Jeffrey R. Sears and James Stuart founded PIRCH in 2009 after both became frustrated dealing with plumbing and appliance vendors during extensive home remodels. “Many of these products are essential to some of the finest moments in our lives with our friends and family,” says Sears of his desire to create a showroom where the best kitchen and bathroom fixtures from around the world would be available in one place. We talked to him about the trend toward making the ordinary bathroom into a resort-worthy spa.
There’s been a concerted swing, especially in new home construction, toward spa-like bathrooms that evoke the ones people have experienced at the newer resorts. Would you agree?
Completely. Whether large or small, the trend is to make the space in your home as meaningful as possible. People spend thousands of dollars going on holiday and enjoying spas around the world. It makes sense to spend those dollars to re-create the experience in one’s own home, enabling the ability to have the spa experience as many times a day or week as one wishes.
What are some of the technical breakthroughs, like low-flush toilets, that people should be thinking about integrating into their bathrooms? Are there others to look forward to in the near future as well?
Sustainability is clearly a topic with regards to water usage in the bath, but the technical breakthroughs allow you to enjoy better water filtration, steam, sauna, scent, and lighting to live a healthier, better life. We have vetted the possibilities across the world and the stores are a hotbed of inspiration.
If someone has the chance to pull out all the stops, what would you say are a couple of items they should spare no expense in acquiring?
Funny you should ask. PIRCH is like a giant dissatisfaction machine, meaning that the showroom speaks to you and a sense of “want” is created. There are hero items in the store, showerheads that can create a scent, a sense of the rain forest, misting, or a water massage. Showers that can provide sauna and steam at your request. Bathtubs that massage, allow you to take a mud bath and then clean themselves. Toilets that have mood lighting, heated seats, music, and will even gently deliver hot air across your feet.
Your showroom is set up to not only introduce people to products but to give them ideas about putting all the pieces together (the Sanctuary, for example). What’s been the response?
The showrooms have 15 complete baths and a Sanctuary, allowing you to try before you buy across all the categories. We encourage people to book a private appointment and explore the possibilities. Many people start off thinking they want one thing but until they know the possibilities through experience they can’t make a truly inspired and informed choice. That is where PIRCH comes into play—the inspiration is free.
What’s your own bathroom like? What’s the most memorable bathroom you’ve been in?
It’s like a spa, both in flow and space. The shower combines scent, massage, mist, and rainforest with music and low lighting. The bathroom can be a romantic place. The water closets are private and the organization of vanities is more like beautiful furniture versus the traditional cabinetry. We even have warming drawers (designed for the kitchen) but used for lavender fragranced towels, and cosmetics are stored properly in hidden refrigeration. The shower delivers reverse osmosis so that you can wash your hair in basically purified drinking water. It is something that you can use every day and not have to go to a spa to experience.