The Dry House
Owners: Ali Ryan and Cassidy Bentley
Year Business Established: 2014
Salon Style: high class and badass
Square Footage: 1,850
Number of Styling Stations: 20
Equipment: Custom farm sinks, chandeliers, bar, stations, mirrors and shutters.
Furniture: Most of the furniture was custom made or found in antique stores around Nashville.
Three primary retail lines: Tribe Kelley beanies, merchandise from KITTY in East Nashville and jewelry from Miriam Designs.
Contractor: Triad Construction
Designer: Lindsay Rhodes
Photographer: Patrick Tracy
A high-class space with a bad-ass feel was the goal of Ali Ryan when she set out to create The Dry House, a blowdry bar in Nashville, Tenn. She wanted a salon where clients felt they could just stop in and say hi or stay awhile and hang out. Ryan considered where people are the most comfortable relaxing: at home or at a friend’s house. So she, Co-Owner Cassidy Bentley and Designer Lindsay Rhodes set out to create a space that was homey and inviting, along with an edgy-cool vibe that is right at home in Nashville.
To create the house theme, Ryan, Bentley and Rhodes chose a space with homey features, like a long hallway that invitingly guides guests further into the salon. Then, they incorporated unique décor for personalized charm. The entryway features a big mantle with grand chairs and bookshelves and the living room includes a lounge area in the middle, complete with pillows, magazines and a gilded, retro bar cart. All come together to make up the unique features that make a house—or a salon—a home.
The design elements that the salon staff and clients have become most attached to are the ones that have personal stories behind them. For instance, the giant, custom key that hangs over the bar in the front rooms was a gift from Bentley to Ryan and doubles as the salon’s logo. It symbolizes the salon’s “make-yourself-at-home” mission and is the first thing clients see when they enter. Another item that guests have fondly come to associate with the salon is the white ram’s head mounted on the wall. His name is Aries (Ryan’s astronomical sign) and the staff love to dress him up throughout the year; he wears a Santa hat during the holidays, a flower crown during festival season and has big false eyelashes and jewelry year round. Aries is a fun way to let the salon’s personality shine through and clients are always eager to see what he is wearing. Finally, the dog wallpaper in the bathroom is a favorite of Ryan’s and of guests. Rhodes found it when searching for the wallpaper Ryan’s family had in their house in Vermont. It reminds Ryan of home, and much of the staff and clientele are dog lovers, so it hits a soft spot for many.
It’s the little things that have made The Dry House feel like home—and which have made it succeed at memorably branding itself. Its key logo is not only a prominent feature in the salon, but also on its website and social media pages. Go search for them on Instagram and you’ll know you’ve landed on the right page because the key is displayed in their icon. Plus, by inviting guests to participate in the space, The Dry House has made itself memorable. It’s the salon where you can record your kid’s height on the wall, the salon where you can check out what Aries the ram is wearing this month, and the salon where you can get comfy, connect to Wi-Fi and get a pampered blowout. Sounds like a nice place to come home to.