September 2012

Steve Sleeper

Beauty Insider| by Steve Sleeper


Keeping Your Salon Fresh

NAHA 2012 Salon Design Garcia-Grove
Barbara Garcia-Grove and Rick Grove, owners of Square Colour Salon + Spa, accept their NAHA for Salon Design at the 2012 Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas

NAHA 2012 Salon Design Winner, Barbara Garcia-Grove Shares Design Tips

While many people will gladly go to a restaurant considered "a hole in the wall" to eat, they won't be so lenient when it comes to their salon, regardless of how great the hairstylist may be.

The design of a salon, from the inside to the outside, and its ongoing maintenance is imperative to how your customers and employees see your brand and interact with your business.

Creativity and designing great hairstyles for clients is at the heart of the hairstyling profession, however, a space that is lacking in design and aesthetics is both unappealing to consumers and hairstylists alike.

Design is so important to the overall success of most salons, the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) has a North American Hairstyling Award (NAHA) to honor the salon that goes above and beyond to create a captivating space that welcomes clients, inspires creativity and uplifts the overall image of our industry.

Square Colour Salon + Spa, winner if the 2012 NAHA for Salon Design, is one such salon that has taken design to heart. Located in the upscale Las Vegas community of Summerlin, Square's owners, Rick Grove and Barbara Garcia-Grove, have created a beautiful space focused on contemporary design. The design has lent to their overall goal of attracting Las Vegas' top hairstylists and a clientele that is happy to say, "I go to Square!"


NAHA 2012 Salon Design Winners Square
Square's reception area features clean lines with pops of rejuvenating color to invite clients and stylists.
NAHA 2012 Salon Design Winner Square
Square's modernized station design adds depth and is practical, enjoyable space for both the client and stylist.

Barbara Garcia-Grove tells some of her top design secrets, ranging from what she's learned in her 20 plus years owning salons to secrets on how to save space and decrease clutter.

On a budget? Paint and paint it yourself: Your own sweat equity goes a long way when saving money so you can spend on other design essentials. Don't be afraid to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself and painting is one way. Carefully select colors that match your aesthetic with one or two key accents that will create a dramatic pop (i.e. an all-white salon with one bright red wall).

Flooring: Great design pulls everything together, so don't forget your floors. Some flooring looks great, but just doesn't hold up. In a high-traffic salon, finding flooring that can hide dirt, stand up to high-heels and pull your look together is key. Beautiful things can be done affordably by acid treating concrete. You can also pair some high-end accents like Italian glass tiles strategically placed into the floor to make the look appealing while not spending a lot. Look for tile remnants for this idea to save money.

Avoid the Assembly Line: Take your stations off the wall, lined up one after the other. We've found taking stations off the wall and putting them back to back at an angle creates a fresh look, but also creates a relatively private space clients and stylists enjoy. It also frees up your wall space to showcase some amazing art pieces.

Space Savers: Clutter simply takes away from your design. Look at ways to create built in-wall storage options and use pull-out drawers. This way, everything can be tucked away when not in use. Also, wall-mounting your processors are another way to eliminate space wasters. By using a flexible arm mount to the wall, the processing station can be pushed back and that space can be used for other things when not in use.

Maintain It: Just like maintaining your appearance, you have to maintain the salon's look, feel and the physical elements that make up the space. If you have a beautiful space but dirty baseboards from accumulated hair, your great design is all for nothing. Also, don't forget the reception and outside spaces of the salon. It's the first thing current clients, potential clients and your employees see. It sets the tone.

Ergonomics are Essential: You and your team are on their feet and all over the salon all day. To keep energized, look at how ergonomically sound your chairs, stations, and cabinets are. Raising cabinets a bit higher than normal is a great way to cut down on strain from bending down.

Retail Design Matters: If you want your clients to shop your salon for their beauty products, you have to promote your retail space, but also create an environment where they want to shop. From your "shelf talkers" to how product is arranged is important. Don't forget to change product position regularly and be sure that your physical display units are up to par and match the look you are trying to create.

If you have a great salon worthy of the NAHA Salon Design honor, make sure to submit your NAHA 2013 entry by February 8, 2013. Learn more and apply at

Jessi Marshall is the Director of Education and Industry Programs for the Professional Beauty Association (PBA). PBA's purpose is to advance the professional beauty industry by providing its members with business tools, government advocacy, education, networking, events and more to ensure business and career success. For more information about PBA education and events and competitions, including the 2013 North American Hairstyling Awards, contact Jessi at