Eight Winners Honored In GCA's Fourth Annual Best Garden Center Bathroom Awards
Garden Centers of America is recognized eight IGC retailers for their winning store restroom designs with the 2014 GCA Best Garden Center Bathroom Awards. The fourth-annual honors were presented during the GCA Membership Networking Lunch at the IGC Show, Thursday, August 21, on Navy Pier’s Rooftop Deck. A panel judged the entries on the bathroom’s creativity and comfort to the customer’s overall shopping experience. The winner of the top honor, the Gold Award, received a plaque and comp registration for the 2015 GCA Summer Tour. Other recognitions included four Silver Awards and three Merit Awards, also honored with plaques.
What’s old is new in The Garden Mart’s charming restroom, “The Potty Shed.” Located inside the store, it takes on a rustic country design inspired by the trend of converting vintage outhouses into functional garden sheds. Items are merchandised for sale on shelves and counters made of repurposed pallets, cratesand pavers. “Having a ‘captive’ audience allows us the opportunity to showcase product,” says Belinda Abendschein, Marketing Specialist. There are no paper towels or hand dryers in this bathroom - instead, “earth-friendly” washcloths are made available to customers in unexpected places, like a dual-bucket-and-spigot fixture.
Built from the ground up, Cornell Farm’s new restroom facility takes the place of portable toilets, used by employees and customers for 22 years. Inside the red outdoor structure, natural light streams through skylights. Attractive sconce lighting illuminates the fresh green-and-earth-brown spaces on cloudy days. Speakers integrated with the main store’s sound system make the restrooms a place of respite.
Flamingo Road’s new freestanding bathroom for customers with special needs and families trumpets the retailer’s mantra - “Celebrate Life in the Tropics!” Brightly colored walls and paintings of beach scenes and flamingos make the 8'x10' space feel like Key West. A beach umbrella in the corner and plastic pink flamingos bring the concept to shore. Real bamboo in the ceiling and galvanized metal in the wainscot are visual complements. The price tag for the addition: less than $7,000, thanks to competitive pricing from independent contractors and help from nursery personnel with painting and construction.
Sunny summer colors in the ladies’ restroom at Lammscapes help sell the joy of the season, as customers browse the decor on display inside. “Many customers like to shop our bathrooms and come walking out with items to buy,” says Laurie Lamm McGraw, Executive Vice President. “Bring whimsy and fun into your bathroom - why not? It makes people smile!”
Customers are swept away by Linton’s restrooms, the ladies’ room themed as a seaside resort and the men’s room designed as a fisherman’s paradise. Women enjoy the breezy feeling of being at the beach, with shells and tropical plants all around, cabana-like curtains framing the mirrors and nautical lanterns lighting each oak-paneled stall. Men are transported to a relaxed place, with painted fishing scenes, real fishing nets draped along the ceiling and mirrors and lake decor setting the tranquil scene.
Six years after a flood ravaged Cedar River’s bathrooms, leaving just white plywood walls, the bathrooms are transformed with vibrant handpainted murals - a wetlands motif in the men’s room and bright yellow sunflowers in the women’s room.
High-end and history go hand-in-hand in the beautifully appointed restrooms at The Green Thumbers. Ceramic tile in gold, tan and brown complement the high-gloss mocha painted walls. In the men’s room, framed photos of the nursery in the 1950s represent the retailer’s deep roots. Floral wall art and silk arrangements in the women’s room add refined touches.
From drab to fab! Tagawa transformed its tired, dated restroom facility into a stunning showcase of decorating ideas for the front porch. Window boxes teeming with colorful blooms, gorgeous hanging baskets, stylish container gardens and all varieties of garden decor stop customers in their tracks and get them shopping to bring the looks back to their own homes.