Design brief

Hair, beauty and wellness specialists, the Stress Exchange, near London Bridge, offer some of London’s best styling talent, as well as leading beauty and wellness treatments and therapies.

With the salon setting split over two floors, the ground floor offering beauty and wellbeing and the top floor hairdressing – the space was disjointed physically, as well as with the interior design and branding. Yet, the existing salon spa environment worked well – the design and ambience shaped by an organic and natural interior scheme, provided a relaxing and atmospheric feel.

The design brief for Retail Experience Design was to integrate the two floors, creating a holistic hair, beauty and wellness oasis.

Our Approach

The existing hair salon space was over 15 years old and noticeably dated, featuring suspended ceilings, tiles, poor lighting, and cheap vinyl flooring. With a lack of feature mirrors and consideration to workstations, space was pretty much ‘run of the mill’ and typical of a high street hairdressing environment.  Although the branding was sound, it failed to translate externally – resulting in the facia and signage appearing visually basic and discreet.

The budget was a key focus and determined the scale of the refurbishment project, so with the ground floor already offering an attractive spa environment, Retail Experience Design’s approach was to transform the hairdressing salon to fuse both parts of the business. The budget didn’t allow for Retail Experience Design to strip the complete space, so it was necessary to work within the existing structure.

What we delivered

Retail Experience Design created concept pack and visuals to interpret the proposed salon re-design, beginning with new signage and opening of the window area worked to create a visually exciting exterior. Tired posters replaced with stylish product window displays and space aimed to attract passers-by, providing them with a glimpse into the rejuvenated ‘on-trend’ salon environment.

To extend the natural and organic feel already achieved by the spa, the selection of materials and finishes for the salon interior were chosen to give a raw, rustic, earthy impression. The interior design focused on brand translation into the physical environment, as well as key features such as lighting, feature mirrors and colours. Clever space planning achieved scope for a new counter, workstations and hair wash island – all rudimentary elements when considering a working salon environment. What’s more, rear counter display unit, hidden storage, and cloakroom helped to achieve a neat appearance throughout the space. The result – a sleek salon design, with a natural, rustic and earthy undertone that worked to integrate and fuse both the salon and wellbeing environments.

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