Getting the basic right in salon planning

A great salon is all about stunning wallpaper, a nice comfy waiting sofa and coffee machines that deliver freshly ground, right? Well, not exactly. Salon design 2011 style is about as sophisticated as it has ever been, but whilst the finishing touches are the fun bit, it’s vital to get the basic right- which all starts with salon design.

Paula Dowie is the Managing Partner for furniture design company Ignite Design Retail and says that when planning a salon the first step should always be to consider your client and what their journey is going to entail. Having worked with an impressive portfolio of salons such as Ken Picton and Daniel Galvin Junior, Ignite is fully aware of the requirements of a modern salon. “We start by asking the salon owner what they are trying to do with their business and what type of client they are trying to attract,” she says.

For example, if it’s a busy salon on the high street with a really energetic vibe, then placing styling chairs closely together is not a problem, however if it’s a destination salon then they will want to create an environment whereby clients have plenty of space. Salon design today is about so much more than just a floor plan,” says Paula. “It’s a story. From the moment the client walks up to the front door the journey begins, and every single element need sto reflect the brand,” sha adds.

salon design

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Gone are the days when designing the floor space was simply about fitting in however many chairs were needed in order to maximise turnover- sure there are still the basic logistics of being able to have enough stations to make money, but it has never been so important to consider areas such as colours bars, chill out zones, reception space and retail areas.

The key to creating a sensational salon is most definitely to call in the experts and seek a professional salon design company.

Ken Picton, from Ken Picton Salon in Cardiff Bay, agrees that if you’re building a salon from scratch calling in the experts is a must. “In my case when I did a refit I knew my space exceptionally well. However using a designer is not just about making your space work the way you want it to, it’s about having someone to manage the design,” he says.

It’s a good point, because with any refit or new build there are literally a million jobs to do, and sourcing materials is not one for the salon owner. “For example, Iknew the kind of tiles I wanted on the floor, but because I had 6,000 square feet to fill I could not have just gone into the nearest tile shop. In the end my designers sourced them from overseas and had them shipped in,” adds Ken.

However, the investment shouldn’t simply stop at salon design, filling the space with impressive furniture that not only looks the part, but is functional and hard-wearing too is a must.

Olymp has been producing salon furniture for the professional hairdressing industry for more than 100 years. Its Managing Director, Matthew Lutos, says investing in quality items is an absolute priority: “There will always be inexpensive items on the market, and you can buy cheap imports, however with salon furniture it is a case of you really do get what you pay for”. It’s a fair point-with the average styling chair being used six or seven times a day by different clients, multiplied by 12 months of the year- buying poor quality furniture is most likely a false economy. “If you’re refitting your salon or opening it from scratch, you need to know that you won’t have to replace it for at least 10 years,” he says.

One of the most important areas to consider when designing a salon is the retail– because, after all, this is the one area that will actually make you money without having to pay a member of staff to stand there all day! “A retail area is so vital in any salon. You need to create an environment where people are happy to come in and browse around, where they don’t feel pressured into buying and where they can experience the products,” advises Paula.

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