Showroom of the Month: Olympus Bathrooms, Essex

With its dark aesthetic and quirky bays, this showroom was designed to inspire and really wow clients walking through the doors. Francesca Seden reports…

Set in the affluent village of Ongar in Essex, and with great connections to London and upmarket Brentwood just down the road, this high-street showroom attracts clientele spending upwards of £20,000, so they’re at the more premium end of the market.

Starting with an empty shell back in May last year, company director Joseph Baker had a very particular, and very clear vision of the design of the space, having had experience with another showroom in Sevenoaks. He also had the tradespeople on hand to turn the project around quickly. It was completed by September.

In terms of the layout, Baker says he wanted to display as many options as he could, and to show the breadth of what could be done, even with the smallest spaces. He wanted to give each bay its own unique character and style. It was also key that the showroom consist primarily of lifestyle bays, rather than products on walls, “so people could have that confidence to know what works together, and then trust us to deliver it”.

However, Baker also says he doesn’t feel it’s necessary to have “loads and loads of displays, but to have well thought-out displays that really demonstrate all the different things that are possible”.

The bays really pop and stand out, partly thanks to the high concrete ceiling, painted matt black with matching black spotlights. And the black ceiling, along with the living walls and fluted wooden wall panelling, also gives the showroom a sumptuous and atmospheric ambience.

Lighting was also key to setting the tone and helping to create the moods that clients might want to recreate in their homes. “In the bays there are LED lights under vanity units, in furniture, or in niches. Again, we’re just showing what is possible and demonstrating that even if people don’t have natural light in their bathroom, they can still create a warm, welcoming place where they can relax at the end of the day.” Lighting is primarily by local brand Edwardes. 

Other standout features of the showroom include a display featuring a bespoke Majestic shower enclosure and a bay that features a UV therapy shower by Sun Shower, which is a particular favourite of their older clientele, along with the Laufen shower toilets that Olympus sells. 

Finally, when clients want to sit down and discuss their products, they can take a seat behind closed doors in the design studio. Here, they can have a virtual tour of their design with the VR headsets, look at their designs on the big screen and select tiles, all while sipping the champagne that’s on offer.

Baker finishes: “For us, it’s all about creating that special atmosphere and our customer service. Our clients don’t necessarily know the brands we stock. I tell my staff that the most important brand is the Olympus brand above the door.” 

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