Today we’re talking with Southern Kitchen & Bath showroom manager, Lynay Armbrester, getting to know a little more about their business and customers, as well as current kitchen and bathroom trends. Southern Kitchen & Bath is the showroom for Southern Pipe and Supply, which for the last 30 years, has been helping people in the Anniston area outfit their kitchens and bathrooms with custom plumbing fixtures, tubs, toilets, and appliances. They have many items in stock but can pull from a large warehouse in Mississippi and special order from many major vendors such as Kohler, Delta, and Brizo. Southern Pipe is also the only dealer in the area of the high-end luxury Viking appliance brand.
What types of services and supplies do you offer?
We sell almost anything plumbing related—toilets, tubs, faucets, sinks. We do sell a few brands of appliances too.
Who is your typical customer?
We deal with a lot of builders and plumbers, but of course walk-in customers too. Typically, either a builder or plumber will send in their customers to pick out what they want—faucets, toilets, tubs, etc.
What do you see trending in bathroom and kitchen design?
Definitely free-standing tubs. Everybody wants one of those at least in their master bath. Finish wise, we’re seeing a lot of chrome, shiny finishes. Even gold is popular again, kind of getting more contemporary, away from old, traditional looks. People will put different finishes in every bathroom. As for showers, lots of people want rain heads. Custom showers in general are pretty popular, with people putting in multiple shower heads, hand-held showers, and body sprays.
For kitchens, mostly people are going towards farmhouse sinks and anything undermounted. People are going with solid surface countertops like granite and quartz. They also tend to put the same plumbing finish throughout a kitchen.
We’re also a big seller of Viking appliances, the only dealer in the area. Their ranges and appliances are really nice for people that like to cook a lot. Their ranges have higher BTU’s, so they cook things faster. They also give a nice industrial look to a residential home.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
When people come in here with an idea of what they want, I like to be able to help them put all of that into real life. I can help them choose everything that’s going to coordinate and match. I like being able to help people get what they want and see it come together.
The customers that bring in samples and pictures are really easy to work with because they already know what they want. It’s not a lot of staring at faucets, for instance, and trying to decide what color they want and what style they want. A lot of people, because of things like Houzz and Pinterest, they get on there and know what they want. The hard thing sometimes is though when they come in with a picture of something I’ve never seen before, and they want you to find it. For instance, I had a customer wanting a satin brass finish for her kitchen-sink, vegetable sink, pot filler, and butler pantry sink. She wants all those to match in a bridge-style faucet. I was able to find it, but we’re not sure if it fits in her budget.
What are the most important points for your customer to remember about their project?
Think about everything you’re putting in your house and make sure it’s something that’s going to last. If you plan on staying in the house any length of time, be sure you’re getting good quality products so that you’re not having to replace things.
If you’re getting ready to have Abbey Carpet remodel your bathroom or kitchen, don’t forget about your fixtures and appliances! Go see Lynay at Southern Bath & Kitchen at 800 Gurnee Ave., Anniston (256.237.5415), for the latest styles, highest quality products, and personalized service.