When it comes to your salon, it’s important that the design does you justice. Afterall, while you might offer the best services around, having a professionally designed salon can really help get your name out there.
So, how do you make sure your salon is designed and planned to perfection?
Here at Salons Direct, we offer all our furniture customers a professional salon design and fitting service. Working with our expert Salon Planning Gurus, Mike Cooper and Ian Rarity, you can plan your entire salon interior. From choosing salon furniture to suit your budget and needs, to planning the perfect layout, we can help you fit everything into place.
We spoke to Mike and Ian to get you some more information on what goes into their service and how you can benefit from it…
Related: See our Salon Design of the Month Series
Can you tell us more about the services you offer with Salons Direct?
Ian: I like to think we add another dimension to the salon planning process. Rather than just choosing items from images in catalogues or online, I will discuss products in detail, offering honest information to help clients make an informed choice.
I will also assist with salon layout design, creating scaled drawings that will ensure everything will not only fit, but will work and flow. The layout of your salon may initially seem obvious, but an experienced salon planner can often open eyes to new ideas.
Mike: Our number 1 most valuable service is simple – advice. Before we start any design service, I like to consult with potential clients to discuss what it is they wish to achieve; sometimes we can establish their criteria over the phone or email.
Having been in this industry for over 25 years, I understand a bit of advice goes a long way. We can bring 100s of swatches of furniture fabrics, woods and finishes to reassure salon owners in their decisions, plus we have thousands of photos of previous happy clients that we can share.
What goes into planning and designing the perfect salon?
Ian: There are so many aspects to consider! You have to start with the outside creating appeal. Then your salon reception furniture, which should be welcoming with a comfortable waiting area, and of course retail areas.
Styling areas need careful consideration, ensuring plenty of room to work – somewhere for a coffee cup and space for hairdressing tools, with enough positions to maximise revenue.
Wash areas must be comfortable and relaxing, not just somewhere to wash hair. You need good space both at the front for customer access and behind for staff to work and store all hair care essentials.
Consider space for trollies, hair electricals, processors etc, and an area for a dispensary. It’s better to have a dispensary that is open and visible, rather than an area that takes staff away from the shop floor.
Storage units are important, too. Good storage will reduce clutter in the salon. And, of course we will have to consider toilets, staff and office space. All areas should blend together so clients and staff can flow through the salon seamlessly.
Mike: Before putting any pen to paper I always discuss with the client if they have any definite ideas or requirements. For example, do they have a set number of styling stations they need. I also ask them what they think is wrong with their existing salon and suggest ways to improve it.
Also, importantly, we get a realistic idea of budget. Some clients are open to radical ideas such as a new shop entrance, so we make sure clients are comfortable with how much they plan to spend.
What is the process you take with clients to create their new salon design?
Ian: Firstly, I will spend some time discussing their requirements, asking questions to get a picture of what they want. If it is a refurbishment of an existing salon, I will observe the salon working and look for problems that require addressing.
It is important to get an idea of budget and time scale at an early stage; there is no point in discussing bespoke Italian furniture when the client wants a salon open in two weeks on a small budget! Likewise, we don’t want to be discussing budget furniture when the client has a dream of a designer salon with only top end furniture.
We will survey and measure the salon to allow us to create the drawings, discuss finishes available for all our different ranges and create a proposal. Usually a second visit to discuss the proposal in detail is best at this point. Any changes can be made and colour choices can be confirmed, ready to move on to the next stage.
Mike: The first, and most important, step is listening to the salon owner about what it is they want to achieve and what is not currently working with their existing salon layout. We ask if they have considered adding any extra services or revenue streams – like threading or nail bars, beauty rooms or improved retail areas – and factor these in.
I then produce four or five 2D drawings, showing different layouts of how their salon could look and work. Accompanying these designs will be “mood boards” picturing these layouts, furniture colours and other options. From these options we can slowly create a final 2D salon layout with furniture selection. We then follow this up with 3D drawings, showing things like floor finishes and client flow.
What would you suggest are the most important considerations to make before buying new salon furniture?
Ian: The most important factors are comfort, quality and style. Furniture has to look good whilst being comfortable, practical and of a quality that will last. The best looking and most expensive lines are not always the most comfortable.
If possible, I would always recommend looking at furniture in a showroom where you can try it out. Be careful with colours; fashion colours change and can go out of style as quickly as they came into fashion.
Mike: What is working within the existing salon and what could be improved? Also, often overlooked, what is the time scale for finishing the project? And most importantly, what is the budget for the project?
What would you say are the main benefits of having a professionally planned salon design?
Ian: The main advantage is that no matter what size your salon is, the space will be maximised and all furniture positioned in a way that works. Our experience means we will consider every need and leave nothing to chance. Starting with a plan means you will know what the result will be and ensure nothing is forgotten.
Mike: To ensure you are not going to waste money on needless building work that will not enhance or improve the salon. It also helps you avoid replacing furniture that is perfectly suitable – with some lateral thinking, you can enhance existing salon furniture with very little expense, producing dramatic effects.
Also, our advice also ensures you get it right first time. It’s surprising how many salons have acted on bad advice and spent money in the wrong areas.
Finally, what is your favourite project that you have worked on so far and why?
Ian: My all time favourite project was over twenty years ago. I was called by a major supplier as they had some issues with a salon refurbishment in Harrods. They asked if I could go down for a day just to give advice – after a morning of discussion they then asked if I would stay to sort everything out! I brought in a team of shopfitters and around a week later I left them with a fully operating salon.
Mike: Rush Piccadilly. Here we started in an empty shell of a building with a suitcase full of furniture fabric colours, wood samples, furniture options. Then walked the building site, designing furniture within each area.
Are you ready to refurbish your salon? To arrange a consultation, contact our friendly team on 0844 875 7775 or email us on [email protected].
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