Salon of the Year

Grand-Prize Winner: Ginger Bay Salon and Spa

Stacey Soble | May 22, 2012 | 8:45 AM
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At Ginger Bay, the new color bar draws the client into the color experience, which helps boost color service sales.
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The experience bar not only offers staff and clients a place to play with products, it disguises an unattractive structural column.
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Soft curving floor and ceiling soffit patterns guide traffic flow while paying tribute to the salon’s Yin and Yang theme.
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Whimsical bubble lighting appears in areas where water is present like the shampoo area.
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Town and Country, Missouri

OWNERS: Laura Ortmann and Jeffrey Evenson
SALON STYLE: Couth, industrial, gallery
EQUIPMENT: Takara Belmont, Freestyle, Oakworks and Continuum
FURNITURE: Novvo, Takara Belmont
DESIGN: Whitney R. Lannert, Rataj-Krueger Architects
ARCHITECT: Kurtis Krueger, Rataj-Krueger Architects



“Stunningly gorgeous, bold pops of color juxtaposed against the muted overall tones bring to life the striking balance between yin and yang.”—Morehouse

“An explosion of color splendor… architectural details that demand attention.”—Putman

“The ceiling and fl oor patterns create a great sense of vitality and movement. I especially like the bubble lighting which makes the space feel alive.”—Jercha

“The dimensional qualities and unexpected design details in this expansive space make a dramatic statement.”—Pelafas

“This is a great space, plus, it looks fun to work in!”—Nunes

Design in Balance

AT FIRST GLANCE, the interior of Ginger Bay Salon and Spa in Town and Country, Missouri, simply reads gorgeous. But upon further study, it quickly becomes apparent exactly how much thought and time the salon’s owner Laura Ortmann and her team put into the layout, material selection and design.

To create interest in an otherwise rectangular space, the overall salon design was based on the concept of yin and yang. This is clearly reflected by the black and white color contrast throughout the space, as well as the softly curving floor plan mirrored by the ceiling soffits which creates a path that flows through the processes of the salon.

“To maintain a sense of openness and achieve a contemporary atmosphere, we went with a gallery feel, with large-sized art hanging throughout the space and underlit retail shelving emphasizing the sophistication of the products.”

At 2,800 square feet, Ginger Bay’s newest location represents only a quarter of the company’s ­flagship salon, but that only made the design process more challenging, says Ortmann. “We wanted to incorporate hair, massage, esthetics, nails and retail, all while creating a sense of comfort and luxury,” she says. “And while it needed to balance between salon and spa, we wanted to explore a more fashionable and creative side of Ginger Bay here, while our Kirkwood location evokes spa and relaxation.”

It was a tall design order, but Ortmann assembled just the team to do it. Upfront, she worked closely with Novvo on selecting eco-friendly ‑fixtures featuring energy-efficient lighting to support the salon’s Aveda retail. When faced with a decision on what to do with a structural column, Ortmann and her architect took a lesson from a recent expansion at her ­flagship salon, and installed a sink into the center and designed an experience center around it.

“At our other location, staff are constantly running back and forth with bowls and towels, here we have an organized space to conduct experiential services with clients, or small services, like hand massages, designed to engage the clients’ senses with the different product offerings.”

On the styling floor, Ortmann collaborated with Takara Belmont and Freestyle Systems to maximize every square inch, while simultaneously designing stations that kept all product stored and surfaces clean. Electric chairs and suspended dryers also lessen workplace stress on the staff while maintaining a cord-free environment. The exposed color bar, with stainless steel countertop, has proven to increase both color productivity and profitability while engaging clients in the color mixing experience. The salon’s use of Millennium software keeps all in-take forms and necessary information at the touch of a button, helping maintain a paperless business. And, Ortmann reports the salon is one of the first to use Takara Belmont’s color tray that attaches directly to the styling chair, allowing her to do away with the rolling trays that necessitated additional storage.

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