The Repentigny’s Eaudace Boutique is a plumbing showroom that has been in business for more than 40 years. The new branch director, in this role only for a few months, found that the boutique was outdated and wanted to give it a new look and a new direction. Competition in the plumbing market becoming fiercer in Quebec, major changes were needed to attract new high end and specialized customers such as designers, architects, contractors, etc…
In order to favor quality over quantity, the client chose to relocate in premises two times smaller and invest in an interior design that would attract his new target customers. The new 2,500 sq/ft premises were to be divided into two zones: the showroom (around 1,500 sq/ft) and the office area. We had to include in the showroom two workspaces for consultants, which we strategically installed in the middle of the showroom so that eye contact can be made with customers practically at any time.
As for the displays, the main criteria of our client was to easily be able to replace showroom displays without involving extensive work or large costs. Our displays were designed to be dismountable and removable to allow simple replacement of the products being displayed (faucets, sinks, etc.). Furthermore, removing a faucet display panel installed on one side of the display wall gives access to connectors of faucets installed on the opposing display on the same wall.
The set-up is almost the same for the majority of the display walls in the showroom. Thus, faucet displays can be reusable numerous times. All counters were built in independent and replaceable sections. When the boutique wishes to replace a sink, only that small section of the counter will need to be replaced, not the entire counter. These small tricks will save a lot of money for the client in the long run, without forgetting the environmental benefits of these solutions.
The office space was to include one closed-in and soundproof office for the director and a second area for operations. We also had to plan for an employee kitchen, a little coffee area, a photocopier and paper area and, finally, a meeting room. The latter will be used by the team for their weekly meetings and will be available to designers who wish to meet their clients on site. A large glass partition is separating the meeting room and the showroom to allow designers and their clients to quickly see displayed products while discussing a project. The same glass partition is found by the office area, allowing supervision of the activities in the showroom.
Such a project usually requires about one year of work, from conception to completion. For Eaudace Boutique, we only had 4 months. From the concept presentation, the client was totally enthused by the proposed solutions and did everything to respect the project integrity. Each team members (designer, contractors, suppliers, client) who participated in the project got fully involved in the process and this passion is visible in the final product. Our pride is even greater, as we share it with the entire team.
Materials- Boutique Eaudace Repentigny
Mr. Constantineau, the branch manager, sought to create a warm, luminous and relaxed atmosphere, neither too glamourous nor too rigid. He wanted the typical North-Shore customer to feel right at home. For example, he often mentioned decorations using green plants to explain his vision of the style he was looking for. The company’s corporate colors are white, grey and blue. We opted for more architectural materials which offered pleasing textures, such as decorative white brick, stained Russian plywood and matte varnish, as well as waxed concrete and crude steel. These textures create a lot of warmth while retaining their restrained and timeless quality.
Our customer’s chosen business philosophy is based on referencing and promoting local products. The branch manager insisted that businesses and firms in the region be used to complete the project. Thus, all the custom furniture was made by Ébénisterie Malain, a small family business in Joliette. Aside from the Russian plywood used for the offices, central structure and various other areas, the use of white stratified Formica Colorcore was also very much relied on for the tap displays, the coffee and stationery area cabinets, as well as the furniture in the offices section. Ébénisterie Malain also supplied all the boards used for the open ceiling lathed with melamine.
The waxed concrete was applied by SICA Ambience Creators, a small firm based in Saint-Sauveur and founded by a French couple established in Quebec for a little over three years. This type of material is well-known in Europe and is gaining in popularity here, especially because of its great versatility and affordability. The extent of colour choices, designs or textures can match anyone’s imagination. We used their classic grey decorative concrete for a few walls in the showroom and for the contour of a sink display and the conference room library. We asked them to “smudge” the colour with black to highlight the small holes and irregularities in the finish in order to give it a more industrial look. Waterproof, white waxed concrete was also applied on the counters in the employee kitchen area. SICA also applied blue whitewash on both sides of the wall separating the counsellors’ offices.
The glass and painted steel partitions were made by Ferronart, a small welding business located in Chambly. These same welders also supplied the counters in the counsellors’ offices as well as the sliding door for the employee kitchen. The material used was crude steel, which was treated to prevent rust. Ferronart also assembled the custom light fixture made with plumbing pipes. The other light fixtures were supplied by Luminaires Repentigny, the shop next door to the display room formerly used by Eaudace.
The white decorative brick is made by SIMAX, a Repentigny-based company we’ve often worked with in the past. They have developed a formula to make lighter products out of concrete, brick or decorative stones, which is greatly helpful to contractors during the installation process. All of the ceramics came from Déco-Maison, a small shop also located in Repentigny. The mural in the display room showing the representation of a clock was installed by Numérart; we chose this image because it creates an impression of openness and depth in this smaller area.
Lastly, the work was carefully performed by MJB
Construction, a firm based in the Lanaudière area and with whom we will gladly collaborate in the future.