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.

2015 Trends

Nature is trending for design this year, with botanical prints and earthy colours featuring heavily.

Olive green is one of those colours which will be bang on trend but also doesn’t ever really date for interior accessories. Team olive greens with brighter fresher greens, creams, metallics (especially copper), earthy pinks, oranges and reds or even lemon to bring this colour to life.

Tis the Season to be Jolly

So Christmas is just around the corner and another year will soon be over.  Shopping at this time of year can be a bit of a nightmare, especially looking for presents for those ‘difficult’ people we all have to buy for.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and I love giving presents but I loathe fighting my way through the crowds, searching for the perfect present for those I deem difficult to buy for.

However, nowadays I tend to search for unusual presents online in October/November and I have them delivered before the rush of Christmas starts, although admittedly this seems to get earlier every year.  The only problem with this of course is that it may mean paying full price when said items are then marked down in the rush up to Christmas.  Hey ho, that’s the price you pay for being early and organised and for me, I would rather know I have those presents in the bag and I don’t have to wander up and down the high street with the rest of the world and his wife!

I must admit this year there are some gorgeous gifts around and I have been quite spoilt for choice with regard to the women in my family.  They are always easier to buy for than the men as us girls have lots of different categories to choose from such as clothes, perfume, pamper products, jewellery etc.  If men don’t really have a hobby, it gets very difficult not to buy the same items every year.  Anyway, I have now done most of my shopping and I can now look forward to wrapping them all up and making them look irresistible (my favourite part of the present process!).

Now I may be a little bit early but I would like to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Decorex 2014, Syon Park

Syon House, Decorex 2014Syon Park, Decorex 2014

I was due to attend Decorex on Monday 22 September 2014.  I had been invited to a breakfast event at the Hilton Hotel, Syon Park by a lovely lady called Siobhan Casey, Director of interior design company Casey & Fox, prior to the show on this day. After getting up at 5 am and leaving home at 6 am, I walked to my local train station only to find that no trains were leaving for London due to over running engineering works.  People had been waiting there (including my niece who was meant to be in the West End at 6 a.m. for work), since the early hours!  I stood there until after 7 am and decided that it was a waste of time as a Waterloo East bound train still hadn’t arrived and I needed to get to Waterloo (an hour journey), then a train to Richmond and then a bus to Syon Park by 9.15 am.  How annoyed was I, especially as I was really looking forward to catching up with Siobhan and the other interior designers at the Hilton before the show.

On Wednesday 24 September, I decided I would attend that day instead, trains willing.  After a gruelling journey of two hours and 45 minutes (Syon Park is not an easy place to get to from Kent by public transport!), I finally arrived. There were some gorgeous products on show, including fabulous lights, beautiful fabrics and lovely works of art.  I also attended one of the free lectures by Hassan Abdullah, one third of the famous trio Les Trois Garcons, who discussed ‘The making of a Brand’.  It was great to hear how from starting a small business from a stall in Camden, they grew a highly successful and renowned worldwide interior design, antique and restaurant business in London.  Very inspiring.

After a tiring but rewarding day at the beautiful Syon Park, I headed back to Richmond station (via the complimentary Decorex bus) and then on to Waterloo to get my train home.