Renovate for luxury without high prices

By Web Editor | 06/16/2010 2:50:00 PM


A new look for your salon reinforces to clients that you are staying on point with trends in hair and fashion, but tightening purse strings have owners wondering how to do more with less. So, we asked a salon owner, a salon consultant and a distributor.

“How can budget-conscious salons renovate existing spaces and create a luxurious feeling without the high price tag?”

Cindy Zoellner
Owner of Salon Orange Moon in Indianapolis, Indiana

AS A SALON OWNER for nearly three years, I am presently tackling the task of expanding into my second level of space on a shoestring budget. Accomplishing this goal is possible when envisioned in steps. First, create a realistic budget for yourself. Choose the design features that are most important to your business and label them on a storyboard. Doing this will allow you to not only manage the expense decisions, but also will allow you to creatively visualize the design.

Next, consider the importance of each design feature against its return on investment in the new space. Following this step, analyze the most profitable area in your own business model. Once determined, this area must render the most appeal and space when it comes to your design square footage. For example, if you know the most esthetic appeal will fall on the cutting chairs and shampoo bowls, shop those items first so you guarantee you make your impact with those key pieces, and then work around them.

Finally, choose vendors who can help you reach your goals. Recently, I have found many wonderfully talented, albeit unemployed, artists with whom I’m bartering art and painting to create a finish that makes a statement. Adding the feel you want takes time, and looking for inspiration in all forms takes persistence. Remember to think outside the box.

Salvatore Chieffo
Regional manager/salon and spa consultant, Belvedere

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT to keep your salon fresh and updated. If your salon becomes outdated you will start to lose market share and you may also lose money-generating staff. Budget-conscious salons can renovate existing spaces and create a luxurious feeling without a high price tag by following a few basic principles. Avoid the need for general contractors, electricians and plumbers. If you are replacing fixtures such as sinks and stations you should keep them in the same locations so you do not have to change the electric and plumbing. This will help keep costs down.

Salvatore Chieffo was associated with three of 2010’s SALONS OF THE YEAR winners: Bangz Salon and Wellness Spa in Montclair, New Jersey; Gatsby Salon in Green Brook, New Jersey; and Salon Rock in Roslyn, New Jersey.
Another money-saving method I often recommend to my budget-conscious clients is to simply change styling chair tops instead of the complete chair. Belvedere hydraulic bases can last more than 25 years. By changing your chair top you can achieve a “new look” at sometimes less than half the cost of a complete chair.

Warm paint colors, textures and lighting will also go a long way into creating a more luxurious feeling. There are a variety of great energy-efficient, full-spectrum lighting fixtures that will initially more but in the long run they will pay for themselves with utility bill savings and a better work environment. If there are limited resources, try to focus on having your reception area “pop” from the outside. Add accent colors and retail displays wherever possible. Again, there will be some initial up front money but the returns will be plentiful.

Andre Chiavelli
Executive V.P. of Sales, Emiliani Enterprises

IF SALONS WANT TO CREATE a luxurious salon at an affordable price, they need to go to the people who have done it many times and are experts in the field. Mr. B. (Mr. Beauty Equipment) and Salvatore Chieffo (Belvedere) are ones who come to mind ... they have been honored in the Salons of the Year competition 27 times! They work with budget salons, as well as multi-million dollar spas, and everything in between.

The other direction would be to feature the works of local artists and rotate them regularly to give an ongoing fresh look within the salon. There is plenty of talent out there, and plenty of people who would be willing to feature their work in your salon. SoHo in NYC is another wonderful place to pick up creative pieces, as well as art, for a low cost budget.






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