I just finished designing a salon and gallery in San Francisco called The Pretty Pretty Collective.
It turned out absolutely amazing, the owner did a ton of the physical labor herself and with the help of friends which allowed mountains to be moved. Every person involved gave it her all and it really shows. I must say this is the project I am most proud of thus far.
We took what was an existing hair salon which hadn’t been touched in decades and transformed it into a kick ass Salon by day and Gallery by night. The design inspiration was derived from the owner’s personality and taste. Tattoos, industrial machinery, femininity, a family in England, the skateboarding community, rock and roll, and of course hair and art.
I am a huge fan of before and after shots, very satisfying, so here you go:
We hand-painted the signage, sewed curtains, installed mirrored decals and the owner’s father had the shield above the door painted by a master in England. We also replaced the door with one for giants which really opens the space up.
We ripped up three layers of crumbling linoleum (the owner did it single-handedly, yikes). There was an amazing and salvageable hardwood floor underneath which we brought back to life. We replaced the disintegrating wainscoting and painted it chalkboard. The cream color is the color of masking tape, warm and light. Then we knocked the entire wall out above for the color mixing room, replaced the bathroom and built out a changing room. The curtain we sewed for the dressing room is made from the tartan fabric inspired by the owner’s Scottish family background.
This is the view from the other end, looking out to the front door. We knocked out the lowered ceiling and put in a mezzanine for the office, there was an entire hidden room up there! We made double sided mirrors to look like old sash windows which hung from pulley’s which were then attached to 30lb. steel weights. Pull the weight down and the mirror goes up into the ceiling so the space can become a gallery at night. I love it when things have multiple uses, most of the window fixtures and props I design can be flipped around and used in a different way for another season, this is the first time I have done it in a permanent space.
We put a spiral staircase in (who knew they came in kits to be assembled?) Each screw on the staircase is now painted gold, subtle but so cool. I used other pulleys here that I got from a tow truck company in my hometown, painted gold and used to hang a birdcage for accessories.
This hair washing bar is made so a lid can pop on top of it and at night in the gallery it can be used as a wine bar.
Changing the lighting out may have made the biggest difference of all the things we did. The fluorescent lights were the first to go, then we put gallery lighting in and spot lights so they would really be able to be exact when coloring hair. Knocking out the two walls above allowed for a ton of natural light to come in, not to mention the skylight and glass in the door. The space feels natural and light; it’s dreamy.
We made the rolling rack for product from plumbing pipe and casters which of course were painted gold…
This subtle touch is hands down my favorite thing in the space. A flea market score perched at the top of one of the pulley systems and the sunlight pouring in above it feels perfect as you sit back getting your head massaged.