Four IGCs Receive GCA Best Bathroom Awards
The Garden Centers of America (GCA) 2019 Best Garden Center Bathroom Award winners stood out by focusing on the smallest details behind closed doors — in their bathrooms. A panel judged this year’s entries on the bathrooms’ creativity and comfort to the customers’ overall shopping experience.
Gold Winner: Monarch Landscaping & Garden Center, Auburn, Illinois
This “Rockin’ Bathroom,” as owner Angela Davis calls it, showcases every variety of decorative rock for sale at the garden center in expressive symbols of nature, hand-glued and installed by the IGC’s staff. Pallets cover one of the walls, delighting customers with colorful orbs, succulents planted in driftwood and props, including a painted wrought iron gate.
“We are always mindful to reuse and repurpose — we hope our bathroom fosters that idea to the community,” Davis says.
Silver Winner: Echter’s Nursery & Garden Center, Arvada, Colorado
After 20 years, Echter’s bathrooms were reportedly showing their age. Before the renovation, the bathrooms had pink square tiles on the walls, dull lighting and dingy tiled floors. Now, everything except for the roof and walls has been replaced. The wall tiles were swapped out for wood-grain wallpaper, which complements the nature-inspired decor and accent pieces.
All of the decorative products in the bathrooms are from the retail store. The bright recess lighting and white stall doors are a striking contrast to the gray tile floor. Additional upgrades include automated Dyson hand dryers, larger sinks and a new baby-changing station.
Merit Award: MRT Lawn & Garden Center, Venice, Florida
The result of a complete overhaul to create a rustic aesthetic that invokes nostalgia and a “down-to-earth” feel, the bathrooms at MRT Lawn & Garden Center are decked out with mixed-grain wood paneling on the walls and crown molding on the ceiling, as well as new tile floors.
The private stalls, separated by floor-to-ceiling walls, are equipped with automatic paper dispensers and hand dryers, mirrors, sinks, large trash receptacles, shelves for personal belongings, LED lighting and grab bars. To ensure the most clean and comfortable experience for both customers and employees, the restrooms are cleaned twice daily.
Merit Award: Prairie’s Edge Garden Center, Bowling Green, Missouri
With limited retail display space, Prairie’s Edge Garden Center makes every inch count, including merchandising their entire bathroom so customers can sit and shop — and it’s reportedly working, as customers regularly walk out with items to purchase.
Every few months, the bathroom is refreshed with seasonally themed decor and art. For spring and summer, joyful ladybug garden art frolics among potted sunflowers, wreaths and other greenery, while vintage crates and lanterns create a country rustic feel. The bathroom transforms into a winter wonderland during the holidays, spreading spirit and cheer with at least one fully decorated Christmas tree for customers to admire.
IGCs are encouraged to submit their bathrooms before the call for entries for consideration during the 2020 judging period. To enter the competition, send several photos of your store bathrooms, saved in jpeg file format, along with a brief paragraph about the bathrooms, the concept behind the designs, and their benefits to your garden center. This information, along with the name of your store and key contact, address, phone and e-mail address, should be e-mailed to: [email protected].