Tag: Kitchen

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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An Interview with Interior Designer Greg McKenzie: Inspirational & Innovative

Greg McKenzie: Inspirational & Innovative

Written by: Gwen Donovan

Greg McKenzie of Greg McKenzie Designs is celebrated for his cutting-edge and inspirational interior design work. His reach extends from the Hamptons and Manhattan to Boston, Chicago, Palm Beach, Europe and Cabo San Lucas, resulting in some of the world’s most stunning residences.

How would you describe your design style?

Transitional, meaning modern/mid-century modern, which is paired with old elements in the mix for a sense of history and time. When you’re mixing styles and periods it makes for good design. I try not to embrace trends too much. I look for longevity in classic things that stand the test of time.

What are some of the common threads you rely on for your signature style?

The biggest thing for me is to try and re-purpose things. My philosophy is that it hast to look great and it has to be comfortable. Comfort, function and beauty are so important. I’m not a designer that you can say “That’s a Greg McKenzie room.” It’s a very intimate thing to be invited into someone’s house and make it into their home.

What was your favorite design project?

I just completed a year-long, 5,500-square-foot apartment in Palm Beach where all the bath fixtures came from Blackman.

What is your background in the design field?

I have a degree in English with a minor in political communications. Early in my career I was in advertising with a sales and marketing background. Then I switched to retail, working for companies like Devonshire (I managed a Devonshire shop in the East End), and later I was a stylist.  Once I realized design was my forte, I went to design school and started my business in 2001.

Where do get inspiration from? 

I get inspiration from all sorts of places: clothing, color samples, color palette swatches, a piece of furniture or a rug. Anyone worth their salt in the design field is always learning.

Do you have any design secrets to share?

I like to work with the architectural style of a home when I design. A traditional home looks strange with all modern furnishings; you need to find a happy medium where the architecture matches the interior. I strongly associate my design approach and a home’s location. If it’s at the beach, there’s an element of relaxation. In New York City, you want some glamour. In Miami Beach, you can go a little wild and extraordinary. Palm Beach is all about color and casual elegance.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your design firm?

Most of my clients are longtime and we have worked on multiple projects together. My big thing is I really, really enjoy and love what I do and I think that shows in the final product. It’s got to feel good, and it’s got to feel like home.

Visit Greg McKenzies website to learn more about Greg McKenzie Designs.


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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.

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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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