Play Time

A total redesign proves to be a game-changing strategy for a hip salon in California.

As a result of huge growth over the past few years, the 8-year-old Play Hair Lounge in Simi Valley, CA was in need of a makeover to utilize its space more efficiently, according to owner and stylist Brig Van Osten. Along with adding a 10th chair to the 1,475-square-foot salon, she wanted to create a permanent photo studio for stylists to capture client makeovers, as well as elevate the decor, brighten and unify the space, increase client comfort, and “make it super awesome,” says Van Osten. She worked closely with Samantha Swanson, Play Hair Lounge’s director and stylist, on the redesign’s vision. “I wanted it to be a breath of fresh air compared with our old space.”

Harnessing a mid-century modern pop-art vibe with aviation-related accents, the space features Andy Warhol prints, a repurposed coffee bar as a front desk, and styling stations with plumbing pipe to secure the mirrors, custom wood tops and caster wheels for movement. Wooden toy chests function as towel cabinets, and Play Hair Lounge manager Jena Wright purchased couches online and reupholstered them with vintage airplane fabric. In fact, most aspects of the salon were designed and repurposed by staff members. “We love DIY,” Van Osten says. “We are creative and resourceful far beyond the hair world, and this talent really helped us make some beautiful and unique things within the reach of our budget.”


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Van Osten set out to create a muted color palette, but ended up with primary colors instead. An orange wall was the first to be painted, and though it was louder than she anticipated, she loved it and decided to keep it. Clients, too, seem to love the colors, as well as the entire space. “The response from clients has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Van Osten. “They’ve been asking us for the paint color names so they can use them in their homes. That’s super cool.” ✂ —Nicole Altavilla