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Posts by Benedict

First purpose-built spa in England for 20 years

Lifehouse in Essex is a countryside spa with a difference. Set in 130 acres of fields and woodland, 12 acres of gardens, with seven lakes and their associated waterways, the spa is on the site of Thorpe Hall which was the former home of an envoy to George V.

The hall is no more, having made way for a modern purpose-built development which demanded a £30 million pound investment. Architects and interior designers at The Manser Practice were responsible for the design of the project, and describe the new buildings as:

“modern, simple and restrained and form a series of courtyards creating outside ‘rooms’ linking the interior to the less formal existing gardens. Views out of the buildings across the gardens occur in almost every direction and once the planting is established the new spa will sit calmly in its setting; a haven of peace and quiet.”

Inside, the décor is designed to be relaxing and comfortable, with industrial influences combined with fresh, clean colours and simple and stylish furniture. Bedrooms are given a chirpy feel with stripy carpets and brighter colours, while soft greys decorate the chill out areas, which are furnished with chaises longue and massage chairs.

Creating a Zen-inspired salon space

The ultimate aim for many hair salon and beauty spa designers is to create a blissfully relaxing, calming space. Clients should feel that they can escape the stresses of the outside world, surrendering themselves to luxury and pampering.

To turn your salon or spa into a haven of relaxation, you can find inspiration in the Buddhist principles of Zen. Whilst many Zen-inspired interior designs borrow heavily from Japanese influences, including salon furniture, materials and designs, this isn’t all there is to it.

Bear these tips in mind:

Create a space that is calm, clear, pure and open

You can use light, space and layout to achieve this in your salon, creating a tranquil and soothing environment for clients. You can also try removing all clutter and toning down the colour scheme, so that only neutral, ‘quiet’ shades are used.

Please the senses

By removing clutter and decoration, you are allowing the pure simplicity and beauty of the salon design to shine through. However, you should also decorate your salon lovingly and fill it with materials and textures that please the senses. Choose salon furniture that is comfortable and welcoming.

Medmenham spa wins prestigious health and wellbeing award

A luxurious spa in Medmenham, Buckinghamshire, has been awarded a prestigious accolade from one of the top health and well-being magazines in the UK.

In a round-up of the best health, beauty and well-being spas in the world, Natural Health magazine named the spa at the Danesfield House Hotel the UK’s Most Relaxing Spa 2011. The editor of the magazine Emma Van Hinsbergh spoke of the excellent standard of the competition as a whole:

“We were overwhelmed by the high quality of the entries, including Danesfield House.”

This latest award from Natural Health is just one of many the hotel has achieved this year and last, with head chef Adam Simmonds also earning a coveted Michelin Star in January.

The Danesfield House Spa boasts the very latest in salon equipment and advanced spa technology, and offers guests the choice of many facilities including a sauna room, steam room and ozone-cleansed pool.

The director of the spa, Helena Cotton, said:

“It’s fantastic that the hotel and spa has received this recognition. We are so proud to have been named alongside some of the best spas in the world.”

Three space-saving strategies for small salons and spas

In today’s wobbly economy, splashing out a lot of money on a large salon space is considered to be too risky for most new salon owners. This is why the ‘boutique’ salon is on the rise, with cute, quirky salons popping up everywhere.

However, there is a fine line between a boutique salon and a cramped, crowded, poorly-designed space. Your salon space shouldn’t feel too small to customers; it should seem like it was specially designed that way.
So, try these space-saving strategies to make the best use of your small salon:

1. Widen the centre line. This is the space between rows of salon chairs, a layout that most salons adopt. It can make the salon look cramped and narrow if the chairs are too close together, so try to widen them i.e. by placing them at an angle.

2. Get rid of clutter. The instant you smarten up your salon space by clearing up clutter and sorting out some serious storage, the bigger your salon will appear.

3. Lighten up your colour scheme. Using lots of neutral colours and whites will reflect the natural light coming into the salon (provided you have some decent windows) and make the space seem airier and brighter.

Dudley spa opened by TV personality Christopher Biggins

A new salon in the Dudley town of Brierley Hill has been launched in theatrical style with the help of a famous face – TV personality Christopher Biggins.

Mr Biggins, who is best known for winning I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here in 2007, opened the Imagine Spa, based within Copthorne Hotel, as well as taking advantage of the complementary spa treatments offered to guests attending the launch event. As cut the official ribbons, Biggins said:

“I am very excited to be here and I am going to take all my clothes off and have a full body massage. It is the only reason I came.”

Biggins also met with representatives from Dudley Cancer Support, a charity which has formed a unique partnership with the Imagine Spa. The Copthorne Hotel has agreed to donate proceeds from spa bookings made on the launch event to the charity, to help it’s lifesaving work continue.

The Imagine Spa itself is kitted out with the latest salon equipment and furniture, offering treatments such as manicures, pedicures, facials, massages and waxing. The spa also has three beauty treatment rooms and a dedicated men’s spa.

Don’t waste money on design disasters

Designing your own salon from scratch can be very exciting, so much so that many salon owners can get carried away. This can result in impulse purchases, reckless spending and wildly impractical ideas, none of which will help to improve the look of your salon. Worse still, it can drain your bank balance at a time when money is tight.

This is why it is best to plan out your salon décor and design carefully, seeking expert advice about what will and won’t work and remembering to stick to a budget. During this process, bear in mind the following design disasters and avoid them like the plague.

The wrong type of flooring. Remember how full of moisture and humidity the salon environment is and the bubbling, warping effect this can have on certain types of wood and cork flooring.

Improper plumbing. A number of spas and salons are fitting more advanced water facilities these days, such as powerful showerheads and hydrotherapy tubs. However, if you don’t have a plumbing system that can handle it, you could have a flooding problem on your hands.

Wild and wacky colours. Bright like hot pink or lime green may be in fashion at the time, but they won’t flatter your clients or their newly coloured hair.

Hooka Button Street launches in Liverpool

The celebrity hair salon Hooka has opened a second salon in the centre of Liverpool, the latest branch being found on Button Street.

Hooka Button Street was officially opened with a glittering launch event and after-party, attended by a whole host of reality TV stars. Former X Factor hopefuls Lloyd Daniels, TreyC Cohen and Marlon McKenzie showed up, as did The Only Way is Essex stars James Argent, Sam Faiers and Harry Derbridge and former Big Brother contestants JJ Bird and John James Parton.

Dion Padan, the host of the party and the salon’s owner and style director, explained how the Hooka brand has evolved from a men’s grooming business to a unisex hair and beauty haven. He said:

“It has changed a lot in the time it has been open and is already gaining a great reputation by being featured in the media and winning both hair and business awards.

“The biggest change, due to demand, was that we invited women in to experience the hair and body services at the salon, back in early 2008.”

The salon itself is hip, urban and chic, its spacious layout providing room for ample salon equipment and treatment areas.

Soul Hair salon opens in Tarporley, Cheshire

The Cheshire town of Tarporley welcomed a brand new business this month as the Soul Hair salon opened its doors on High Street.

The owners of Soul Hair, James Whyte and Vitina Seminara, opened the salon after the success of their first business, a Chester-based salon founded three years ago. The salon and its employees have won numerous nationally recognised awards, including Best Hairdresser of the Year (Midlands) for James Whyte at the British Hairdressing Awards 2009.

The duo have managed to replicate the stunning interiors and fashionable yet welcoming feel of their flagship branch in the new Tarporley salon, which features a similarly high-spec, flawless design and the very latest salon equipment and furniture.

Describing the salon, owner Vitina says:

“From the moment you enter the salon the Soul Hair team will go above and beyond to make your visit a warm, welcoming experience,”

“Our specialist stylists and colourists combine experience and expertise to capture your personality and complement your style with the perfect cut and colour,”

Soul Hair in Tarporley was launched with an opening celebration, with guests enjoying champagne, canapés and special demonstrations.

Reinvent your salon space in three ‘power moves’

If your salon is looking a bit dated and profits are down, or even if you just fancy a change, it may be time to reinvent the space. You don’t have to spend lots of money doing this, nor do you need any specialist knowledge or skills. All you need is a few ‘power moves’ – simple steps that can make a big difference to how your salon looks and feels.

The following are three ‘power moves’ that will instantly refresh your salon space:

1. Get a better lighting scheme. Whether it’s letting more natural light in or adding lamps to create an ambient glow, a more varied lighting scheme can transform how your salon’s décor looks.

2. Create a staff break area. There is nothing as off-putting to clients as staff hanging around the salon floor snacking and chatting on their breaks, making your salon look untidy and unprofessional. Even if it’s just fitting a curtain, create a dedicated space for your staff to enjoy breaks.

3. Invest in ‘hidden’ storage. Something as simple as an organised, portable trolley or a mirrored cabinet can help you tidy away all the clutter ruining the look of your salon.

Popular Torquay salon opens new Exeter branch

A popular hair and beauty salon in Torquay has proved so successful that its owners are planning to open a new branch in Exeter, to make it easier for far-flung clients to access their services.

The Salon Torquay is based in Wellswood and owned by BJ Blackmore and Ian Redwood. It offers the very best salon equipment and a number of luxury beauty treatments, including hair and scalp health consultations from world-famous trichologist Philip Kingsley.

Even despite the effects of the economic recession, the salon has gone from strength to strength. Explaining that clients have been coming from far and wide for treatments, Ian says:

“Our business in Torquay has grown because people are interested in what we do. Now we are expanding.”

As part of the pair’s expansion plans, The Salon Southernhay in Exeter will open today (3rd March). Based in the Southernhay Clinic, the salon will offer professional treatments from highly-trained beauty and well-being therapists, as well as standard cutting and styling services. Ian adds:

“We are going to be working in a clinic which is great. It is hairdressing but in a completely different way, which is exciting.”