In a world where successful businesses attract client communities by marketing experiences, an intimate knowledge of one's target audience provides the best build-out blueprint.

Salons of the Year 2009: Judges & Process An Ãœber-posh day resort

offering every service and amenity imaginable. A Soho-meets-South Beach space to tempt transplanted suburbanites. A modern-day jewel-box for Sin City sophisticates. A welcoming Cheers-like setting where everyone knows your name. As the winners of the 2009 Salons of the Year take their design direction from their own unique target markets, the only distinct trend this year is diversity-in size, budget, materials, environments, influence and inspiration.

 Salons of the Year 2009: Judges & Process

2009 Grand Prize Winner
Avanti Day Resort
Manalapan, New Jersey

 Salons of the Year 2009: Judges & Process

1st Runner Up
Intrigue Salon
Marietta, Georgia

 Salons of the Year 2009: Judges & Process

2nd Runner Up
Globe Salon
Las Vegas, Nevada

 Salons of the Year 2009: Judges & Process

3rd Runner Up
St. Paul, Minnesota

Salons of Distinction:

Amore' Salon and Spa, Aqua at the Georgia Center Salon and Spa, Arrojo, Christopher J. Salon, Complexions Spa for Beauty and Wellness, Five Salon, Mizu (Boston), Mizu (New York), Phillipostyle Hair Studio, Robert Cris Salon, Salon 124, Scott J. Salons and Spas, Splurge Salon, Square One Salon and Spa, Tangles of Evans, The Salon by Lora Brown.


Salons of the Year 2009: Judges & Process
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2009 Panel of Judges

Michele L. Pelafas
Salons of the Year 2009: Judges & Process

With more than 16 years of experience, Pelafas has provided design services for hundreds of clients nationally and internationally. Her full-service interior design company, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, ( specializes in salon and spa design. Pelafas graduated with honors from the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. An educator and an expert, she has been frequently featured in salon industry trade publications and has taught design classes at major trade shows across the country, including America's Beauty Show, Premiere Beauty Show, ISSE and PBA's Symposium.

David Wagner
Salons of the Year 2009: Judges & ProcessAs the 2008 Salons of the Year grand prize winner, Wagner certainly knows what it takes to produce winning salon design. A world-renowned hair stylist, artist, entrepreneur, educator, and author, Wagner is the founder/owner of JUUT Salonspas, the original Aveda concept salons. With eight locations in the Midwest and one in San Francisco's Bay Area, JUUT Salonspas are continually voted "Best Salon" in their communities. Wagner is also the best-selling author of Life As A Daymaker: How to Change the World by Simply Making Someone's Day and the initiator of the Daymaker Movement.

Katerina Soukhopalov
Salons of the Year 2009: Judges & ProcessBorn and raised in Moscow, Russia, Soukhopalov holds degrees in interior design and architecture from prestigious institutions, such as New York's Parsons School of Design, Chelsea School of Architecture and Design and Westminster University, both in London. Her work experience includes residential and commercial projects, graphic design and print work, image branding and advertising campaigns. Soukhopalov recently launched her own New York-based firm, MSK Design Group, ( taking on as one of her first clients Vasken Demirjian Salon @ Trump.

Kate Gallagher Cicela
Salons of the Year 2009: Judges & ProcessAs soon as she joined Chicago-based Vi Nelson & Associates, a PR and marketing consultancy firm, Cicela knew the salon industry was the right place for her. A graduate of the famed School of the Art Institute of Chicago, with a major in figure sculpture, she immediately understood the design aspects that hair stylists and salon owners face everyday. Eight years later, she's totally immersed in the industry and involved in all aspects, from America's Beauty Show to beauty schools, service products and science-based salon education.

Since leaving high school at age 17, dropping her last name and setting up her own company, Irish-born Clodagh has been a constant force in the design world. She's widely recognized as a design leader committed to the ‘green movement,' creating stunning properties with materials that reflect her experiences and spirituality. As she celebrates her 25th year as a designer in New York, her Manhattan-based studio oversees three divisions: a product design group, an on-premises showroom and Clodagh Design (, an architectural and interior design practice. Some of her well-known salon and spa designs include: Miraval Resort & Spa, Nemacolin Woodlands, Noelle Day Spa, Sasanqua, Spa de Serville and White Horses at Doonbeg Golf Resort.

The Judging Process

The cover of June 2009 Salon Today, featuring the results of our prestigious Salons of the Year competition.

Salons of the Year judging took place in three phases. First, SALON TODAY editors and designers reviewed each of the entries, including essays and photography. Next, a panel of editors and art directors evaluated each entry in further detail, selecting a group of finalists. Finally, the panel of expert judges scrutinized essays and evaluated seven to 10 images from the finalists, scoring them in five different décor categories. Judges' scores were combined and used to determine the grand-prize winner, the runners up, and the Salons of Distinction.

 Read about the panel of judges and the judging process.
Salons of the Year 2009: Judges & Process

See the full list of winners. Get results from previous years.
Click here

Trends from 2009 Salons of the Year.
See pictures here

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