Jeremy Smith mixes historic and modern elements for Central Arizona Supply’s The Studio Showroom.

Last month, Valley plumbing and heating supply company Central Arizona Supply unveiled its newest showroom The Studio, location in central Phoenix. The “Mad Men” inspired grand opening created buzz with its candy cigarette girl, Moscow Mule cocktails and spontaneous flash mob dance.

But the real star of the night was the 10,000-square-foot showroom itself, designed by Central Arizona Supply’s Jeremy Smith.

“[In] each of my showrooms, I have always tried to create a different feel for and reflect the type of customer or environment of a community that the showroom sits in,”Smith says. “So, with this showroom, I wanted something warmer, something that had a touch of history, but [that would be] clean and modern.”

Smith’s search for an historic design element led him far away from central Phoenix — to a century-old barn in western Illinois.

“The barn wood idea came about because I could use this old historic wood, repurpose it and make something fresh-looking,” Smith adds. “My family is from western Illinois and moved out here in 1968. When I grew up, we went back there to visit family every year. So, when I told my dad I wanted barn wood for this showroom, he called my uncle in Illinois, who called some friends, and a few weeks later, I was on a flight to Illinois to visit my grandmother and find a barn to tear down.”

Smith explains that their search took them literally over the river and through the woods to an abandoned barn, which sat on a farm owned by an old family friend.


 Central Arizona Supply


Central Arizona Supply

“I thought tearing the barn down was going to be a huge challenge,” Smith says. “My uncle and I went through town and got a couple of guys to help us. I rented a generator and had borrowed some tools. But as we got out there, the barn was so weathered that it was easy just to pull the boards off of the barn.”

Smith and his uncle then loaded the wood and a number of antiques to be used in the showroom onto a trailer and made the drive back to Arizona.

The wood was ultimately repurposed in two architectural elements in the showroom — one behind the reception desk and the other behind the showroom counter. Other than pulling some rusty nails out of the boards and peeling off the ivy, Smith wanted the wood to remain largely unaltered.

“You will notice on the architectural piece we created that the edges are rough,” Smith says. “These pieces were at the foundation of the barn and were more weathered than the rest. I didn’t want to make these perfect, clean cuts in the boards; I wanted you to see that this truly was reclaimed, old barn wood that had a rich history and will continue that history.”

For Smith, the trip to Illinois was bittersweet. His grandmother passed away shortly after he returned to Phoenix.

“I got back to Illinois at least one time a year my entire life to visit my grandma and family and to enjoy a life that is different from my everyday,” Smith says. “I played cards, I would work on the farm, I went mushrooming in the woods, and I learned to bake a pie from my grandma. So this barn wood is a very cool design element that blends historic elements into something modern; but when I look at it, it also reflects history and a time in my life that is filled with love and memories that I will cherish, which to me is really the best design of all — one that reflects who you are and where you still have left to go.”

For more information on Central Arizona Supply’s new showroom visit:

Central Arizona Supply
The Studio in Phoenix
4750 N. 16th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 943-3488