Intelligent Design

Despite the recession, it's important to keep your salon looking fresh, says Theresa Ciarlone, a sales design consultant and interior designer for Belvedere. "Minimal topical changes don't cost a lot and can make a huge difference in the salon's appearance," she says. "Remodeling attracts new clients and boosts staff morale. It sends the message that you're successful and cutting-edge." Here, she shares some easy ways to update without breaking your budget.

Clique Salon and Spa, Burlington, NJ
Clique Salon and Spa, Burlington, NJ

MAKE AN ENTRANCE. Ciarlone recommends changing your signage or adding lighting to the retail area to draw attention to the salon even after-hours. The reception desk can easily (and inexpensively) get a new look with acrylic panels, mosaic tiles, back-lighting or granite tops. "Your desk will look new with very little cost," she says.

HIT A WALL. "Creating a feature wall really punches up the space," says Ciarlone, who recommends painting a wall with a vibrant color, adding some texture or making a fabric wall.

REFRESH JUST ONE AREA. Ciarlone suggests replacing your sinks and adding backbar services to help recoup the cost or getting new light fixtures that will create certain moods. Another easy update is to swap chair tops. "Belvedere can replace the tops for their chairs," she says, "giving you new colors or styles without having to buy whole new chairs."

ADD ACCESSORIES. "Adding color and texture provides a decorative flair," Ciarlone says, pointing to decorative pillows, luxurious drapery, vibrant artwork and foliage as cheap and easy ways to add interest. For more information, visit