Salon Blog

So what does the design of a hair salon suite have to do with you? Lots!

I know you have “that room” in your home with limited space, that needs to be multi-functional, AND you want it to look great. If so, then I know you can apply many of the creative design solutions I used on this project to your home project.  This salon space is only 120 sq ft, but it serves 3 functions plus a Wish List (fulfilled!) of 33 items….want to see how I did it?

This project started with a call from my long-time hair stylist Christina LaCommare, who is awesome by the way!  Christina wanted to rent an unfinished salon space, but wasn’t sure how she could make it work for her needs.  I helped her select a space with 10′ ceilings, an angled wall for interest, plus another wall with floor-to-ceiling windows to let in a ton of natural light.  Although these elements are a huge design challenge in a small space, they make the space much more warm and interesting…..and I do love a challenge!

Next came the functional items we had to design around: The salon chair with a 6′ diameter clear space to allow for swiveling, plus a separate shampoo bowl and its chair.  We tucked the shampoo bowl behind a wing wall for privacy, and designed custom cabinetry around the salon chair to allow for the swivel space.

Another challenge was Christina’s 33-item Wish List (which I considered a personal challenge!), comprised of many industry-specific items plus many different storage, display, and aesthetic requests. She needed to style hair, and also to display and sell hair products that couldn’t be directly exposed to sun.  She also needed a place to display the beautiful jewelry & boutique items she sells, and in addition needed as much storage as possible.  She also wanted to bring in a small refrigerator and have a place for a coffee/wine bar, plus much, much more…..all…in…120 sq ft!

The first thing I do when faced with this many challenges is to solve the problems first that have the least number of possible solutions. The first challenge was to find the right space for her hair product display.  I chose the wall opposite the window wall because it will never get direct sun.  I designed the custom, open cabinetry to be built very tall to utilize vertical space.  This display is also placed right next to the angled wall where I thought it would be most interesting to place the salon chair.  This way, clients will be looking at the hair products for sale all during their appointments, and because the products are right by the door, they won’t forget to buy before they leave.

Because I wanted to display the jewelry & boutique items where her clients and passersby could easily see them, I chose the wall between the angled salon chair wall and the window wall. I designed a custom slat-wall display with glass shelving and custom closed storage below.  The closed storage includes a set of drawers with beautiful crystal knobs, plus a wrap-around counter connecting to the angled wall and to the hair products display.  As you enter the suite, your eye follows the long, linear counter around the room, tricking you into thinking the room is much larger while providing a lot of counter space.  Above the slat wall is a deeper shelf for seasonal displays.

This left one remaining wall where I designed a custom cabinet to build-in the refrigerator, and give her more drawer storage. The counter displays the coffee/wine bar, and the custom cabinets above hold towels, hair color, supplies, and various other storage and display items.

When designing custom cabinetry, I always make sure there is enough space to fully open the doors and drawers to access the contents and to move easily around the room. Another consideration here was to utilize vertical space to provide more storage and to balance the small footprint of the room with the high ceilings.  I also designed some of the cabinetry with a shallow profile to produce more open floor space, making the room feel larger.  I always ask my clients if they have special storage needs and design their cabinetry around those specific needs (in this case, part of the Wish List).

For the decor, we chose a soft, neutral color palette with some metallics to reflect light and make the suite feel more spacious. We also wanted to have the space reflect the elegant branding of her business card.  To this end, I knew I wanted to do something dramatic on the salon chair wall, so I specified the wavy, counter-to-ceiling wall panels and had them painted in a soft metallic.  It is quite the dramatic statement, yet doesn’t overpower the space.  We then placed the large beveled mirror on top of the metallic wavy wall, which produces a very flattering reflection.

Because we needed the cabinetry to be highly cleanable, yet look elegant, I chose a black laminate that has soft, vertical lines, which are just enough to give the cabinetry some interest and pizzazz. The countertops tie together all of the blacks and beiges, while providing camouflage for spills in this busy workspace.  The darker floors and dark cabinets ground the space.

To further the elegance in the space, we added a pretty velvet chair with silver nailheads, a blingy chrome and crystal chandelier, and floor-to-ceiling drapery panels with crystal finials on the drapery rods. The drapery panels are functional to hide electrical cords while adding softness to the corners of the room.  They also frame the window and add another touch of unexpected elegance.

When facing a design challenge with so many needs, requests, requirements AND limitations, the first thing to remember is to break the project down into more manageable chunks (or just hire me!). In this project, I first solved the biggest challenges one-by-one, and then moved on to lesser challenges.  Once I solved the practical and functional elements, I moved on to adding the beautiful touches.  This space is truly functional, has all the space and storage she needs, and it looks really pretty.

Check out Christina’s Facebook page at: Christina’s Hair Designs