Carole Whiting Interior + Design with Cera Stribley
The V-ZUG Showroom in Richmond, Melbourne elevates the experience of purchasing kitchen and laundry appliances by creating an environment that is both aspirational and inviting, and transports the customer experience. The showroom was designed by Carole Whiting Interior + Design (with the master showroom space by Cera Stribley) more as an elegant private residential space than a showroom. The ‘real-world’ context and the limited number of products on display disguise the overt ‘retail’ element. The space allows the customer to focus on the environment and imagine they are in their finished home.
Most of V-ZUG’s market competitors are also presented within the large building (part of Winning Appliances’ offering), so a different customer experience was key. As V-ZUG is a high-end provider of kitchen and bathroom appliances, the ‘hard sell’ is not their angle. The spaces of the showroom function as they would in a home, but provide enough information and, through the interaction with chefs and sales staff, demonstrate their unique proposition.
A working kitchen with breakout space for sales staff (coffee area) and a laundry (which is open but directed toward the perimeter) provides the two main appliance offers. The dining area in the centre is used to offer dining experiences to clients and is given a very ‘at home’ vibe with a working fireplace and a decorative coatrack on the divider wall. Dark and moody tones were selected for the kitchen with white tiled areas for relief, and in the laundry a paler and fresher palette was allocated.
Mirrors, subtle and overt lighting, and curtains complete the residential experience while navigation through the space is subtly defined. Curtains ‘close off’ space when required – a soft and efficient solution to annexing V-ZUG from its neighbours when functions are in progress. Velvet, leather and porcelain add to the tactility and softness. Australian design was incorporated in lighting and the main furniture elements.
Furniture: Grazia and Co., Skagerak (Interstudio). Lighting: Porcelain Bear, Ross Gardam, Gebruder Thonet (Space Furniture). Finishes: Inax, Maximum Porcelain (Artedomus). Fittings & Fixtures: Normann Copenhagen, Made Measure.
Photography: Dave Kulesza