Home Improvement Boom Means Big Business for Derby Bathroom Designer

Home Improvement Boom Means Big Business for Derby Bathroom Designer

The owner of a Derby-based bathroom and kitchen showroom has reported a major surge in demand for high-end home improvements. 


Kirsty Cooke (32), who co-owns The Bathroom & Tile Boutique in Liversage Road with husband Ben, says that an unprecedented amount of spare time, coupled with a spate of refunds for cancelled holidays, means that people are committing to major home improvements they might not previously have been able to undertake. 


She said: “During lockdown, people have become time-rich and that’s changed their relationships with their homes. They’ve sat in their houses, surrounded by the things they always intended to upgrade – and they’ve taken active steps to make home improvements happen. 


“While we’ve seen a big surge in demand for individual high-trend pieces like Graff taps and Kast concrete basins, we have also seen a major boom in enquiries for bespoke, full-scale bathrooms.” 


Kirsty’s impressions are fully backed up by the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. Overall UK retail sales saw a strong monthly fall of 5.2% in March, followed by a record dip of 18.1% in April 2020. However, that decline was then arrested by a 12% increase in May, incorporating a massive 42% rise in the sale of household and DIY goods like furniture, hardware and paint.


Kirsty added: “Lockdown has given people the time to brainstorm. They’ve been exploring Pinterest, bringing together home renovation ideas and generating mood boards. They’ve become excited by their homes again – and they’re coming to me so I can help them focus their ideas, tailor their designs and achieve the perfect result.”


Record levels of online trade have also begun to change the way Kirsty conducts her business: “Recent online demand for our bathroom design service has been so prolific that we’ve had to implement an appointment-only approach. 


“Having previously spent six days a week at the showroom, we now reserve the store solely for meetings with active clients. That enables us to allocate the proper time and attention to each and every commission that comes our way - and having seen how effective that’s been over the past three months, it’s a system we’ll leave in place for the foreseeable future.” 

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