Pink hair may be what the fashion world is still hailing as the biggest thing coming out of hipster hair salons. But to those in our arena, it’s the interior design that’s been getting more noticeably inventive. Design bible Dezeen even has a whole section dedicated to salon design to prove it – albeit with a heavy emphasis on tasteful Japanese minimalism. Here at The Chromologist, we’re celebrating a couple of small start-ups in London for their colourful interiors and their pioneering approaches to blending hair with art – something we think will grow and grow.
At On The Floor in Hackney, founders Barry Linnen and Ferdia Genc have created an eye-smacking hot pink and orange room dotted with brightly striped custom-made furniture, Pegboard displays, wonkily painted storage boxes and hair products that chime perfectly with the whole lot. “We wanted to play around with different materials and surfaces to make it as fun and interesting as possible,” Barry told us. “We liked the nostalgia attached to pegboard and the rubber floor tiles you used to get in leisure centres.” Barry also namechecks “our good mate John Booth,” for helping with the design and it’s true that you can see his illustrative fingerprints throughout the distinctive room.
The colour scheme emerged from what the duo love – “pinks and greens, we hate blacks and greys!” says Barry – as well as their experiences of working in other salons before On The Floor. “We wanted to make it much more bright and contemporary. We didn’t pre-plan if the colours would be good for surveying haircuts, but it turned out to be sympathetic for that.” The duo has also added in design objets to their displays so that the experience of having a hair cut is greater than usual. “We got addicted to buying Peter Shire mugs,” says Barry. “It’s something we are always looking to add to.” Interestingly, he also notes that while customers are often uncomfortable looking into a mirror for hours at a time, “the feedback is that they don’t mind it in our salon.” Which surely has something to do with the enlivening palette all around.
In Peckham, gender neutral salon DKUK has done away with mirrors entirely, preferring instead to use the wall space for art. Owned by Daniel Kelly, the salon recieves funding support from the Arts Council England to showcase work which, as Daniel recently noted in the FT, means that customers, “come in for a haircut and end up spending an hour with some quite challenging art. I see it as a new model for showing the work of interesting artists to people who would never go into a gallery.”
Daniel worked with Sam Jacob Studio to work on his tiny, playful interior with its refreshing palette of white with zingy yellow custom made furniture. The walls appear panelled thanks to strips of mirror, and shelves and furniture give a distinctive framework to the space as well as practical hanging space for installations. As London property continues to shrink, blending art with hair could well be a future that many other places adopt too. Either way it’s a colour-loving trend that we’re into.