We love dishing on trade trends. You may have noticed. Well this time we’ve asked a few of the nation’s top showroom design divas to dish on what’s hot, what’s not and what matters most to their customers. Here’s what they had to say...
 
Warm is heating up.
Hues are getting warmer. According to Michelle Henderson with Banner Plumbing Supply in Chicago, showroom customers are more apt than ever to request warm finishes like matte brass, polished nickel and satin gold. Truth be told, Michele wonders what’s taken the industry so long to get back to brass. “It’s been on handbag hardware for six or more years, so I expected it to hit our industry a few years ago,” she said, adding that today’s warm hues are softer than the brash brass of the 80s.
 
Let freestanding ring.
Freestanding tubs are a thing. A big thing that Stephanie Goad with Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery in Grapevine, Texas, attributes to designers’ broad acceptance of the open-concept bathroom. She says the trend has created a very real need for freestanding tub fillers that match other faucets in the loo.
 
The worldwide pitfall.
When Melissa Rasico with Aurora Winnelson in Aurora, Colorado, bemoans the internet as her biggest troublemaker, a collective groan sounds from showroom designers everywhere. Sure the internet can be helpful in educating clients on design options, but Melissa has seen too many clients spend too many hours online in search of a better deal to ultimately come up short. Inevitably she says, the “perfect” find is missing a drain, an overflow hole or the cost of shipping—landing her clients squarely back to where they were before.
 
Knowing is the winning strategy.
So what’s the secret to these divas’ successes? Know your stuff. Know your customers. Know your worth. Each of these crackerjack designers will tell you as much. In fact, it’s the confidence in their value, their constant drive to learn more about their products and the systems in which they work, and listening to their customers that has made them the go-to designers they are today.
 
Thank you, ladies, for divulging a few tips and tricks of the trade.