Shopping for Appliances? Here’s How to Make the Most of Your Kitchen Showroom Experience
High quality kitchen appliances help you feed your family, entertain with ease, and keep busy days on track. And when thoughtfully designed, they make many mundane tasks more enjoyable. Imagine opening your refrigerator and finding what you need fast because everything is so well-organized. Or pulling out the dishwasher racks to find sparkling, spotlessly clean, dry dishes you can put away without more work. Life is simply better with the support of top-notch kitchen appliances!
So, whether you’re creating a new kitchen, bringing your current space into the 21st century, or simply replacing an aging dishwasher, it’s important to select the best appliances you can afford. You want features that meet your needs, quality that lasts for decades, and a design aesthetic that works in your space and brings a smile to your face. And regardless of where you are on your appliance buying journey, nothing will help you more than visiting a high-quality kitchen showroom.
Spending time in a well-appointed kitchen showroom staffed by friendly, knowledgeable experts will inspire and educate. It will help you envision appliances in your space, handle them to see how they feel, and (if they’re connected to utilities) even operate them. Most of all, it will give you the information you need to make smart buying decisions with peace of mind. You should know, however, that kitchen showrooms vary in what they offer and the experiences they have the potential to create, so it’s helpful to know what to expect before you decide where to go.
Finding the Right Kitchen Showroom
You can see kitchen appliances in person in many types of shops, from warehouse, big box, and department stores to dedicated appliance stores to full-featured, high-end kitchen showrooms. In general, here’s how they differ.
Warehouse, big box, and department stores usually carry mainstream, lower-priced appliances that appeal to a large market of buyers. Appliances stand in rows or small mocked-up kitchenvignettes, where they can be seen and handled but not operated. They have few staff, who will likely have only surface-level knowledge about the brands and appliances they sell and a financial incentive to sell quickly.
Dedicated appliance stores usually carry a more diverse collection of brands at varying price points. Some models will be in stock, while others can be special ordered from the manufacturer or distributor. Again, most of the appliances stand in rows and don’t function. The staff in these stores should be relatively knowledgeable about the brands and models they carry and may or may not be paid on commission.
And then there are the full-featured kitchen showrooms, like ours, which focus on fewer, higher-quality brands from companies known for their quality, design, and customer service — in our case, Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove. In our showrooms, the appliances are installed in fully functioning kitchen displays, which creates an immersive, inspiring experience. You can test drive the appliances like you test drive a car. Go ahead! Reorganize the refrigerator shelves and drawers. Sauté something on the gas cooktop. Or run a dishwasher cycle to see how quiet it is.
Our showrooms are staffed by experts with deep knowledge about the appliances and how they compare to those from other manufacturers. The consultants are part teacher, part counselor, and part teammate. And importantly, we don’t sell anything in our showrooms. We provide information, guidance, and budget planning information and then connect you with a local retailer to make your purchase. So, you get a relaxing, educational, fun experience with no sales pressure.
Prepping for your Kitchen Showroom Visit
If you’re early in your appliance-buying journey, perhaps just getting ideas, visiting a kitchen showroom helps you get a feel for what’s out there and see what strikes a chord. If this is your goal, get ready by collecting inspiration. Take a look at the kitchen design and appliance ideas on our website’s Design Inspiration Galleries pages and social media feeds — Instagram, Pinterest, and Houzz. Check out other websites and magazines, like New England Home and Boston Home. Create a Pinterest board to collect ideas from these and other sources with simple searches and saves. Add sketches, mood boards, or your own photos, and you’ll be well-positioned to get great advice from your showroom consultants.
If you’re closer to making appliance choices, you’ll want the information you need to make the wisest investment decisions. Here are some of the most important questions your showroom consultant should be able to help you answer.
- Features: Does the appliance have the features you’re looking for? How well does each capability meet your needs? Anything not on your list that tickles your fancy?
- Design: Step back and look at the appliance from all angles. Can you envision it in your space? Do you love it or is it just “ok”?
- Performance: How does the appliance’s performance compare with other brands or models? How quiet is the dishwasher or refrigerator? How fast does the oven come up to temperature?
- Quality: What’s the expected life span of the appliance? How solid do the knobs, racks, doors, and other components feel in your hands?
- Warranty: What does the warranty cover and for how long? What’s the process for requesting repairs or replacements? Any costs to consider when warranty repair work is needed?
- Customer Service: How do you contact them? What are their hours? What’s the expected response time for email or text requests? How do they track your questions and requests?
- Company Background: How long has the company been in business? How did it get started? Is it privately-owned or part of a larger enterprise?
- Cost: What is the base price and costs for additional options? Are there additional costs to consider, for example, sales tax, delivery, or special-order fees? Does this fit within your budget?
- Size: What are the precise dimensions of the appliance? Will it fit in your space? Will it make it through your doorways?
- Availability: Is the appliance in-stock? Does it require a special order? How long will it take to be delivered?
Ready for an Inspiring Kitchen Showroom Experience?
You’ve done your prep work. Now, take advantage of the opportunity to explore the appliances and learn more! After the visit, take stock of what you’ve learned. Compare the options to your needs. Identify the pros and cons of each choice and any “make-or-break” factors that may steer you away from a certain appliance or model. Look at online reviews and comments for those that make it to your short list. And visit the kitchen showroom again or call your showroom consultant to get more information or ask any lingering questions.
Working with the consultants in our full-featured kitchen showrooms provides you with the information you need to choose those appliances that will meet your needs and create joyful experiences for years to come. We hope you’ll schedule an appointment to see for yourself!