Décor on a Dime: Cheap, Easy and Beautiful

Bileddo salvaged doors from the St. Louis Public Library and turned them into unique mirrors at each chair. (Photo by Povareshka/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

As we enter a new year, it might be a great time to freshen up your salon with a new look. Don’t have tons of money to spend on a professional decorator? Don’t worry. We talked with Kelly Bileddo, (@salonantebellum) Sexy Hair Master Artist and owner of Salon Antebellum in St. Louis, MO, and found out her best “decorating on a dime” tips. 

Q: If you can only “splurge” on one décor upgrade, what should it be and why? 

A:  It would definitely have to be new paint. Think about it, as colorists we change hair color all the time, giving a client a fresh start. We even do this for ourselves when we need to feel rejuvenated. It’s the same thing for your surroundings. A new paint job packs the biggest décor punch because it feels like a new beginning.  


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Q: Do you have any “cheap” décor tricks to make a disorganized space look more organized?  

A:  When I first opened my salon, I was determined to do it for under 20k. I wanted everything to be inexpensive yet classy. I rummaged through second-hand stores searching for items that would give my salon a homey feeling and clients something different to look at. My favorite piece was a bar that my staff member found for me. Color can be messy so we converted this bar to a color bar. No mess to be seen and best of all it was free! My advice is to find a local junk store, second-hand store or salvage yard. Go for a day and look around. Your head will start spinning with ideas.

Q: What décor tricks can you share that make a client feel more at home? 

A:  We have a couch I found on craigslist. It reminded me of my grandmother’s sofa with its wooden legs and “French Provincial Era” vibe. I bought some material at JoAnn and a staple gun from Home Depot, and I made that couch my own. I loaded it with pillows and now it’s our processing couch in the guest lounge. 

Q: Without spending a lot of money (or no money at all) how can you make each booth look more polished and professional?  

A: I found doors from the St. Louis Public Library at a salvage yard. They were beautiful. I replaced the Plexiglass with mirrors and refinished the wood. What could have been thousands of dollars was done for a few hundred. They make a presence in the salon and are so different.