A new year, a new start… a new look.

If your salon or barbershop is looking tired, scruffy or no longer reflects your style then it is time to consider a refit. Nothing is more off putting to clients or demoralising to staff than an out of date salon – It gives out the wrong signals about you and your salon.

So where to start:

If you think you need a complete refit then call in a salon designer, not a furniture supplier whose main objective is to sell you furniture. Someone who can create the salon of your dreams, put it out to tender and manage the shopfitting… leaving you free to concentrate on your business. A good designer will save you his fees in getting the best cost for the work.

If you decide to do it yourself be prepared to invest time and energy in doing it properly.

So what needs to be done?

Walls?

Firstly are the walls scruffy and tint stained? Then simply redecorating will make a big difference. Choose a colour scheme that is simple and not overpowering. I am moving away from white and cream and looking at subtle muted shades mixing with textured walls. But don’t overdo the texture or you will dilute the effect. Also don’t use strong or heavy patterns. They can not only date quickly but be distracting to clients.

Furniture?

Then you have to take a good look at your salon furniture. Are the chairs outdated, are they worn, should you replace them?. There is a huge range of furniture on the market but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get good, well designed furniture. Salon Direct have a great range – Lotus – at great prices. The same applies to mirrors but again I tend to go for simple styles that won’t date.

Flooring?

Then consider the flooring and again is it in good condition, or is it stained, broken or chipped? If you replace the floor there are two main considerations. You can have a tiled floor, but make sure that it is porcelain, so it won’t stain, and non-slip to avoid any accidents. Some clients love tiled floors but others feel that it is too hard on the feet and prefer Amtico style flooring. There is a huge range of colours and styles but don’t just go for the brand names as some of the less well known are just as good. Your flooring contractor should point you in the right direction.

Lighting?

Lighting is probably the single most important element in salon design. It should be even, not cool white and not warm white and definitely not fluorescent. If you have tungsten or low voltage then it’s time to change to LED. You will not only save money on running costs but also in maintenance as they can now last up to 10 years – just imagine no more getting up ladders and changing lamps every six months.

Backwash Area?

Backwash… don’t underestimate the importance of the backwash area. From a client’s point of view it should be comfortable, relaxing and away from the hubbub of the salon. The lighting should be subdued with no downlights shining in their eyes. From the staff point of view it should be a well planned and efficient layout

Retail?

Now consider retail. Do you have a mis-match of suppliers’ retail stands, is it well stocked, is it well lit and branded. Good retail means good profit and should not be ignored. Plan it properly and position it well. Don’t put it behind your salon reception desk, it has to be where clients can pick it up and remember those impulse buys.

And finally!

Once you decide that your salon does need refurbished work out what you can afford to spend. It’s always worth going that little bit over to get the wow factor but never spend more than you are comfortable with.

Always keep your salon looking fresh and clean, Keep it looking up to date and matching your peers, there is a lot of competition out there. Your salon should reflect your personality and style and should match your client’s aspirations.

Your staff will appreciate a cool working environment and look forward to coming to work and your clients will enjoy the whole experience. Happy staff and happy clients mean a busy salon – your salon.

by Charlie Hearn, Salon Design and Shopfit
07771 697070 charlie@understandingsalons.com

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