T&S Home Cover Stories

Test the Waters: Immerse

Hunting for the perfect kitchen and bathroom fixtures can be overwhelming— the sheer number of sizes, styles and finishes is dizzying—but the experiential showroom at Brentwood-based Immerse offers a safe place to (literally) dip your toes in the water. Breaking with convention, the studio eschews staid displays and instead makes shopping an interactive experience. The cutting-edge showroom is filled with working displays, including 40 showerheads, a steam shower and a sauna. Clients are invited to try any faucet on a selection of sinks, and there are three therapy tubs that customers can try out (while wearing a bathing suit, of course). “We wanted a fresh approach,” says Leigh Suffian, a partner at Immerse. “Now, instead of something just sounding cool, you can actually experience it and feel what it’s like.”

Part of the Atlas Supply Company, a third-generation family business that started in St. Louis in 1937, the Immerse showroom opened four years ago. It is a showcase for more than 50 kitchen and bath brands from around the globe in a variety of styles and price points. Immerse is open to the public, but sells only to design, building and plumbing professionals. It makes certain its sales staff, which includes several former kitchen and bath designers, have a good understanding of the construction and design process.

The company also stays on top of trends, constantly refreshing its displays and frequently adding new lines from manufacturers not found elsewhere in St. Louis. “St. Louis doesn’t always get the attention of manufacturers because we’re not a huge market,” Suffian says. “We deserve recognition, too. I want to pull the trends in rather than just waiting for them to get here. Being ahead of the curve is a tougher business philosophy, but it’s definitely more exciting.”

The company’s latest expansion is among its most exciting to date. Immerse recently forged an exclusive partnership with Waterworks, a 90-year-old luxury kitchen and bath company. Beginning this month, Immerse is dedicating 300 square feet of its 4,500-square-foot showroom to Waterworks fittings, fixtures, lighting and tile. “Waterworks is a very strong brand with a great history and a big following,” Suffian says. “Their aesthetic is unique. They have very beautiful pieces in the line that are simple, yet elegant.”

Although Immerse often is mistakenly called a contemporary showroom, Suffian says it actually offers every style from traditional to modern. That’s important in a market like St. Louis, she says, which is beginning to discover clean-line and transitional looks, but is still very much steeped in traditional design. The city’s love affair with classic styles is perfectly aligned with Waterworks’ offerings, and is one reason the Connecticut-based company selected Immerse as one of only 30 boutique partners nationwide, and the only one in Missouri. “They are selective about making sure a market is a good fit,” Suffian says. “They don’t have a lot of boutique partnerships, and they are excited about coming here.”

[Immerse by Atlas Supply Company, located at 836 Hanley Industrial Court, is the only kitchen and bath design center in Missouri to offer the upscale Waterworks line. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 314.375.1500, or visit immersestl.com.]

Pictured: the interactive Immerse showroom in Brentwood
Photo: Bill Barrett

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