The open spaces and urban textures of warehouse design inspired Guy Christian in Cardiff Bay
Concrete and chandeliers, gilt-edged mirrors and exposed brick walls – it’s a study in contrasts at Guy Christian, which is exactly what the owner wanted for his second salon. Aiming for an ‘anti-salon ‘ feel, Guy Christian worked closely with Beauty Planet Salon Designs to bring to life his creative vision; a second space in the heart of Cardiff’s buzzing Bay area.
A former franchise owner with experience working both in Europe and the UK, Guy travelled the globe before returning to Wales to open his first salon in the heart of Cardiff. Five years on, it was time to expand, offering an opulent salon experience to the young, affluent professionals in the Welsh capital’s style and media hub.
What was the state of the premises?
It was part of a new build with flats above and a retail area below. It was an empty, unoccupied shell with a breeze-block floor, concrete ceiling and little else. All of this made it quicker to refit because there wasn’t the usual gutting process where you might find a den of bats in the roof or something awful.
What attracted you to the location?
The huge floor space – it fitted with the spacious feel that I wanted for my new salon. The location was also a huge attraction – Cardiff Bay is a prestigious redevelopment area. The Wales Millennium Centre is on the doorstep and the BBC is just around the corner.
What was the brief?
I wanted to extract the DNA from our existing salon on City Road and implement some of those elements, but make it more streamline with a slicker finish. I wanted to contrast the raw, warehouse look against more opulent touches.
Who designed the salon?
It was collaboration between Matthew Lutos at Beauty Planet Salon Designs and myself. I used Pinterest as a moodboard to pick out the elements I wanted to incorporate – Matthew then put his take on it.
What do your clients think of the raw, warehouse feel?
Some clients ask me when I’m going to get the concrete ceiling finish, but others understand the idea of the contrast. I like that – it’s a talking point.
Why did you choose to use Beauty Planet Salon Designs?
For me, it was important to find a designer that I could work with in a collaborative way. I liked Matthew’s no-nonsense approach and also felt that we could shout at each other with negative consequences. The beauty of a good designer is that everything is done meticulously and I got exactly what I expected.
The company also provided custom-made furniture from Olymp, all of which makes a stunning impact – especially the unique styling units. It was worth investing in these as the rest of the salon ended up being designed around them.
Would you have changed anything about the design?
Our floor is made of beautiful, Italian high-shine tiles – they look great, but they are slippery so we had to put a rubber mat in the reception for clients who come in with wet shoes. In retrospect, a matte finish would have been more practical.