Beauty Salons – The Importance of Good Design

I was asked to write an article for Helen Willsher, a beauty expert, regarding design in salons for her website,

Here is the article:

The Importance Of Good Design

What do you wish to convey to your clients?

It goes without saying that the main objective of a beauty salon is to make people feel and look more attractive. A salon exterior and interior should also have a positive effect on clients and reflect your brand identity and its values.

Clients expect a salon to be beautiful, as this conveys the idea that the people who own or run the salon understand beauty. As your salon may be judged by prospective clients from the very first glimpse of your shop front, it is important to project the correct image right from the start.


If you have a waiting area, make sure that the seating is comfortable as well as stylish to create the mood you wish to convey to your clients. Think about different textures for any soft furnishings and also about placing scented candles or oils around the seating area, creating a lovely aroma and helping to make the space feel special and inviting.

Treatment and therapist chairs should be both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing so invest in the best that you can afford and match them to the rest of your decor to exude a professional image.

Planning The Space

Whether you have a small or large salon, it is important to plan the space for maximum productivity without losing sight of helping your clients feel relaxed, the moment they step inside.

If you have a large space and the layout is wrong, it can easily feel cold and uninviting. Think about dividing the space into zones, to create a more intimate atmosphere for each of the separate areas. If you prefer a more open plan space, you may need to think about noise in general. Acoustic panelling is available which can help reduce and absorb noise.

A smaller space can feel claustrophobic if there is too much furniture in it and if floor space is limited. Always ensure that there is sufficient room for people to move around and choose reflective surfaces to bring light into the area and to convey a feeling of space. Large wall hung mirrors are an ideal way to bounce light around and decorative frames can make them into an attractive feature.

If you sell beauty products, create a neat and attractive display, particularly near a waiting area so that clients may see what products they are able to buy. Open shelving units may be required to ‘house’ the display of products and these may be wall mounted, if floor space is limited.


Customers want to feel relaxed and pampered when they visit a salon, therefore restful colours should generally be used on the walls. However, brighter colours and busier patterns can be added as accents, for example as a feature wall, for soft furnishings or even towels, especially if the general decor is neutral.

Where possible allow as much natural light into the salon without neglecting privacy. If you do have lots of natural light, cooler colours can work well but if this is at a premium, warmer colours will work better. Nature and beauty go hand in hand and fresh flowers can add colour and create an indulgent ambience without blowing your budget.

If you have separate treatment rooms, you can use uniform colours throughout the entire salon, or if you prefer to have different colours for different treatment rooms, tie it all together with the same colour towels and perhaps unified flooring. If you offer treatments for both men and women, you need to ensure that the decor isn’t too masculine or too feminine, especially in the unisex areas.


Lighting plays a very important part in creating the overall effect in a salon.

Ambient lighting, for example wall lights or backlit panels, can be used to flatter the complexion and provide a warm glow whilst complimenting the interior. This will create illumination on the face without being too harsh and as the light is indirect and diffused, fewer shadows are created.

Overhead lighting is used to generally light the space and provide the lighting necessary to perform tasks. It can, however, cause unflattering shadows, especially under the eyes and may also give off a lot of heat. It is best to use many small overhead lights rather than larger ones, especially in reception areas, adding to the overall calming effect.


Storage in the form of cupboards in both the main area and the separate treatment rooms may be necessary to hide away those items which you do not wish to have on show. There is a wide range of made-to-measure or freestanding cupboards available for commercial businesses and these can be matched to your decor, with finishes available in a range of colours and materials. There is also a wide range of attractive finishes for shelving units, for items which you do wish to be on display.

Finally, if you’re struggling for ideas on how to work with your space, speak to a professional designer, who can help bring your vision of a professional image and a beautiful salon to life.

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