Salon of the Year

SOTY 2013 2nd Runner Up: Matthew Morris Salon and Skincare

Stacey Soble | May 3, 2013 | 12:36 AM
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When you visit Matthew Morris Salon and Skincare in Denver, Colorado—there are two major movements at play in the design—mobility and recycling. For everything in the 6,200-square-foot space, which formerly housed a Safeway, then a theatre, was designed to be easily moved out of the space and many of the furnishings were created from something unexpected. 

To pull off the task, owners Matthew Morris and Marvin Gutierrez employed FinArt, a firm that specializes in restoration, hardware-style custom furnishings, and is known in Colorado for designing furnishings for restaurants and clothing stores. For the salon, Finart fashioned the 26 stations out of refurbished railroad carts with vintage railroad wheels, welding holders for appliances and guest purses and building in electrical for uplighting effects in the frosted glass tops. The custom designed L’Oreal color wall, which features transparencies that rotate with the salon design team’s latest collections, sits on casters between two custom-designed bars made out of vintage Cessna wings. The bars double as workstations for guests while their color processes. In addition, the retail units were built on casters, and the mobile front desk also is designed from airplane wings.

The strategy behind the mobility is so the salon’s space itself can easily be re-purposed. “All the electrical is built into the floor, so all the equipment can be moved out to host education classes for up to 75 people using mannequin heads and plugging tools into the floor,” says Morris. “We’ve used the space for our grand opening and our Annual Anniversary shows, catering up to 450 guests. We have a garage door in the far North wall, and we moved everything out of the salon and into a moving truck, leaving the entire salon space empty.”


Matthew Morris Salon and Skincare
Denver, Colorado
OWNERS: Matthew Morris, Marvin Gutierrez
SALON STYLE: Rustic luxury, urban chic, re-purposed materials
EQUIPMENT: Takara Belmont
RETAIL LINE:Kerastase, ShuUemura, L’Oreal
DESIGN: West Standard Design & Build, Matthew Morris
ARCHITECT: Derek Soule, Western Standard
PHOTOGRAPHY: Frances Marron

“The natural light in the salon, combined with the chandeliers and spotlights create the perfect ambiance. The wood on the ceiling adds to the rustic, yet luxurious feel.”—Ortmann

“The refurbished railroad carts and vintage railroad wheels creates and artistic mixture of contemporary  design and the use of sustainable items to its fullest. The expression of the entire space is one of a kind design.”—McGwire

“Very creative in its versatility.”—Jercha

“Mobility is fun, makes future expansion easier, and keeps the environment fresh.”—Labos

“Great use of ceiling space compliments overall design.”—Valenzuela

“The greatest achievement in this salon’s design is the ultimate commitment to running a full functioning luxury salon while maintaining absolute mobility and ability to transform the space for other uses. To have all major components be mobile yet functional is a fantastic accomplishment! The message of mobility is in everything; railroad carts, airplane wings, vintage casters, and garage type doors. A very well conceived and executed concept!”—Soukhopalova

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