Saturday, April 04, 2009


Kitchen designer Mark Hanner, from Trowbridge, has opened a ‘recession beating’ kitchen showroom at Trowbridge Garden Centre.

His company, The Kitchen Designer, took the bold step of converting a standard 20 foot shipping container, into a fully operational kitchen showroom, complete with a full kitchen display.

Opening in the middle of a downturn and recession is always a concern for any business, especially with other businesses in the industry not surviving. But as Mark explains, thinking ‘out of the box’ has really paid off:

“It took almost 2 years for me to find a suitable and cost effective way to open my showroom, and I looked at all the local high streets without finding anything suitable. I considered everything. Then I found out about converting a container, and started researching. I soon realised it was the ideal solution for me to finally open up”

Mark had seen a vacant site at Trowbridge Garden Centre, and had approached them about the project.

“Trowbridge Garden Centre has been very accommodating with my ideas. My plans weren’t exactly conventional, but it has resulted in the transformation of a formerly blank site for them, and a great little showroom for me. I didn’t want to follow the crowds; I wanted to create something unique”

“It now also provides me with a fantastic basis for expansion, as the containers can be treated like giant building blocks, allowing me to expand the first site and look at others”

Mark is also keen to point out the green credentials of what he has done.

“Once these containers have served their purpose, they often litter shipping yards with no further use. Re-using them in this way helps recycle them and giving them a purpose. People have even built properties using containers.”

The showroom now provides Mark with somewhere to showcase his kitchen furniture and design work to the public. He has also had interest in converting more containers for another local firm.

Some extra photos, before and after:


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