Archive for March, 2011

Southport businesswoman opens third beauty spa

Despite many businesses and shops closing in the wake of the recession, a mother-of-two from Southport in Merseyside is bucking the trend and opening her third beauty spa.

Kate Harrison, 28, opened her first salon in Southport when she was just 21, specialising in offering exclusive beauty treatments and the very latest salon equipment. After enjoying success with her first and then second businesses, Kate has now opened a brand new salon – Senses Spa on Duke Street.

The Southport spa is staffed by a team of skilled therapists who have years of experience in all aspects of cosmetic and holistic beauty, as well as alternative treatments such as Egyptian massage and foot mapping. Services on offer at Senses Spa include waxing, laser photo-rejuvenation, microdermabrasion facial treatments and eyebrow threading.

Speaking proudly of her new venture, Kate said:

“Whether it’s bridal airbase make-up or a micro-dermabrasion facial I am making sure Southport is kept up to date with all the latest worldwide celebrity treatments.

“I am looking forward to opening the new salon. I would like to thank all my customers for their continued response, and welcome new customers to the salon.”

The top six salon flaws that customers hate…and how to avoid them pt.2

Some salon owners complain that they aren’t getting the business they feel they deserve, but they can’t understand why. The answer could be in a mistake you’ve made in the design, decoration or maintenance of your salon, one that is putting customers off more than you could imagine.

We’ve already looked at dirty salons and problems with dated and over-the-top décor, but what other issues should you avoid?

Drab lighting. A poorly designed lighting scheme can make clients look bad, their cut and colour a failure and the salon utterly depressing. You need to embrace light and properly illuminate the space and create the right mood with a lighting scheme that uses different types of lights creatively.

Lack of personality. If you have a salon space that looks like all the rest, with no identity of its own, how are your clients supposed to know what to expect? Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd and give your salon a personality using colour, branding and your own individual style.

Faulty equipment and salon furniture. If your salon chairs give customers splinters and your massage chairs only work 50 per cent of the time, you need to spend some money and replace them. Trust us: your customers will appreciate it.

The top six salon flaws that customers hate…and how to avoid them pt.1

You may not realise it, but the smallest flaws and imperfections in your salon can be extremely off-putting to your clients. Of course, it goes without saying that the huge, glaring problems can drive potential customers away too.

The following are the top five large and small problems with salon furniture, décor and design that most put your clients off, as well as how to fix them.

Dirt, dust and grime. This can make your salon look like no one cares about it and your customers worry that the same poor standards may be applied to their cut, colour or treatment, not to mention the concern that they may catch something! Organise a big clean and a de-clutter until your salon is sparkling, and then draw up a cleaning rota or hire cleaners to ensure that it stays that way.

Dated décor. If you walked into a salon and the décor was at least a decade out of fashion, wouldn’t you worry that you may leave with a haircut from the same era? Your salon needs to look fresh, fashionable and on-trend, reflecting the cutting-edge services you offer.

Intimidatingly chic. In the quest for the most ‘of the moment’ salon décor, you may end up creating a high-concept, minimalist space that most clients are too scared to enter. Remember – balance is key, so add in some comfy chairs, bright colours and leafy plants.

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.

Interior design trends for 2011

Give your salon a makeover by changing colour and accessories to complement your existing salon furniture and transform the look and feel of the place. See if the trends below spark your imagination.

1. Modesty – efficiency of space and materials combined with geometrical design. Think green without being glaringly obvious – the emphasis on energy efficiency and sustainability looks set to continue.

2. Flamingo Pink – apparently the colour of choice this year… and if you think this is a good look for your salon, a lick of pink paint is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to create a contemporary look to complement your existing salon furniture.

3. LED lighting – economic and energy efficient, start looking for replacements for incandescent bulbs before they disappear forever.

4. Wire frameworks – vintage and modern – look for steel framed accessories to bring your salon’s look up to date.

5. Geometric shapes and angular patterns – look for lozenges and trapezoids on rugs, wallpaper and cushions.

6. Moroccan and Bohemian influences – hint at the exotic feel of a riad with lamps, trays, pouffes and vivid patterns and colours.

7. Eclectic interiors – mix but don’t necessarily match! Just make sure you don’t create too much clutter, and keep it simple.

8. Vintage = 70s – if flamingo pink is OTT in your eyes, go for hues of mustard and avocado and start swotting up on 70s interior design…

9. Books as decoration – sad, but true – books are now good for decoration, even if nobody reads them! Raid your local second-hand bookshop.

10. Bamboo, concrete and wood grain – think flooring, lighting, planters, wallpaper and other accessories for a mixture of the natural and industrial, whilst still fitting the eco-friendly bill.

Subterranean Victorian Baths crossed with New York Cool

Conrad Blandford has swapped Manhattan sophistication for Sheffield’s vibrant Devonshire Quarter, and in the process has created a hair salon with a difference.

His nine years spent in the Big Apple while managing Charles Worthington’s salon in Manhattan obviously left its mark, and so when he decided to open his own salon here in the UK, his aim was

‘to create a stylish New York basement bar feel.’

An 1836 subterranean historical site doesn’t immediately seem like an obvious choice, particularly if the space has been derelict for fifteen years and has been used previously as the boiler rooms of the building.

And yet, Conrad explains that is was the history of the building that attracted him to the site. The attempt to recreate “the relaxed luxury” of the ornate Victorian Turkish baths that previously occupied the building and the urban cool of a New York bar could seem to be a flight of fancy.

Conrad has achieved it, however, with a combination of exposed brickwork and wooden floors, intelligent use of lighting and blue glass. Unusual additions to salon furniture include a cocktail bar and internet stations to complete the feel of a Manhattan bar.

The clever blend of old and new, landmark building with a simple and modern interior, create a unique hair salon that is a fine example of a good idea well executed.

Southport beauty spa reopens after fire

A popular beauty spa in the Merseyside town of Southport has reopened its doors to the public following a serious fire which caused thousands of pounds in damage to salon equipment and spa facilities.

The Portland Hall Spa went up in flames two weeks ago, with the fire believed to have been started by arsonists. The sauna area and swimming pool of the spa, situated within a beautiful and historic former synagogue, sustained the most damage. Owner Lyn Siddle explained:

“The arson attack knocked us all for six, we still have no idea who was behind it or why anyone would target it.

“But we’re a small business and there was no room for us to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves.”

Following a frenzy of damage control, cleaning and redecoration by the spa’s owners, staff and friends, the Portland Hall Spa has been returned to its former glory and is ready to take on new appointments.

The spa boasts the very latest salon equipment and facilities, including a Moroccan rasul and dry float and a candle-lit spa pool, and has won numerous awards. In fact, it was named one of the top five spas in the UK at the British Beauty Awards.

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.”

Complement your classic design

Our last article gave advice on how to choose a salon design concept with longevity, with the emphasis on a classic and timeless base complemented with current and fashionable décor.

Following the same lines of this approach, here are some ideas of where to look find inspiration for the décor once you have chosen your classic basic look:

• Keep it sustainable. Green is fashionable, and the emphasis is on reproduction rather than original when it comes to decorating your salon. Avoid using hardwoods that are depleting rainforests. Advances in technology mean that high quality prints pressed onto board are an effective way of creating an atmosphere, and using prints and wallpaper can be an effective way of creating a striking look that can be changed if necessary.

• Make your salon unique with recycled or reclaimed materials. Scour antique shops or try your hand at auctions and go for unique items that can create conversation and give an identity to the place. If you do decide to change the décor a year down the line, simply put your objects back into auction!

• Create a home from home. Salons such as the Sabai Salon in Newcastle have used classic features in the building, such as (original) hardwood flooring, enormous sash windows and open fireplaces and combined them with modern furniture designed to add to the warm and welcoming feel. Think of a lounge you would love to have at home, and you get the idea of the atmosphere they have created. Go for salon furniture upholstered in leather, velvet or suede and hang framed mirrors on the walls to create the feel of comfort with a touch of opulence.