Tag: Bathroom

David Lyon: Redefining the Kitchen and Bath Showroom Experience

Connecting with Customers in Highly Creative Ways

Blackman’s own David Lyon has been an innovator in the decorative plumbing industry for over three decades. His kitchen and bath showroom model revolutionized the sale of plumbing products to the trade and consumer in the decorative showroom environment. Lyon brought purpose and intent to the design of plumbing showrooms. He introduced critical retail concepts to wholesale distributors, ultimately changing the showroom model.

Who is David Lyon?

David Lyon has an illustrious background as a consultant to some of the largest manufacturers and wholesalers in the decorative plumbing, tile and lighting industry. “I began my career while attending design school in Boston. I was working as an apprentice to Billie Brenner, an icon in the retail world on fashionable Newbury Street. This is where I developed my knowledge and passion for retailing. I took this retailing experience to wholesale showrooms and thus created the David Lyon Showroom Business Model,” he said. “I had the opportunity to move to California where I worked with another industry icon, Sidney Altman of Altman’s Bathrooms and Kitchens of Beverly Hills.” At that time, Lyon was responsible for expanding the Altman showroom in San Diego which included designing the showroom space and managing the new operation.

In 1982, David launched his consulting firm, David Lyon & Associates. Lyon specialized in the design of luxury decorative plumbing showrooms with a focus on the retail consumer for the wholesale plumbing industry. He was a keynote speaker at several international industry events which resulted in the design of showrooms internationally.

Showroom Consulting

Lyon became a consultant for Kohler Co. He spearheaded their wholesale showroom program, designing and developing best-in-class showrooms for Kohler wholesalers across the country. Furthermore, he created the flagship showroom for Ann Sacks Tile, a Kohler-owned company, in New York City’s vibrant Union Square neighborhood; thus establishing his own rich passion for tile and stone. With this knowledge, Lyon began in to incorporate decorative tile and stone products into the David Lyon Showroom Model. “Incorporating tile and stone along with plumbing fixtures was a natural fit,” he said.

His reputation in residential design also grew over the years after numerous cover features in home design magazines. Through these magazines, David was able to develop a robust residential design following that continues to this day.

The Blackman Connection

Lyon was hired by the late Richard Blackman to design the Southampton and Hicksville showrooms in 1989 as an independent consultant. He developed a strong connection with the company which led to him to join on a full-time basis in 2006 as the Director of Showrooms. He currently serves as Vice President of the Retail Division which encompasses all aspects of business and design.

A typical day for Lyon is a whirlwind of activity. It may include revising a showroom layout, designing a bath or kitchen vignette, visiting an industry-related event or checking in on one of Blackman Plumbing Supply’s 20-plus retail showroom locations.

Blackman strives to be the trendsetter in the marketplace. One of Lyon’s primary roles is keeping ahead of industry trends and delivering them to Blackman customers. “We are constantly looking at what is happening in the world of design. Color trends seen in Europe are typically three years ahead of the United States,” Lyon shares. He travels the globe attending international trade shows to identify trend and color palettes as they emerge, giving Blackman customers a jump start. “Our ability to discover upcoming styles early on keeps Blackman ahead,” he added.

A Passion for the Customer

Providing a positive customer experience is also an integral part of Lyon’s position, which led to him establish Blackman University at the request of company leaders Robert Mannheimer and the late Richard Blackman. “Blackman University is a crucial part of our training; it offers our sales associates the education and tools they need to understand a product’s design. Our staff members have extensive product knowledge and passion. We send them to factories, training events, and industry seminars to further their product knowledge.”

David Lyon has a naturally gregarious personality. It is well-suited for his position at Blackman, as he interacts with vendors, manufacturers, and customers on a daily basis. He honed his communication skills speaking at industry design and trade shows, addressing a spectrum of topics including showroom design and how it affects a retailer’s profitability.

His sought-after expertise is generously shared with customers, co-workers and other industry professionals.“Today’s customers are well-informed about products before they step into a Blackman showroom,” Lyon said. “People research extensively online before visiting our showrooms. I think it’s great that our customers to educate themselves. At the end of the day, the need and importance of a brick and mortar showroom with the knowledge of professional staff is most important!”

Final Word

Lyon has contributed a lifetime of creativity and passion to the industry. His work has influenced showrooms around the world. His focus on the customer experience has been vital to the success of the businesses he has developed. His impact on the Blackman Retail Division has been immeasurable. 

This article was taken from the Summer 2018 Edition of Blackman at Home Magazine

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Bathroom Remodeling Made Simple

U By Moen Shower

Bathroom Remodeling Made Simple

By Gwen Donovan and Francesca Messina

Thinking about remodeling your bathroom? After watching countless home renovation programs on HGTV, leafing through home magazines, and scanning Pinterest for inspiration, you know your bathroom needs an upgrade! We have the resources to get your bathroom remodeling project underway. Whether it’s a simple fix like a new bathroom vanity with stylish hardware or a complete bath overhaul, our design consultants are ready to work with you.

Blackman bathroom remodeling showrooms have everything you need. We display the latest floor and wall tiles, vanities, tubs, showers, toilets, faucets, lighting, mirrors and more. Our friendly design consultants will assist you in your bathroom remodeling project every step of the way.

Ask yourself the following questions before you get started:

What Do I Want?

There are many different styles and design options to choose from when remodeling your bathroom. Traditional, urban, industrial, rustic chic, ultra-modern, transitional; to name a few. It’s all a reflection of your taste, there is no wrong choice. Remember to consider the size of your bathroom. Many of our customers are opting to remove a bathtub in favor of a roomy walk-in shower, while others are choosing graceful stand-alone tubs and steam showers enclosed by frameless clear glass. Vanities range from space-saving and modern to expansive double sink styles. When you select the design elements of your bathroom remodeling project that feel right to you, your bathroom will become be a relaxing retreat. It is important to think about what works and what doesn’t work in your current bathroom to ensure a successful outcome.

What Is My Budget?

Having a dollar amount in mind for your bathroom remodeling project is smart. But, determining that number can be tricky. Visit us to learn about price ranges, product lines, and installation costs. We have products at every price point. Your design consultant will help meet your budget needs. Some of our customers create a spreadsheet to compare costs. Others make a simple list, noting their favorite design elements and price points. Knowledge is power, so make sure your dream bath budget is an amount you are comfortable with.

What Is My Time Frame?

Yes, it only takes 30 minutes for a bathroom to be renovated entirely on television. In the real world, things move at a slower pace. Simple jobs like a new sink or toilet replacement typically take a few hours. A full bathroom remodeling project from the floor up is likely to take a month. Plan accordingly and remember that the bathroom will be out of commission for a period of time, although the results will be worth the inconvenience!

Start your Project!

Start your new bathroom remodeling project today by visiting a Blackman Remodeling Showroom. Our design consultants are ready to help. Our amazing displays will inspire you. Your result, the bathroom of your dreams turned into a beautiful new reality.

Get a FREE Consultation

Posted in Design

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Watermark Designs: The Heart and Soul of Brooklyn


By Michele Keith

What is Watermark Designs?

There are companies that are “in” a location, and then there are companies that are “of” a location. Watermark Designs is the Brooklyn-based manufacturer of plumbing fixtures. They create bathroom accessories, lighting and elegant hardware for luxury commercial and residential markets. As president and third-generation owner Avi Abel relates, “Brooklyn is as much a fiber of our being as our products.”

Why Brooklyn?

What has kept Watermark in Brooklyn since it began nearly 40 years ago? “We’re very close to the highest concentration of architects and designers in North America,” says Abel. “This helps us keep our finger on the pulse of new trends and designs. We also have access to skilled artisans from around the world. They come to this country for a better life, bringing with them skill sets that are hard to find elsewhere.”

Most Watermark employees are local Brooklynites, with many walking to work, Abel says, though quickly adding with a laugh, “Living here is not a pre-requisite for working here! We encourage a family atmosphere, celebrate our different cultures and enjoy a warm, safe environment.” Working at Watermark is nearly a rite of passage for many since it helps new arrivals assimilate into the community at large.

Watermark Designs is always searching for new ways to reach out to neighborhood residents.  They post job openings at local colleges. They encourage graduates with engineering degrees to consider them for a career. In addition, the company liaises with nearby employment centers, features a dedicated email for resumes on its website, and is an active member of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and East New York Development Center.

Abel believes strongly in staying local, saying, “We source as many of our raw materials here as possible—I actually do get my brass from a business down the street—and we manufacture each and every product here.” It’s a point of pride for the company that is expressed in big and small ways, like the tape used for sealing boxes which boldly states: “Made in Brooklyn.”

“We prove again and again that manufacturing in the USA, and Brooklyn in particular, is a thriving and worthwhile endeavor.” Spoken like a proud New Yorker indeed!

Watermark is available at all Blackman Plumbing Supply Showrooms.
Find a showroom near you.

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Loud & Clear: Voice Technology Available In KOHLER Konnect Bath Mirror

Voice Technology Available In KOHLER Konnect

Written By: Gwen Donovan

Ashley Pantel is Associate Channel Manager for Cross-Channel Strategies at Kohler, a position that focuses on Styling Space categories. KOHLER Konnect is one of the newest products her company is offering. KOHLER Konnect combines Smart Home technology with pure performance in the bath.

“The Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror with Amazon Alexa is the first mirror in the industry to feature voice control technology,” Ashley said. “With Amazon Alexa built into the mirror, it saves valuable counter space. It is able to serve the same functions as an Amazon Echo, meaning it can activate over 20,000 Alexa skills.”

As a result, this mirror is a major multi-tasker, Ashley added. “It improves the comfort and functionality of time spent in the bathroom to be hands-free, seamless and more convenient, and it will also be able to interact with other connected products in your Wi-Fi network using KOHLER Konnect.”

Customers report that the mirror has been a game changer when it comes starting your day on a positive note. “Imagine a morning routine where it’s entirely hands-free. Well, this mirror enables that. A user can improve their morning experience by listening to weather or traffic info while putting on their makeup with the right lighting. They can also easily add lipstick or shaving cream to the shopping list with a simple voice command. Instead of fumbling for the light switch, the motion activated nightlight makes it easy to navigate the bathroom in the dark.”

Day or night, the KOHLER Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror is an innovative product. It is quickly gaining popularity among consumers based on its ability to streamline daily tasks, Ashley said. “Some voice commands include adjusting the lighting, playing your favorite music, checking the news, adding items to your shopping cart… and many more!”

Additional KOHLER Konnect bath products present the same voice-enabled technology for the shower, bathtub and faucet. The cutting-edge line includes the Sensate Faucet, DTV+ Shower, Touchless Response Toilet, Numi Toilet and Perfect Fill option for the bathtub which assures the perfect depth and temperature for an indulgent—and personalized—soak in the tub.

Posted in Design, Trends

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Blackman AD Field Marketing Summit 2018

Blackman Field Marketing Summit 2018: Recap

In an effort to facilitate exceptional sales practices and brand representation among their various locations, Blackman hosted a Field Marketing Summit. An event dedicated to the education and training of Blackman employees provided by top industry brands.  “In order to properly sell and represent the outstanding brands our organization carries, we must educate the members of our Blackman community on the latest industry news and product availability,” said Blackman Marketing Manager, Francesca Messina.

The  event was held from Monday, February 12th to Tuesday, February 13th. It was hosted at the Piermont in Babylon, NY. It included presentations from brands such as Fujitsu, Taco, Uphonor, HC, Bradford White, Mueller, Oatey, Charlotte Pipe, Moen, Honeywell, Diversified and Ruud. Each vendor presentation featured exciting product announcements and demonstrations as well as industry trend projections and brand specific selling tips.

With both Vendors and Blackman representatives in the same room, the Field Marketing Summit allowed for the opportunity to share ideas, ask compelling questions and foster strong working relationships. Eessential pieces for a successful vendor-seller relationship.

Both Vendors and Blackman Team members found the event greatly beneficial. Blackman looks forward to hosting the event again next year.

Posted in Team Blackman, Trade

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Whether visiting a Blackman showroom alone, with a contractor, or with an interior designer, you'll find the inspiration and designer products to make your project a success. We would LOVE to see you on Saturday. No need to make an appointment.

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