Martha, a client of Bamboo Salon in Staten Island, New York, reacts to the salon's new design.
Martha, a client of Bamboo Salon in Staten Island, New York, reacts to the salon's new design.

Bamboo Salon in Staten Island, New York, won more than $30,000 in salon upgrades and you can too! Enter now for a chance to win this year’s Salon Today Total Salon Makeover. Entry deadline March 31, 2015 

When Caryann Concilio and her daughter Amanda Intoccia won Salon Today’s 2014 Total Salon Makeover, they embarked on an almost year-long journey for their business, Bamboo Salon in Staten Island, New York.  As part of their $30,000-plus prize package, the salon owners won a full retail collection and fully stocked backbar from Keratin Complex, a complete salon management system including hardware and software from STX, and furniture as well as interior design consulting services from Takara Belmont.

Through a series of blog interviews, Intoccia is documenting the entire transformation process. In this first one, she talks about working with Takara Belmont to reimagine the salon space:

SALON TODAY: How did you start to formulate a design plan with Takara Belmont?

Intoccia: Mom and I first sat down with Takara Belmont Designers Lauren Hrusovsky and Michelle Koster in the Fall 2014​.  They immediately saw our style, which was very earthy and focused on a natural color palette. We really were open as far as design goes. They asked what changes we wanted to make. For us, two important things were a new front desk and new shampoo units. They threw out a lot of ideas such as changing the layout of the entire salon. We really started to formulate a plan when we visited their office in New Jersey. We went through swatches of different design elements and began creating the new scheme and color palette.

A new sitting area for Bamboo Salon.

ST: What was your design budget?

Intoccia: Takara Belmont gifted us with $10,000 worth of equipment plus interior design service. We added $35,000 to get to where we needed to be. If realized if we were doing a makeover, we couldn't do just a piece of the salon. We wanted to do everything. To the new design, we contributed new custom seating, lighting, accessories and curtains.

ST: How did the design process evolve from there?

Intoccia: We saw sketches for the first time a few weeks after meeting with Lauren and Michelle. I really liked the idea of changing the layout of the shampoo sinks—they are horizontal now, and the new layout would make them vertical. Mom didn't, it proved to be way too expensive to do so being we would have to install all new plumbing at the back bar to accommodate this layout. We also didn't like some of the designs that were moving away from the open floor plan we have now. Some designs proposed a layout where the stations were in rows. It felt too much like an office setting. We agreed on the final design because we knew we wanted to keep the same layout as the existing, it made the most sense for us and our budget.

While Bamboo's owners ordered new chairs and stations, they were able to repurpose the salon's existing mirrors and floors.

ST: What elements of the old design did you retain, and what about the design is new?

Intoccia: From the old design, we retained the mirrors and flooring. Nothing was done to update these elements they were in near perfect condition. New design elements included new front desk, lighting, styling chairs, reception area seating, seating in processing area, shampoo bowls and chairs.

ST: How did the color palette and finishes change?

Intoccia: The finishes in the salon went from very earthy and organic to now much more modern, sleek, and clean. There is a minimalistic design aesthetic. The color palette is now dark woods with muted gray tones. The gray walls are very calming, which has always been a feeling we always tried to create in the salon. The new look is very chic and posh.

New light fixtures update the space, which shedding salon-quality light on the new decor.

ST: What are your favorite elements of the new design?

Intoccia: My favorite element of the new design is the front desk!! It is the first thing you see when you walk in and it is a beauty! The front is finished with rings of real bamboo. The rest is corian and a laminate wood. It is the perfect blend of our old style with the new. Mom's favorite design element is the lighting. They are very modern chandeliers and pendant lighting. All new high hats were installed fitted with LED lights specially designed for salons to be really bright! Mom says the lighting really changes the look of the space. 

ST: How long did you have to close the salon for renovation?

Intoccia: We closed for just under a week to renovate, 6 days to be exact, January 24th-January 30th! We chose January because it is typically a more quiet month for us post holiday rush. This wasn't a problem for the staff or clients, we gave everyone plenty of notice. 

Soft gray walls create an intimate, relaxed ambiance.

ST: Were there any hiccups through the design process and how were those resolved?

Intoccia: There were a few moments through the renovation where we thought we wouldn't be done on time. We had a bad snow storm and the contractors couldn't work one out of the six days! Then, our deliveries of the new styling chairs, shampoo sinks, and front desk kept getting postponed due to the weather!! Thankfully it all worked out in the end. Friday before opening, the entire staff came in to put the Salon back together and we pulled it off!! Without everyone pitching in, there is no way we could have opened for business Saturday. 

ST: How do you feel about the transformation? What has been the team’s reaction? What has been your clientele’s reaction?

Intoccia: The transformation has been nothing short of a dream. We still can not believe that it is our salon. It feels completely surreal. This makeover has breathed new life and fresh air into our business. It's written all over everyone's faces, the clients included. Our clients have been in awe of the transformation. Everyone is super excited and there are great positive vibes all around. It has been such an exciting experience for everyone, and a very proud moment for mom and myself!

Follow Intoccia’s blog series to see how Bamboo continued to evolve after working with Keratin Complex and STX. To enter Salon Today's 2015 Total Makeover competition,

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