Intelligent Design

While each element of a salon, from the reception desk to the pedicure area, is essential to the overall aesthetic, adding unique details can really elevate the space. "Finishes truly enhance the interior of a salon and transform it into a space that everyone is talking about," says Jennifer Millspaugh, an interior designer with Old Saybrook, CT-based Salon Design Crew. Here, Millspaugh shares some ideas on giving your salon that extra-special touch.


USE ELEMENTS OF LIGHT. "Translucent acrylic panels can be used throughout a salon and spa," Millspaugh says. "They look fantastic as walls, illuminated desk fronts, backsplashes and more." These eco-friendly light-filtering sheets are made by encapsulating recycled or organic material inside resins or acrylics.

ADD EYE-CATCHING TEXTURES TO WALLS. Decorative three-dimensional panels can give dramatic interest to hallways or backdrops behind reception desks or be used as accent walls in styling areas. Designs range from carved-out medium-density fiberboard to ornamental textures made from rock-hard composites. Most can be painted to match the space, but Millspaugh says that lighter colors work best to show off the sculptural elements of the panels.


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INVEST IN REAL WOOD VENEERS. "Nothing says rich and luxurious like real wood veneers," Millspaugh says. "This finish will give your salon a soothing and timeless look of beauty and distinction. Though they may cost a bit more than traditional plastic laminate, the look and feel pays for itself."

BE CONCRETE. Concrete is another versatile material that looks trendy and sleek when used in a salon atmosphere. It can be poured into any shape—such as a countertop or sink—tinted to any color, and given any finish. —L.M.

For more tips and salon design ideas, or to contact Jennifer Millspaugh, visit


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