Five Senses Salon and Spa Owner Paola Hinton
Five Senses Salon and Spa Owner Paola Hinton
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Five Senses Salon and Spa Owner Paola Hinton
Five Senses Salon and Spa Owner Paola Hinton

Five Senses Spa and Salon

Peoria, Illinois


Owner: Paola Hinton

Date of Opening: June 2006

Overall Style: luxurious escape, elegant, sophisticated

Square Footage: 3,000

Total Design Investment: $94,110

Styling Stations: 8

Spa Treatment Rooms: 5

Manicure/Pedicure Stations: 8

Furniture: Nusbaum and Sons Custom Carpentry  

Equipment Manufacturer: Takara Belmont, Belvedere, Michele Pelafas, Earthlite

Retail Lines Carried: Aveda

Color Lines Used: Aveda

Design Firm: Michele Pelafas, Inc. 

Photography: Dennis Slape




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

“When I was originally working on the design of Five Senses Spa and Salon, I looked at it from a guest point of view. I wanted to create an escape from a person’s daily routine. Instead of having people come in that needed services, I wanted to attract people that wanted services. Each area of Five Senses Spa and Salon incorporates an experience, offering hair, nail and spa services in a unique setting.

Salon: Our salon was designed with an elegant approach. We receive many wonderful comments on the shampooing experience we provide for our guests. We created a calming environment by designing a shampoo room that is a darker setting illuminated by our fiber-optic star ceiling, adorned with spa music and sounds from a water fountain. Our guests are put in a trance as they are seated in comfortable shampoo chairs while their scalp is massaged and shampooed under our twinkling ceiling. Our male guests especially enjoy receiving a hot towel treatment during their shampooing experience.

Nail Care: Our newly renovated nail room offers manicures and pedicures in a chic environment. We have paid a lot of attention to detail in this area so that our guests can immerse themselves in the sophisticated surrounding that they deserve. Our revolutionary, custom designed manicure/pedicure chairs offer premier comfort to our guests. The oversized chair is enhanced with custom neck, back and lumbar pillows. The room is lit with striking crystal pendants that hang from our classy tin ceiling. We surround our guests with stunning fabric on the walls, along with glass pieces and photographs from local artists. Our guests are made to feel like royalty when they experience nail services from Five Senses Spa and Salon.

Spa: Our guests always cherish the spa ambiance at Five Senses Spa and Salon. Our spa offers a comfortable setting for men and women to receive spa services. We offer a separate changing room, Vichy Shower and couples room. However, our Sanctuary is the most talked about part of the experience. In effort to escape the daily routine, we welcome our guests into our Sanctuary before, in-between and/or after their services. The room welcomes our guests with a three-foot chocolate fountain in the middle of the room, and offers an interactive way to enjoy the various food items that can be dipped into the fountain. The flow of the chocolate filtering down the three layers creates a tranquil visual as the guests sit and relax.”

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

“The major redesign of our nail room and color bar was the result of our effort to overcome two of our biggest challenges at Five Senses Spa and Salon.

Nail Room: Our original design had four manicure stations and four pedicure stations. This worked well, however was limiting us in the summer time when pedicures are in high demand and manicures are not requested as frequently. It became unfortunate that the space and staff was available, manicure services were not being requested, and we were turning away pedicure services.

Our new nail area now houses eight custom chairs that can accommodate a manicure or a pedicure service. The owner, with the help of her designer, created a revolutionary concept of a multipurpose chair. The chair offers pedicures when pushed back with a plumbed-in pedicure sink, and a manicure is performed when the chair is pulled forward. The plumbing and electrical design below the chairs became a huge undertaking, along with the design of the chair for comfort and functionality. 

The custom work now has allowed Five Senses Spa and Salon to:

• Maximize Space: We have expanded without expanding. Our redesign has allowed us to maximize the space, and offer eight nail services simultaneously, regardless of the manicure/pedicure combination. 

• Offerings: This transformation will further increase our service capabilities and group function offerings.

• Utilization: Our revenue will be impacted now that we can utilize the staff better vs. the nail staff standing idle due to the past demand and availability concerns.

Color Bar: Our previous color bar was too small for the amount of color that we needed to store, and limiting the productivity of our service providers when needing to mix color. As we know, color is an area that is a large expense for business owners. We were finding that staff would open new tubes of color each time for a service because they would overlook a previously opened tube. Therefore, we would have multiple tubes of the same color open at the same time. This caused for a lot of oxidized tubes of color and ultimately an unfortunate amount of waste.

Our new custom color bar now is a part of our salon floor, and offers an experience to our guests.  The guest can view the color creation being made at the color bar from their seat, or can interact with our staff during the mixing process. The color bar was a great way to extend the hair color experience to our guest, however was primarily an operational challenge that helped us overcome the following:

• Storage: The color bar was specifically designed to keep order to our abundant amount of color that needed to be in stock at all times, with an organizational structure that is second to none.  The abundant space allows for everything to have a home.

• FIFO: The design also addresses “First In, First Out” (FIFO) stocking from the top and using boxes that slide down in the order that they were stocked. This ensures that we use color in the order that it was received, and eliminates the concern of old color that has been stocked on top for a long time and then accidently gets used after sitting too long in the cabinet.

• Waste: The custom cabinetry also has cubbies for every single tube of color that we stock. No more will we have multiple tubes open of the same color. If an open tube is not in the assigned cube, then the service provider will pull a new tube into rotation.”

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

“Our message to our guests is as follows:

Rejuvenate your body and soul with a visit to Five Senses Spa and Salon, Peoria’s first full-service spa for men and women.

During your visit, you will find your five senses awakened and renewed. Your sense of SMELL will be delighted as you are greeted with soothing aromas. The peaceful SOUND of water and soft music will set the tranquil mood as your SIGHT is mesmerized by the warm and inviting décor. While visiting our salon, you will enjoy the TOUCH of a neck, shoulder and scalp stress relief treatment with any of our hair services. Your spa experience will refresh your soul as water from the Vichy Shower is washed over your body. All while your TASTE is being treated to a chocolate fountain.

Our target markets are adult men and woman, who appreciate the whole experience of a spa and salon service. In addition to our inviting décor and clean facility, we pride ourselves on offering services with a differentiating factor. Our hair services include a complimentary neck, shoulder and scalp stress relief treatment. Our men’s cuts incorporate a hot towel treatment during their shampooing experience. Our nail services offer different aromas to customize manicure and pedicure services.  Our spa services include a sensory journey to help select an aroma that best compliments the guest’s current mood. The selected aroma is incorporated throughout the spa service to enhance the experience. Our spa services are also known for the hot towels that are placed on the feet to further pamper and relax our guests.

In terms of specifically how the remodel has attracted our target market… With our recent nail room renovations, we are able to appeal and attract more events such as wedding parties, group functions and corporate gatherings.  Our color bar has interested guests that like to be involved with their color or have never tired color, and has also caught the attention of prospective employees.”

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

“Color Bar: The color bar experience was designed to increase productivity and will naturally increase profitability. The previous storing limitations and operational congestion reduced our staff’s productivity level. The attention to the design and workflow overcame these two challenges immediately. The profitability of our color area will naturally increase as we decrease waste and increase interest in color with the new interactive approach.

Nail Room: Our redesigned nail room will increase the productivity level of our staff members. The nail department now has the ability to increase revenue generated from nail services, in return will bring up our profitability.

Wax Room: The redesign of the nail room presented us with the ability to create a small room. A waxing room was built so that we could become more productive in the spa area with our massage, body treatments and facials. We anticipate that our profitability will increase with the additional room availability.” 


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