As our judges reviewed all this year’s Salons of the Year applications, some distinctive trends emerged. Read all about them, then find more evidence of these trends in our individual Salons of the Year stories.
When salons are located in big open areas, owners are turning to unique materials to artistically and beautifully define different areas of the space.
In the modern, contemporary Six Salon in Detroit, Architect Christian Unverzagt proposed dividing the entrance of the salon from the salon floor with snow-colored, fire-retardant, nylon camouflage netting. “Because we’re in a cold climate, clients enter through an airlock vestibule and they can see the salon through a glass window, but they don’t yet hear the salon,” Unverzagt says. “Then they enter the hallway through the second door, where they can hear the salon, but only catch glimpses of what is happening on the salon floor through the camouflage netting, until they exit the hallway at the reception desk and become one with the environment.”
At Eric Fisher Studio in Wichita, Kansas, slatted, quarter sawn oak architectural installments define different spaces through the naturally lit space. One of these custom-crafted pieces towers above the black Italian marble podium-style front desk, while two others wrap above the styling areas located on both sides of the space. These design elements accentuate the high ceilings, while defining an otherwise open floor plan.
The Moods of Blue
While the overarching trends this year was for all-white salons with black chairs, when salons featured a pop of color, it often was a shade of blue—but the moods these shades created varied by location.
At Salon Doré in University Park, Texas, the luxurious navy and white tiled floors are laid out in a chevron pattern that draws the eye, while complimenting the navy-accented chairs and artwork.
A playful, musical nude portrait adds a spot of soothing powder blue above the wash stations at the Maria Heckscher Salon in Watersound, Florida.
When salons had open wall space, they frequently hired artist to help them visually express their salon culture, or even infuse a bit of humor into the service.
In Knoxville, Tennessee, Shane Archer chose the shampoo room as the site for a whimsical piece of art featuring Dolly Parton as hairdresser Truvy in Steel Magnolias. Muralist Jessica Ramsey even worked in Truvy’s famous quote, “I don’t trust anyone that does their own hair, I don’t think it’s normal.” This artistic feature was a favorite at the salon’s former location, so Ramsey was called upon to lovingly recreate it at the new Grow—A Shane Archer Concept.
Tyler Caswell was a friend who helped Owners Todd and Jen Ford outfit their salon and barbershop Hello Hair Co. in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Throughout the modern space, the Fords feature vintage salon and barber artwork, which helps ground the salon through nods from the past. They gave Caswell a blank wall and free rein, and he painted this intricate mural to pull clients into the culture of the space. Now, clients frequently ask the Fords for the name of the artist.
Living Walls and Ceilings
Living plants add color and texture to any beauty space, but they also serve as a nod to a salon’s environmental commitments.
At the bohemian Atrium Salon and Studio in Frisco, Texas, suspended succulents give clients an interesting visual as they recline for a shampoo.
The living moss wall at The Elsewhere Salon in Boston, Massachusetts, is trimmed with warm-toned wood and features the salon’s logo in white neon. This large, living green installment serves as a backdrop for selfies or a location where artists can photograph their finished work.
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