Best showroom

Downtown Chicago Design Center, Creative Mirror & Shower
September 25, 2009
RETAIL : AWARDS

The Creative Mirror & Shower showroom at 1281 N. Clybourn Ave. in downtown Chicago incorporates several unique concepts and designs, some of which are the first of their kind. “Our inspiration was to have the best showroom that Creative Mirror & Shower has ever done,” President Mark Pritikin explains. “We wanted to impress both the design/build community as well as provide a convenient and accessible location for homeowners.”

The brainchild of Pritikin and architect Renato Imana of JBL Designs, Buffalo Grove, Ill., the showroom features electronic media kiosks. Designed with a solid sheet of PPG Starphire
glass backpainted in white and mounted to a tile wall with standoffs, the kiosks allow customers to view photo galleries and Web sites. A conference room features a hand-sculpted Mirropane two-way mirror from Pilkington, Toledo, mounted over a full wall of backpainted white glass. Behind the mirror is a 42-inch flat screen TV. With the click of a mouse, what looks like a decorative mirror transforms into a media display where salesmen can show customers photo galleries and peruse the company Web site.

Full-size frameless shower displays feature everything from a cast glass neo-angle shower door from Moag Glass & Mirror, Jefferson, Ind., to heavy glass frameless sliding shower doors and a cast glass steam shower with operable transom. Vignettes with upscale tile and granite enable customers to visualize the products in their home.

To capitalize on the growing popularity of colorful backpainted glass, the showroom highlights full-size backsplashes in striking colors like red and blue, featuring Dreamwalls from Gardner Glass Products, North Wilkesboro, N.C. Under-cabinet lighting provides for maximum effect. Full walls and closet doors—also done in backpainted white glass—create an unusual look. A point-of-sale glass desktop made of 1 ½-inch-thick cast glass from Quebec’sThinkGlass continues the theme of innovation.

“The way we showcase our product lines in a relatively small footprint—1,400 square feet—using a combination of great space planning, lifesize displays and computer technology is my favorite aspect of the showroom,” Pritikin says. “Our main showroom [in Addison, Ill.] is three times larger, but the smaller Chicago Design Center still effectively showcases all that we do. Our architect was able to use software simulation and computer aided design in the planning process, which helped immensely.”