Getting a manicure or pedicure at a salon is a luxury that often gets cut in tough economic times. However, a welcoming, stylish interior is one way to get customers to continue to splurge on this indulgence. Janet D'Angelo explains in her book, "Spa Business Strategies: A Plan for Success" that soft feminine colours and design used to be standard protocol. However, spas and salons of today are shifting towards warmer and bolder designs. Nail salon parlours have more latitude than ever to create an inviting interior.
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Stone Counter Tops
Those getting their nails painted spend ample time staring at their hands and consequently, the counter. Upgrade and install granite, marble or travertine counter tops. Choose a soft colour in white, black, beige or tan.
Fluorescent lights are common in nail parlours, but they do little to highlight nail colour polish and the work performed by the technician. Individual lighting above each work station makes the customer feel like she has an intimate space dedicated to her experience. Therefore, keep overhead lights low to create this personalised space and install glass-blown lights directly above the work stations. Illuminate the counter space directly where the hands are placed to provide additional lighting for the technicians. Select glass-blown lights swirled with bright red, orange and yellow. Only select bright colours if the rest of the parlour is designed in basic colours of black, white, beige or tan.
Wooden Nail Polish Cabinet
Customers spend ample time staring at the nail polish rack to choose their perfect colour, yet little attention is placed on the design of this space. Make the nail polish display attractive by choosing dark wooden racks. Create an ornate wooden frame around the racks to create the illusion of a cabinet. Then, create cabinet "doors" that protrude from the frame: either install wooden filigree-carved doors or use glass.
Make the space more feminine with the use of flowers. Place an orchid plant at the front desk and at each work station. If maintaining fresh flowers is too expensive, choose a colourful tropical plant like a bird of paradise or bromeliad. Place peace lilies in nail salons to offset the smell of toxic chemicals. Jon Carloftis, author of the book, "Beyond the Windowsill: Add Style to your Home with the Beauty of Indoor Plants."
Walls, often underestimated and painted a sterile white, turn inviting and rich with colours such as dark tan accented by chocolate or maroon. Place all posters in a wooden or glass frame and, ideally, place an overhead light directly on the image. Choose pictures of the city skyline, flowers or other neutral images. Never hang posters without a frame and remove any and all sun-damaged images from the area.
Hang a dark plum curtain behind the check-in desk to provide the illusion of the salon as an exclusive area. Let people on the street see the image of a sleek wooden desk, bouquet of flowers, a glass-blown light above and a purple curtain backdrop. Let the front desk attendant greet each incoming customer and seat them as one would at a restaurant. Choose comfortable, spacious and stylish furniture for the waiting room, perhaps egg-shaped retro chairs or cracked leather sofas. Place promotional materials such as a booklet of nail styles and designs on the waiting room table.
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