When the judges for the 2022 Salons of the Year first saw the images from Ottalaus Salon in New Jordan, Utah, it was the bright Cerulean blue color of the chairs, the signage at the front desk and the mural on the selfie wall that caught their eye. The salon stood out from the crowd, and it eventually captured the title of Grand Prize Winner of the salon design competition.

In a recent video interview, SALON TODAY’s Stacey Soble and Belvedere Maletti’s Luca Fonte talked with Ottalaus’ owner AnneMarie Krainich about her design choices, before surprising her with the news that her salon captured the title of 2022 Salon of the Year. (Watch above video)

Krainich revealed her branding colors of gray, white and blue lent themselves to her design palette, as did the history of her salon’s name. “Ottalaus is Icelandic and it means fearless,” she says. “My heritage is Icelandic--I was a single mom when I opened my first location, and I needed to be fearless. I pulled an image of Iceland and that’s where the inspiration came for my designs—the blue was from the water.”

Surprising the 2022 Salon of the Year Grand-Prize Winner
Surprising the 2022 Salon of the Year Grand-Prize Winner

As a second location, Krainich had the opportunity to incorporate a number of design ideas her first location lacked: “We are an educated-based salon and I wanted something was functional day-to-day as a salon but could transform into an open space for educational events. Belvedere has these rolling beautiful silver mirrors and I just pop the lock and move them out of the way to create open space.”

“Our brand is pretty modern in general but I wanted to elevate that a little more,” Krainich added. “One of the comments is reoccurring is that our processing area looks like the inside of a spaceship so I think I accomplished as modern as you can go.”

She also appreciates all the functional design—the color bar is a staple art piece in the space with functional product displays. All the laundry and waste receptables are hidden within the cabinetry so everything looks fresh and clean.

A wall within the salon serves two purposes. One side serves as the backdrop for the front desk and it features the Ottalaus logo, and the other side serves as a social media space for before and after images. It features a mural of bright blue poppies with the salon’s slogan, “Real Beauty is Fearless.”

“When we first opened women would come in and the story behind our name really resonated with them, and that launched our slogan,” Krainich says. “They may be coming in to work on their outward beauty, but they end up feeling empowered, strong and beautiful and a little fearless which helps them conquer whatever they may need to conquer in their lives.”

Surprising the 2022 Salon of the Year Grand-Prize Winner
Surprising the 2022 Salon of the Year Grand-Prize Winner

Keep watching the video to see how Krainich responds when we tell her Ottalaus captured the 2022 Salons of the Year. (Around the 10:35 time stamp!)

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