If you can’t remember the last time shopping for a toilet felt luxurious, head on over to the brand new, 10,000-square-foot retail space that is the Kohler Experience Center in West Hollywood, and let the pampering begin.
In this store, you can schedule a free, one-hour reservation for the Experience Room, an elegantly designed master-bath suite where you can try out the soaking tub, a smart toilet that raises its lid upon approach (for starters), and a Real Rain shower that emulates raindrops and the patterns of a warm summer storm, complete with a deluge cycle.
Designed by noted Los Angeles architectural firm Marmol Radziner, the sleek, white two-story shopping destination is flooded with natural light and features soaring ceilings, sliding walls of glass and more than twenty fully designed kitchen and bath vignettes that showcase Kohler products from top to bottom.
Two years in the making, the concept store is the second of its kind in the U.S. — the first is in New York City — and is destined make a splash.
The private Experience space also invites users to test a phalanx of shower heads, as well as the highly customizable DTV digital showering experience, which eliminates handles and knobs and uses a digital touch panel to coordinate water temperature, spray and more. Another feature on display, VibrAcoustic hydrotherapy, allows bathers to both hear and feel music as they soak.
Towels included. BYO rubber ducky.
“It’s a differentiator,” said Kohler chief executive David Kohler of the experiential space. “People talk about the future of brick-and-mortar [shopping], well, you need to give people a purpose to go there. And if you’re just doing the same thing and selling the same thing online, there’s no purpose to go.”
However, if you don’t feel like stripping down, there are other ways to experience the new center.
In the main showrooms, Kohler Surfaces tile and stone along with a complete range of products are presented in-situ and designed to inspire. Many of them are also installed and fully functioning. Shower heads can be turned on, and tubs can be filled.
One pours in an elegant stream from a ceiling fixture above.
Designed to appeal to the public and industry professionals alike, the new center also showcases fully functional displays of Kohler’s global product suite which are compliant with international standards. An available conference room with video conferencing capability completes the offering.
“Los Angeles is one of the top specification hubs in the world,” said Kohler. “That means there are architects and designers who work in their offices right here, even though the project may be in Malaysia, or Singapore or China … so you have this incredible, creative community. A lot of work is done here that has global influence.”
Kohler Experience Center
Where: 8955 W. Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood.
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Bonnie McCarthy contributes to the Los Angeles Times as a home and lifestyle design writer. She enjoys scouting for directional trends and reporting on what’s new and next. Follow her on Twitter @ThsAmericanHome
7:26 p.m. Dec. 20: This article was updated with the center’s new hours.
This article was originally published at 6 a.m. Dec. 15.