It’s an open secret that many salons owe their interior design to their neighborhood IKEA store. The home furnishings giant — known for its affordable prices, streamlined modern design esthetic, do-it-yourself assembly, and store layouts that mimic individual room layouts — is the perfect design playground for the money-wise entrepreneur. But what many salon owners don’t realize is that IKEA is in on the big secret: The retailer has dedicated people and tools devoted to business interior design, including salon design — all you have to do is ask.  

“We want to cater to every customer of ours, particularly our business customers,” says Christopher Garcia, public relations manager at Illinois’ IKEA Bolingbrook. “We encourage all business customers to work with our team to ensure they’re having their space designed and laid out by our design experts.” The neighboring IKEA Schaumburg store even has a mock salon display in the store. Plus, this year, both Chicago-area IKEAs will be exhibiting at America’s Beauty Show (March 27-29) to talk directly with salon owners.

For salon owner Linda Licocci of Blade: Hair Skin Body in Chicago, the IKEA business team has proved an indispensable asset. “I was looking for an Asian minimalist style. That was exactly what we created,” Licocci says. She started shopping IKEA by herself, but in the past year and a half, she’s been working with Kenneth Woodman, an IKEA business designer, to help her develop the look for her 1,200-sq.-ft. salon. “I tell him what my needs are, then we brainstorm and he runs me around the store. At my most recent appointment, he took me through kitchens, dressers, and storage units.” Appointments are required, but they’re free (you pay for what you purchase). Licocci says she’s already met with Woodman four times, with some appointments lasting more than an hour.

IKEA can help you design and furnish the majority of your salon space, with a few ­exceptions like hair-rinsing sinks (the retailer’s sinks aren’t deep enough) and hydraulic chairs for hair clients (for nail clients, the stores have an array of office chairs that would fit the bill), which must be obtained through a beauty supplier. But for most other furnishings, store designers can have solutions custom made for you. “Most of our business solutions are custom because everyone’s needs are going to be very different,” Garcia says. In Licocci’s case, IKEA is helping her custom design an additional stylist station (after her current station set-up was discontinued) and a custom wall unit to replace some drapes she’s currently using as space separators. Designers can also help you think of ways to make IKEA designs your own to eliminate any generic feel. For instance, Licocci turned several shelving units vertically to better serve her needs.

Licocci says she receives compliments on her salon design all the time. “My landlord was thrilled, commenting that from the street it’s indistinguishable as to whether the space is a lounge or a salon. I call it ‘urban upscale.’ Sometimes clients ask, ‘Did you get that shelf from IKEA?’ but the way the units are spread out, it would take a trained eye to identify the items as from IKEA. I’d absolutely recommend the design help to other salon owners.”

To get started, call your local IKEA and ask for its business manager or visit


Blade Hair Skin Body, Chicago: Circled items are from IKEA. Not shown: an IKEA bar stool at the desk and at the makeup bar.


IKEA Trade Show Salon Mock-Up

1. These white bins are available in the home organization section and are ideal as recycling or trash bins.

2. The metal cart is one of IKEA’s bath products but it’s perfect for storing salon tools.

3. Akurum, a line of kitchen cabinetry, IKEA mirrors, and a custom countertop create salon workstations.

4. A variety of spotlighting is available in the lighting department.

5. The IKEA Expedit can be used on its side (as shown here) or kept upright and has the
option of legs; the bath products on top of the unit are available in select markets.

6. The Vejmon coffee table has a lower shelf that is ideal for storing magazines, and matching side tables are available.

7. These chairs are also available in black leather.

8. A variety of stools are available in the dining department.

9. The bottom part of the cashwrap is IKEA’s Effektiv, and the top part is a countertop.


For Nail Salons

Though the examples here showcase hair-focused salons, IKEA can help design nail-focused salons as well. Garcia of IKEA Bolingbrook offers these suggestions (Article numbers are provided when known. The number pulls up the product details on

> manicure station: Bestå Burs desk (#50147354), Malm dressing table (#70143147), or custom Akurum cabinetry

> rolling manicure supplies cart: Alex drawer unit on casters (#30104322)

> nail tech stool: Urban bar stool (#50135657)

> professional wash stations: kitchen department’s stainless steel sinks with aligned countertops

> organizational tools: Anordna storage units or customized Akurum cabinetry  

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