AKDO, the tile and stone brand, has opened its first showroom to spotlight its global stone, tile and mosaic collections in a single place. Located at 22 West 21st Street in New York, the 10,000-square-foot, two-floor space is evidence of the 25-year-old company’s transition from product design, manufacturing and distribution to retail. The new showroom has two custom art mosaics on display, one adapted from a chinoiserie wallpaper and another a floral still life, both created from thousands of pieces of natural stone in dozens of colors. Another highlight is the showroom’s artisanal collection of true verre églomisé tiles, designed exclusively for AKDO by glass artist Jay DeMauro.
“We’re very pleased that after 25 years building both our global production and a U.S. network of over 300 kitchen, bath and tile showrooms nationwide, that we will now showcase our collections of natural stone, mosaic and specialty stone tiles in our very own showroom that is located right in the center of the design district,” says Hakki Akbulak, AKDO president and co-founder.
As for the space’s inspiration, Dan Martel, AKDO VP of sales, says: “We wanted the showroom to feel more like a gallery than a ‘how-to’ demonstration of tile installation. It features a clean, open and inviting aesthetic with a contemporary European feel, forgoing the usual floor pads and vignettes and ‘lifestyle props,’ such as sinks and tubs, for a sleek backdrop of matte white floors, walls and millwork. This sets the tone of a blank canvas on which a beautiful array of tile invites a closer look and also touch.”
Designers can expect roomy workspaces, a resource library, two private offices, a conference room designed for client meetings and even an espresso bar. AKDO also makes “house calls,” its reps on hand for consultations and product presentations with architectural and design firms by appointment. Says Martel, “We have a strong partnership with the Marble Institute of America (MIA), and all of our associates are trained CEU presenters of accredited MIA courses for architects and designers. The CEUs can be presented in the design/architectural firm or in our New York showroom. Everyone is time-starved and we want to make the design process as easy as possible.”
The AKDO showroom is open to the public and the trade Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. It also offers late shopping hours on Thursdays until 8 p.m. Learn more.