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Dry Art Blow Dry Bar & Salon

Lexington, Kentucky



Owner: Sharla Hill

Date of Opening: November 2013

Overall Style: eclectic, urban chic, rustic modern

Square Footage: 2,000

Total Design Investment: $256,051

Styling Stations: 5

Blowdry Stations: 5

Spa Treatment/Wax Rooms: 1

Furniture: Takara Belmont

Equipment Manufacturer: Takara Belmont

Retail Lines Carried: L’Oréal Serie Expert, L’Oréal Texture Expert, L’Oréal Mythic Oil

Color Lines Used: L’Oréal Majirel, L’Oréal INOA

Design Firm: Brandl Skirvin – The Salon & Spa Idea Group

Architect: Greg Walker – Walker Properties

Photography: Christopher Ryan & Kay Baker – Antumbra Studios


1. List your three favorite features of your salon/spa design and explain why.

"We are located in a former industrial area of downtown Lexington, Kentucky that is just recently enjoying a modern revival.  One of the early businesses to locate in this redeveloped and thriving area, it was the perfect location to open the city’s first blow dry bar, Dry Art Blow Dry Bar & Salon. 

The salon design reflects the aspects of the neighborhood and space – urban chic.

1) The ceilings were left open to expose the original wood decking and HVAC to retain an industrial vibe and are the perfect backdrop for our Freestylist Dryers.  These dryers are one of my favorite features because they are efficient, relieve stress on the stylist, and add a modern element.

2) Our space is defined by a center curved wall that softly separates the blow dry bar from our salon area, with our reception desk sitting at the front of it as the focal point. Another curved wall at the rear of the color bar side is a subtle divider to the backbar and shampoo area and features a mural that is fitting for a salon located in the horse capital of the world.  The curves help maintain the open feel and create a pleasing flow between the different service areas.

3) Both areas are furnished with custom and high-grade pieces that include our sleek, white blowdry bar with an abundance of drawers, and curved wooden chairs.  The styling stations on the salon side complement the blow dry bar design and finish, and have matching chairs that are differentiated by a darker wood.  Our chemical area is very functional and features luxurious cabinetry with seating at a curved bar featuring a reclaimed wooden countertop.  Clients sit comfortably in antique barstools while their color is processed under state-of-the-art rollerballs.

Our shampoo area is furnished with sleek chairs and bowls and hosts a beautiful and well-lit backbar."

2. What was the biggest challenge about this salon or spa design, and how did you overcome it?

"As a stylist, it was important to me to ensure the space functioned well for the staff.  As a business owner, I was concerned with the comfort and experience of the guest.  My biggest challenge was creating a salon that utilized every inch of square footage, meeting the needs and comfort of stylist and client, and laying it out in a manner that efficiently accommodated both. I was also conscience of making sure no space looked 'forgotten.'"

3. Who is your target market and how did you design this salon to attract that market?

"Our target is the young, up and coming professional, and bringing the blow dry bar concept to Lexington was the perfect service to attract this group.

The personality of the salon reflects who we are and what we do.  We welcome you into our beautiful surroundings with our southern hospitality.  Sit on our handmade subway-style bench, go ahead and walk on the cow-skin rug as your browse our retail offerings, and choose from our blowdry menu of designs such as 'The Furlong' (long, sleek and straight) or the 'Race Day' (a signature blowout with volume and body.)  We haven’t forgotten the guys who can opt for The Stallion; it includes a scalp massage.  Maximize your savings and 'Pick Your Odds' – our bundle packages for multiple visits. 

Through relentless networking, we work hard at establishing contacts and relationships by participating and partnering in events hosted by the leading lifestyle and fashion magazines in the city.  We advertise in both, and have contributed our artistic skills to their fashion shows and photo shoots. We maintain a constant presence in these publications, as their readers are comprised of the group we seek to attract.

Surrounded by boutique fitness clubs, we will soon offer 15-minute services for those who need a quick hair refresher before returning to work or going out for dinner and drinks after a long day at the office.

Our website offers online scheduling, and we are active on social media."

4. Which specific elements of your salon design were planned to enhance productivity and profitability?

"The blowdry bar provides a specific service area to provide a stand-alone service that would normally occupy space within a full service chair.  Not wanting to limit our service offering, a full service salon side was incorporated in the initial design.  Moving clients to other areas, such as the color bar and brow bar, allows the styling chair to be double-booked for cutting. The ability to offer a variety of specialized services in different areas rather than waiting for a workspace maintains productivity and keeps revenue streaming."


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