiles are floor to ceiling at Lancaster Cupcake with their logo lettering in white over the tiles. The tiles are installed in three patterns: vertical, horizontal, and herringbone. It was so exciting to do a cupcake place and of course the pink fits perfectly with their brand. Every once in a while, you find the perfect place for the perfect product.
Kayloni – Another showroom look that has worked well in other places is a backsplash of elongated white hexagon tiles that feel like a leaf without being overly whimsical. We’ve used it in homes, around fireplaces, and it’s even been used on the front of a bar. It just makes a really interesting visual with some texture. It’s white natural stone, but in a different shape. It doesn’t feel too wild, but feels unique, and when people see it in the showroom they can envision how beautifully it would work in their own space.
Kayloni Kurtz is a design consultant with Martins Flooring. She has an interior design degree and over fourteen years of experience. Kayloni is very busy with three young children and sometimes it feels like she spends most of her time just keeping everyone alive! But, when she finds a little extra time she enjoys tending to her garden and being outdoors. In terms of her own flooring choices, she lives in an older home that came with hardwood throughout the main areas, but also has some sheet vinyl, ceramic tile, and flagstone.