It's difficult to believe that the new kitchen and bath center at Fleming Lumber Co. occupies only 1,800 square feet.
Nine kitchen and bath displays are arranged so that customers can see the latest products without tripping over each other or picking up bits and pieces of nearby conversations.
The showroom was designed by Ellen Cheever of Ellen Cheever & Associates, a Sacramento-based member of the American Society of Interior Designers who specializes in kitchens and baths. She has designed about a dozen similar displays in California and other states in the past five years.
Just as customers have become more sophisticated about the many styles of cabinets and other products available to them, so too have firms like Fleming Lumber, 3250 San Fernando Road, she said during a tour of the new showroom.
Pointing to a display of rounded, high-tech cabinets, Cheever said that the line has the Euro-look without the European high price.
"American manufacturers of cabinets have responded to the preferences of the consumer with a wide range of high-quality products without the high cost of many of the imports," Cheever said. "I see no point in recommending an expensive import when American workers can produce products that equal the European imports at a lower cost."
The spaciousness of the display was achieved with high ceilings, white walls and a careful selection of cabinets to give the customer a good idea of the features of each line, she added.
"Most people remodel their kitchens and bathrooms only once, so it's important that they get the best possible information," she said. "Properly designed showrooms staffed with people like Neil Esser (manager of the kitchen and bath center) help the client through this expensive process."
If the thought of dragging garden hoses around the yard for another summer has you thinking of sprinkers, why not do it yourself? According to Mike Schwartz of Richdel, the job can be done for $400 or less--about half the cost a professional would charge--and only takes a couple of weekends.
Richdel, manufacturer of the Lawn Genie automatic timer and anti-siphon valves and newly developed large-area pop-up sprinkler heads that cover vast areas of a lawn, has produced a free installation planning guide that can be obtained from the firm at P.O. Box A, Carson City, Nev. 89702.
Three timers are available, with suggested prices in the $45 to $79 range. The new pop-up head is priced between $13 to $15, Schwartz said. Most home centers handle the products, he said.