Therapy Hair Studio
Owners: David E. Bamford and Luis B. Perez
Salon Style: upscale, elegant, welcoming
Square Footage: 6,700
Treatment Rooms: 1
Furniture: Eurisko, Belvedere
Equipment: Eurisko, Belvedere
Total Design Investment: $950,000
Retail Lines: Maria Nila
Nailcare Lines: Emma Zoya
Design by: Perrin Projects
Architects: Gage Architecture
Photographer: Joe Aker
For more than 14 years, David E. Bamford and Luis B. Perez built their beauty brand in the Galleria area in Houston. As they slowly outgrew their space, they started eyeing a building on a half-acre in the exclusive River Oaks area—when it became available, the duo snatched it up.
SALON TODAY's Stacey Soble, Eurisko's Leon Alexander and Belvedere/Maletti's Luca Fonte surprise David E. Bamford and Luis B. Perez with the news that their salon is the Grand-Prize Winner of the 2021 Salons of the Year. The couple later called back to say they initailly were a little stunned by the news and it didn't sink in until about an hour later when they got very excited.
“For years, we gathered images of designs we liked and created a vision board on our phones. So we jumped at the opportunity to buy this building and over the course of the next 12 months, designer Kristin Perrin repurposed it, helping us create our dream salon,” Bamford says. “I’m Australian and Luis is from Mexico, and it was important to both of us to have a large open space with lots of natural light, and a large outdoor area our clients could enjoy.”
For the duo, the half-acre of land was gold, allowing them to create a 40-space parking area, while still preserving the 120-year-old trees on the land. “We wanted it to be a green, lush sanctuary, right in the middle of the city,” Bamford says.
The couple, who are both business and life partners, wanted the new Therapy Hair Studio to feel like guests were coming to someone’s home—a feeling of accessible luxury that was warm and encouraged both clients and team members alike to hang out.
Leon Alexander from Eurisko helped Bamford and Perez create a destination shopping area for their retail through strategically placed lighted shelving units and focus tables for the jewelry line the salon carries.
When it came to selecting stations, the owners wanted something with soft lines and lighting that was flattering to guests. “When you think about it, the salon is the only place an individual will stare at themselves in the mirror from 40 minutes to two hours and they can be self-conscious,” Bamford says. “Our large round mirrors have lighting like a ring light, which is the most flattering.”
To soften the look of their overall design, the duo opted for brown leather Maletti chairs, instead of the traditional black.
Large sliding doors let in lots of natural light, while encouraging guests to enjoy the outdoor space. “We modeled the outdoor area after the Restoration Hardware rooftop patio in New York, and we just love it,” Bamford says. “With an outdoor water feature and lots of seating, it gives our clients a Zen moment before, after or during their appointment. We also find our staff tend to hang out here after work instead of rushing out the door like they used to.”
According to Bamford, the flooring was the most challenging design aspect. They wanted something durable that looked good in daylight but also under the LED lighting. “One of our clients started representing an English company that produces an engineered hardwood that doesn’t scratch, and color wipes right off—and the natural wood tone is gorgeous,” he shares. “Navy is my favorite color, so we painted the reception area a deep blue and used bronzed metal accents throughout.”
Behind the front desk is a neon slogan—I woke up like this—Bamford says is from the Beyonce album Drunken Love. It creates a light-hearted moment, and guests take their finished selfies under it.
Also, in the reception area hangs a whimsical painting from Brazilian artist Lucio Carvalho’s time-traveling astronaut series. “We saw his work in a New York gallery, and have one in our home. When we built the salon, we tracked him down again, and bought this one,” Bamford says. “Art is very important to me, and I see this one every day when I walk in and every night when I walk out.”
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