New Generation Italtile Umhlanga Showroom Relaunches With Impressive Eco-Chic And Biophilic Credentials

September 5, 2022

The Italtile Umhlanga showroom has been a landmark on Umhlanga Ridge for over two decades; but in line with new, greener design practices, and a refreshed vision for the brand, a creative and operational brains trust has masterminded a total reimagining of the store. Over the past year, the various stages of rebuild have elevated the store with a fresh, eco-chic design aesthetic that quite literally embraces its immediate natural landscape.

From turn-of-the-century style to future-facing showrooms. The new-look, new-generation Italtile Umhlanga showroom aesthetic was birthed during the build of the new George showroom just over a year ago – a relatively compact 400sqm space that had to successfully accommodate the entire Italtile product range. The learnings of working a floorspace to the full, while improving the customer journey throughout, were passed through to the new build of the magnificent Boksburg showroom; and now to the all-new Italtile Umhlanga, which takes the look and feel to new levels. Upmarket, smart signage invites style shoppers around the showroom and through the various key areas: including a playful mosaic hub, eye-catching outdoor offerings, luxurious sanware area. All offer the exclusive Italtile experience, underpinned with biophilic and eco-chic design cues in a future-facing space.

Mindful design. Italtile’s LiveGreen logo is not just applied to the sustainable products on the showroom floor; the key LiveGreen intention is to set the bar high for Italtile’s own journey toward more responsible practices and sits at the heart of the Italtile Umhlanga rebuild. For a start, the trees growing outside the old Italtile building were incorporated into the new build, and the build team allowed for penetrations through the external slab to ensure these beautiful indigenous trees could contribute to grow and thrive in spite of the changes to the building structure. Of course, their presence within the Italtile showroom now adds true biophilic benefit to shoppers and staff alike.

Continuing the biophilic theme into the colour scheme, shop fitters SpaceMill and interior designers iTiS, both under the leadership of Darren Bester, underscored Italtile’s LiveGreen ethos with timbered notes and a natural neutral palette. The high, cathedral-like ceiling is clad with 412 sqm of luxury wood-look vinyl planks, while the deck and sections of the side cladding feature Luna Wood.

Thanks to the high ceiling and many windows, the play of natural light in the showroom reflects the movement of the sun throughout the day. All light fittings have been replaced with more eco-efficient LED lighting and the area outside the building has been re-landscaped with waterwise indigenous plants.

 The design and build team. The Italtile Umhlanga rebuild was a considerable challenge and involved the teamwork of several specialist players, including architect Michael Philippides of Daniels Philippides Architects, engineer Chris Morrisey of Morrisey Engineers, along with principal contractor Rowan Morgan of Betts Construction. The project kicked off in April 2022 and will be completed by end September.

Italtile-style service. While much has changed, some things remain the same. Manager and JV Partner Neeta Singh has 27 years of Italtile experience, and brings a passion to all she does, including the mentoring of her team of sales assistants – passing on Italtile’s signature blend of deep product knowledge and high calibre service. The team continues to welcome customers with charm and warmth; an attractive, knowledgeable approachability that is backed with design savvy. Italtile’s sales consultants are interior design certified and stay updated with trends and style through regular training with Melanie Ewing, the CEO of Chapters Interiors. Just one of that ways in which Italtile adds value to the customer experience

 Grand relaunch in September. The new-look, new-generation Italtile Umhlanga has been trading steadily, throughout the hiatus of Covid, looting and flooding: flooding, and now, the challenges of the various rebuild stages, a tribute to Neeta Singh’s personal charisma, leadership skills and endlessly positive mindset. Together with Italtile Marketing Manager Nicole Russell, she is planning a grand relaunch towards the end of September 2022. To mark the occasion, Italtile Umhlanga will offer a large selection of luxury products on promotion, up to 40% off – including local and imported tiles, taps, sanware and bathroom furniture.

A positive growth mindset. Investment in large-scale builds of this nature exemplifies Italtile’s powerfully positive mindset, constantly in growth mode, in extremely challenging economic times. In fact, as Italtile Umhlanga opens its beautiful new doors, another new-generation Italtile showroom is taking shape and preparing to bring Italtile’s Beautiful Living to the eastern Cape.