The dos and don'ts of designing salon interiors
23rd May 2019
The designers behind the biggest furniture brands reveal the common salon interiors mistakes they see most regularly, but you can ensure that you don't make any of them by reading our dos and don'ts.
DO ask for free help and advice
“Not taking advantage of free advice is perhaps the most common mistake in the preparation of any design project. There are so many free tips on websites and Pinterest. Alternatively, you can contact a salon designer or a supplier. Any salon who contacts us at Inspiring Salons Ltd will be sent books on salon design, ideas, past projects and colour schemes as standard. Plus, all our salon designs come with 3D drawings which will contain the owner’s existing floor and wall colours so they can visualise how their new additions will look at no extra cost. It’s not just design advice that we offer at Inspiring Salons, we give project finance advice for free too. Running out of cash during a project is a popular mistake and usually means the salon downgrades their furniture. This is a huge error because after the refit, it is the furniture your clients will notice over the style of the floor. In most cases not only have we saved client’s money on furniture but also thousands of pounds on building costs and the time of the build because of the free advice we offer. Also, our design service is 100% refundable. Any salon owner wishing to undertake a salon project no matter how large or small should contact any salon design company and make use of the free advice that is out there.”
Mike Cooper, owner Inspiring Salons Ltd and exclusive Ayala designer
DO look at the salon through a client’s eyes
“It’s so important to look at your salon through a customer’s eyes. The most regular faux pas I come across is squeezing in too many styling positions. It makes your salon look cramped and clients don’t respond well to the intense atmosphere it creates. Always consider how the salon is going to be laid out by planning your client’s journey. For example, some salons don’t set aside a specially-designated consultation area. Personally, I feel chatting through a mirror in the middle of a busy salon can be awkward, especially for new clients. It’s important to use flattering lighting and mirrors for your styling stations. You want your client to see themselves in the best light possible. Heavy downlighting might make your salon look great, but it won’t make your client look good. Another mistake I always notice is salons view the retail shelf as an after-thought. Professional products will maintain your clients look and therefore the aftercare is an integral part of their visit. The retail shelf should be a well-thought out part of your salon design.”
Albert Ewan, owner, Albert Ewan Design
DO work with a specialist designer
“I often find salons don't see the true merit of working with a specialist salon designer. Working with a designer allows salons to see what will fit and ensures everything is to scale. The benefits are not just down to the placement of styling stations. Measuring the floor space is just a small part of the process, the key starting point is asking the correct questions and understanding the business profile and demographic. We ask questions such as: how many people are coming into the salon, are you projected to grow your client base in the next couple of years and by how much and describe your client and their expectations of their salon journey. This will enable the design to reflect the salon’s vision and also their clients. An experienced designer is the road to success.”
Terry Bunn, operations director and salon designer, Laceys and Maletti
DON’T neglect your salon floor plan when plumbing
“Salons often plan the location of their styling stations and backwash equipment too far away from the water supply. I see this problem a lot and it’s so easy to avoid. Make sure you get a professional plumber to plan and install the supply and boiler based on your salon plan. If the supply is too far away or inconveniently located, it can cause water pressure and temperature control issues. This is the last thing you want or need in a busy salon. It also increases the probability of leaks and makes it more difficult to locate and fix the problem. Always get a professional plumber to install a boiler based on your salon plan.”
Tetsuya Ito, chief designer, Takara Belmont
DON’T forget about the waiting area
“One mistake many salons make is focusing too much on the working area e.g. the styling units, styling chairs and backwash area. Of course, all of these elements are integral to your salon and the way it works but often the reception or waiting area is neglected when a layout is being put together. It’s often sacrificed for an extra wash basin, wider, comfier styling chairs or more cupboard storage space. Your salon waiting area should not be overlooked because the impression your client has when entering your salon could decide the relationship, they have with you going forwards. If it is a new client, you don’t want them to feel intimidated as they may just walk back out again. If it is a returning client, you want their positive salon-experience to begin as soon as they enter the door at every appointment because they deserve it. When planning your salon layout, ensure you leave plenty of space for comfortable seating and room to breathe and relax. You could include luxurious extras such as a drinks machine or a coat stand. Don’t forget an inviting area to showcase your retail offering. A beautiful waiting area is the first area that every customer will encounter so make it memorable for all the right reasons.
Lee Hamilton, furniture manager, Salon Supplies
The salon pictured is Robert Kirby Wimbledon.