LLAN LABOS likens his transformation of a historic bank building in downtown Portland, Maine, to the sleek Akari salon and spa as an excavation project. “Over the years, renovations by previous tenants obscured the historical character and integrity of the building’s interior space,” he explains. “We didn’t really have a clear concept of the remodel until we were well into demolition, and we just kept uncovering all the period details.”

From exposing brick walls and mosaic flooring to utilizing the original bank vaults as mixing and storage rooms, Labos tried to keep the character and integrity of the building’s interior space. “We have evolved from a small hair salon into something much greater. This building is now a true destination for clients who seek superior results in wellness, beauty and style,” he says.

With this latest in three years’ worth of renovations, Labos added a medi-spa, nail area and an extended color department to Akari. Today, Akari’s roughly 22,000-square-feet of space includes large treatment rooms, training facilities, corporate offices, a licensed kitchen and a variety of waiting areas in which clients can lounge and relax.

For Akari, the changes just keep coming. Labos is currently planning the development of a 2,000-square-foot fitness center, which he hopes to complete in the next six months. “For our staff, the renovations create new energy, which boosts morale and keeps them engaged in their work. It’s also an excellent point of conversation with clients old and new,” says Labos.