David Parker, Calgary Herald  |  September 21, 2017  |  Story Link

Needing room to display more than 500 styles of tiles, never mind the 200 faucets and other plumbing fixtures amassed over 26 years in business, Empire Kitchen & Bath president Kevin Mullen had to find a bigger space.

He found the ideal location and has moved from 23,000 square feet on 11st Street S.E. to an 18,000 square foot showroom and 20,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space at 5539 1st Street S.E.

His selection of floor and decorative wall tiles, from standard ceramic to hand-crafted custom designed ‘pieces of art’ mosaics are mounted on an impressive wall display.

Gibbs Gage Architects was responsible for the base building exterior for the new location while McKinley Burkart Design Group designed the interior flow that allows Mullen to integrate the products and his own cabinetry into six full-sized room displays.

The kitchens show off not only a range of all of Empire’s products but have them matched with designs from the in-house manufacturing plant.

Craftsmen-built cabinetry and millwork for full-size kitchens installed in the showroom allow customers to visualize what their own kitchens could look like. The new space also has a complete kitchen vignette of the kind to be built at Mullen’s Valour Park development at Currie. The three phases — designed by Dan Jenkins of Jenkins Architecture — offer nine 3,300-square-foot townhouses and two others containing 52 and 26 units averaging 1,700 square feet in size.

Empire was motivated to develop The Empire Healthy Home Standard — finding ways to improve or surpass standard industry practices. The company researches and audits the market to find products that eliminate or reduce many of the harmful elements used in residential construction.

Mullen discovered that many chemicals and materials used in construction can negatively affect people’s health. Indoor Air Quality is critical in determining the health of a home where dangers can be found in adhesives, silicone, off-gassing, surfaces and formaldehyde found in caulking, carpets, underlay adhesives and pressed/composite wood products.

Mullen had a personal health crises that began his journey on this mission and as a result not only are his homes fitted to new standards but so is his new showroom, from reducing chemicals and no silicone use right down to the type of paper used on his business cards.