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| September 24, 2020

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#SBAwards: Why We Chose Our 2019 Design Salon Winner

Sam Robinson

THEY SAY THE BEST THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT AND THAT WAS CERTAINLY TRUE FOR AESTHETICS; WHEN OWNERS ADRIAN AND SARAH BOWRON PURCHASED THEIR SECOND SALON PREMISES, IT WAS A GRADE II-LISTED BUILDING IN NEED OF A LOT OF WORK. THEY PERSEVERED AND CREATED AN OASIS SO INSPIRING, IT EARNT THEM THE GONG OF SALON BUSINESS AWARDS DESIGN SALON 2019. SEE WHAT WE FELL IN LOVE WITH.

The Concept

Alongside partner Adrian, Sarah Bowron had a strong vision when opening up their second salon in Henley in Arden. “I was very much inspired by the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi, which is sometimes described as an aesthetic that is ‘imperfect, impermanent and incomplete’. I liked the idea of a space that embraced the imperfections of the original building, and which
had transient spaces that were welcoming to everybody, no matter what they wanted from a salon experience,” explains Sarah, Co-owner of Aesthetics Hair & Beauty.


 
 
 
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Distinct Zones

They wanted to include distinct zones, that still flowed together, and to create a space where guests felt they could truly relax and enjoy the salon experience – whether that meant working on
emails, bringing their kids or dog in with them, or having some total zen time to switch off and escape the world. With a vision in mind, it made sense that Sarah took charge of the design, scouring Pinterest as she says: “My boards were full of concrete, antique brass sheeting, wood, open fireplaces – oh, and a garden swing!”

Drawing Up Plans

The building is Grade II-listed, so they employed an architect to draw up plans and navigate both planning and Heritage permissions, as well as helping them meet all the legal requirements. The result is a warm and welcoming front of house with a log fire, worn leather club seats, reclaimed beams, contrasting against the Tadelakt plaster walls. They also sourced vintage board games and books to add the final touches.

The Parlour

The Parlour is where cutting and finishing takes place. The walls are finished with the same Tadelakt plaster, in a shade of greige, which runs throughout the salon for flow. And you’ll always find
fresh, local flowers on each station to add a seasonal feel. The Snug has a cocoon-like feel, with its dramatic walls painted in Farrow & Ball’s soft black Railings colour,
another open fire, a wall covered in antique mirrors and low, serene lighting. “It’s the perfect place to relax at the backwash,” says Sarah.

Celeb Backwash

The Celebrity backwash units from Gamma & Bross provide Shiatsu massage and additional neck support, and combined with their complimentary Indian head massages, make for a truly
indulgent experience. “It’s a really blissful space, and makes you feel totally separated from the rest of the salon,” says Sarah. The main Studio is a real space to enjoy, with an abundance
of natural light courtesy of six skylights and Crittall-style doors that fold back to reveal a beautiful courtyard garden. A gorgeous reclaimed oak table sits in the centre of the room, standing on
a heated concrete floor for a true mix of old and new. This table, fitted out with chargers and loaded with flattering LED lighting around reclaimed mirrors is the real heart of the salon. “It’s one of my favourite features and our guests love it too – whether they’re working on emails, eating lunch or just relaxing while their colour processes, it’s a gorgeous spot to sit. Even the original iron rails
at either end of the table serve as a great place to hang tools and the antique pieces of brass sheeting don’t just look great, but are resilient to surface heat too,” says Sarah.


 
 
 
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Courtyard Garden

They also created a beautiful Courtyard Garden, which is totally private thanks to the pleached trees that create an aerial hedge. It has David Austin Roses, as well as lavender and lilac wisteria for a really rambling, romantic mix of English florals. There are lots of areas to sit and relax, have a drink or lunch, or just idly swing on the garden seat until the client’s colour is ready – bliss!

Separate Zones

With so much creativity going on, it’s difficult to highlight the most creative but we put the task to Sarah who said: “I think that creating separate distinct zones has really helped the salon achieve balance and keep the space interesting – it opens up before you to unfold, explore and discover on your own”.

Feeling inspired by their story? Download your entry pack for the Salon Business Awards 2020 Design Salon category here.