Garden Centers of America (GCA) recognized seven stores for their restrooms with its second annual GCA Bathrooms Awards, presented during the GCA Membership Networking Lunch at the IGC Show. A panel judged the entries on the bathroom’s creativity and comfort to the customer’s overall shopping experience. The winner of the top honor, the Gold Award, received a plaque and comp registration for the 2013 GCA Summer Tour. Other recognitions included a Silver Award and several Awards of Merit, also honored with plaques.
This year’s winners are:
GOLD WINNER: Baker’s Acres Greenhouse, Alexandria, OH
• Baker’s Acres puts a little “potty humor” to work in its bathroom, turning the unisex facility into a shrine to testosterone. The sign on the door urges men and women alike to proceed with caution: “Warning - Man Cave. Enter at Your Own Risk.”
• Behind the toilet, a life-sized action cutout of Han Solo stands ready to take action. “It was supposed to have a small mirror over Han’s head so that, when a man was doing his business, his own head would appear on Han’s body. Alas, the scale wasn’t quite right,” says Chris Baker, Owner. “You can’t win them all.”
• Posters on the walls pay homage to heros Rocky Balboa and Clint Eastwood.
• Beer bottles toast memories of happy hours past, lining a shelf toward the ceiling that runs along the perimeter of the room.
• Posters of The Dude and what Baker calls “the requisite Farrah Fawcett” gaze down from the ceiling.
• NFL Greatest Follies, Star Wars and The Three Stooges are ready on video to entertain.
• A “Mustache Wall of Fame” gives a manly nod to Tom Selleck, Burt Reynolds and Yosemite Sam.
SILVER AWARD: Oakland Nursery, Delaware, OH
• Oakland Nursery’s bathrooms hadn’t been redesigned in more than a decade. They were extremely dirty and in need of repair.
• All porous wood surfaces were replaced with materials that could be easily cleaned.
• For the walls, the garden center chose the brightest paint color they could find.
• The chandelier and mirror were sourced second-hand and repurposed.
• Creative Director Melissa Bargar hand-drew the tree and plant forms on the wall, wrapping them around the corner.
• An open design floating shelf unit on the wall allows customers to grab more paper products.
• An empty shelf at the entrance allows women to store their purse up off the floor.
Cedar Rim Nursery, Langley, BC, Canada
• Cedar Rim Nursery wanted its women’s bathroom to represent the area’s farming roots.
• The piece of wood that the sink sits on is from a 100-year-old barn on the property that blew down in a wind storm a few winters ago.
• The barn was one of the original six barns dating back to when the area was first settled.
• The bicycle with the basket of flowers adds a fun touch.
Lammscapes, Jackson, WI
• Lammscapes displays merchandise from the store in its restroom. People often come out with an item in their hands, ready to buy.
• On the walls and shelves, pictures, trellises, garden art and mirrors are displayed – all for sale.
• There is a chair where women can set their purse – and it, too, is for sale!
• The displays are updated regularly to keep it interesting.
The Garden Place, Norway, MI
• The Garden Place brings the outdoors into the bathroom with branches and artificial greenery.
• Wrought iron fencing is accented with decorative netting.
• Garden decor on display inside is available for sale.
• Extra clean towels and paper products are made readily available.
Plants for All Seasons, Spring, TX
• Plants for All Seasons wants customers to feel at home in their bathrooms.
• Wall-to-wall hand-textured faux painting is accented with raised imprints of palms and ferns.
• Special attention was paid to selecting the perfect furniture, lighting and mirror.
• Floral arrangements, potpourri and candles add ambiance.
• An old-fashioned spigot dispenses water into the copper basin sink.
GoodSeed Farm, Peebles, OH
• GoodSeed Farm is a small, rural garden center open for retail five months of the year. There isn’t sufficient percolation for septic onsite, and the cost of a permanent ADA-compliant restroom building is prohibitive.
• So the garden center rents the nicest, most spacious ADA-compliant Porta Potty available, decorating it inside and shading and screening it with a small structure modeled after an outhouse.
• Inside are potted plants, a hand-painted quilt square and lace curtains.
• The shelter includes a wash stand with L’Occitane soap on a rope, a mirror and solar-heated running spring water.
• The entire facility sits on a dry-laid paver patio, surrounded by planters and a wrought-iron bench.