Salon Design

5 Design Themes (& How to Make Them Work)

It’s amazing how a consistent theme can pull your salon’s whole look together. Perhaps counter-intuitively, the confines of a theme can make designing and marketing your salon so much easier. There’s a lot of room to be creative within any given theme, whether it’s floral or ocean or something completely different. We take a look at 16 salons that were on the same wavelengths with their design ideas, but managed to really make it their own.

Theme 4: French

Oh là là: Lovely salons inspired by a country that does beauty well.


Photography by Carissa Throop

Parisian Nails of Sequim
Sequim, Wash.

The vibe: Bohemian chic
Details that make it work: To get to France sans airfare, owner Sara Cole ordered fabric with Parisian imagery, then made curtain-style dividers for an existing bookcase. For the dresser, she used decoupage techniques to add scrapbook paper on the front of the drawers and distressed the furniture’s finish. She took a French-styled barber chair, then added a portable pedicure spa, for which her brother built an elevated platform/storage space. The salon gift certificates are equally adorable — the lucky recipient gets a card that says bonjour!, viola!, or mon ami.


Krème de la Krème Nail Lounge
Long Beach, Calif.

The vibe: French royalty
Details that make it work: Queen Marie Antoinette lives on in this salon, located in an affluent area of Long Beach, Calif. Glitzy chandeliers hang from the ceiling, artwork inspired by Antoinette adorns the walls, and the pink-and-brown color scheme lends an air of cultivated beauty with a nod toward girliness. Bonjour is painted above the entryway, and salon party attendees have been known to dress up as the late French queen.

La Jolie Nail Spa
Palo Alto, Calif.

The vibe: French-Vietnamese elegance
Details that make it work: La jolie translates to “pretty,” and this salon lives up to its name by highlighting the class and sophistication of its owners’ French-influenced Vietnamese heritage. Stunning French-styled chandeliers hang from the ceiling in the pedicure room, where mirrors in ornate wrought-iron-styled designs (similar to the wrought-iron stylings of the Eiffel Tower) embellish the spaces between stations. Classic wood furnishings and a color scheme of bold autumn orange, rich chocolate brown, and elegant beige complete the look. 

Next page: Ingredient-themed salons

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