For any of my fellow designers out there, you know what a drag it can be doing multiple showroom tours when you're looking for a specific product or finish. For homeowners, the most direct comparison is walking around a furniture store and being followed around by a salesperson when you just want some space to try things out and experience the product on your own.
Enter the showroom house idea. I stumbled upon this article from The Business of Home and it got me really thinking about the showroom experience, as well as the vacation experience in places like Airbnb and VRBO. As someone who goes to multiple markets every year all over the US (North Carolina, Atlanta, and Vegas to name a few), this has really got my own wheels turning.
These photos are of the first showroom house from Stay Bungalow, which plans to create multiple showhouses in markets that don't have a large design district in the next five years. Located in Austin, this first showhouse features product from several dozen sponsors, including Sub-Zero, Wolf and Cove, Phillip Jeffries, Caesarstone, Lutron, Circa Lighting, and Kohler, to name a few.
As of right now, their plan is to open reservations up to industry professionals that sign up to be members, and reservations can be made for 48 hours. While I don't love the exclusivity model they are going with, I'm intrigued by this more immersive, private experience of the products and materials within this showhouse.
Products that stand to be tested for longer than a showroom visit, to me, would include mattresses, bedding, sofas, kitchen storage layouts, all appliances, plumbing, and home tech products. The idea of having those 48 hours to really pay attention to how I (or a client) interacts with specific products sounds very appealing and intriguing.
In the same vein as my past post about tiny homes, this article got me thinking about what we will all do in the future with residential real estate, especially those of us who are in the industry.
My husband and I have been more seriously considering what our next move is in the real estate category, now that two of our boys are off to college next year, and we'll have just one more right behind them.
Could a new build set aside a portion of the property for a smaller version of a showhouse for clients to visit and experience NLI's favorite vendors? And could it be touted as a luxury short term rental for additional income as well, as we see our retirement in the distance? The mind just wanders, y'all. Stay tuned!!
Is this an idea that intrigues you? Would you want to stay in a space like that, where you can experience product for yourself, and also get a bit of a getaway in? I'm curious - let us know in the comments!
Hopefully, I can reference this post when this all comes to fruition for us someday! #puttingitintheuniverse