When they're selling cabinets, dealers know the difference between plywood and furniture board. But most homeowners couldn't tell you why they should pick one over the other, or what would best fit their needs. Alabama's Mobile Lumber & Millwork solved this problem by adding an education element to the cabinetry section of its Coast Design Kitchen & Bath showroom.

"Everybody can go to a big box store and buy cabinets, but you're just selling a product," says David Casey, cabinet division manager, who guided the design of the showroom. "People want to gain some knowledge before they make a purchase. I wanted to create a place where people knew they could do their homework."

Several areas of the showroom focus on how cabinets are built, he says. One section, dubbed the Details Room, displays six cabinets that look like they are built into a unit, but actually roll out on a tray. Employees can use this area to cover cabinet construction, review the options available in each cabinet, and go into the differences between those options.

In a central area of the showroom, equipped with a flat-screen television, the showroom's designers can pull up a homeowner's kitchen and talk about potential changes they can make to the living space. The Resource Center can house up to 270 cabinet door samples in slatted shelving.

"Cabinet showrooms are a dime a dozen," Casey says. "We wanted it to be an experience, a destination, not just a showroom."