Home Comforts

With clients just loving the experience of coming to their house for haircuts, Michael Smith and Tristan Eves thought it would be good to create a real home-from-home feel in their new salon.

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After a successful salon career in London hairdresser Tristan and partner Soho advertising Director Michael moved out to the small town of Petworth nestled in the Sussex South Downs. After the hustle and bustle of London this was a real change of pace and one that soon found its way into their plans for a new salon.

The premises they found had previously been Chinese Restaurant. It was very run down dark, dank and gloomy and needed a great deal of work to transform it into the light and airy salon it is today. Working with Terry Bunn of Laceys Excel and building contractor Michael Modlock, Tristan and Michael worked out a layout and a ‘home style’ that the salon was to have.

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“We had been cutting customers hair in our kitchen,” says Michael, “and they just loved coming into our home and so for the salon we wanted to keep that informal personal feel.”

The furnishings were key to the homely look and much of the incidental bits and pieces are quirky antique style items that match the old English cottage feel of the salon. Bought at a local auction, the old haberdasher’s cabinet now used to store the colour tubes, really sums up the character of the place.


The Maletti equipment used in the salon is a perfect match to the mix of deep wood and home-style furnishings.  Michael again, “We looked at ‘a lot’ of salon furniture! We found that not only did Maletti have the quality we were looking for, but the very simple modern lines really complemented the antiques in the rest of the salon.” It’s easy to see what he means. Although a contemporary design, the Green Hug styling chair with its deep wood finish and armchair-esque feel fits perfectly with the raw brickwork, wood flooring and beams.

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In the same way the ultra modern fully motorised Bergére wash unit in the shampoo area is no way out of place on the rough brick floor. The ornate shape and the quilted detailing of the upholstery, like many other aspects of the salon, have a quirky individuality that works together to create a whole homely feel.

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A clever addition to the salon was the oak wood floor in the main salon area. Originally a mix of terracotta tiles and brick like the rest of the salon, they were sure if this was the best flooring to be working on all day. Michael explains, “My concern was that while beautiful, the tile floor would have been hard and cold to work on all day.” He adds, “The Oak floor solves both those issues, plus it has the added benefit of creating a separation between areas.”

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The salon with it’s 6 styling stations, 2 backwash units and a front wash has a mix of 8 full and part time staff and offers a wide range of hair services. The reaction has been very positive with salon packed and clients loving the welcoming, homely feel. It wasn’t cheap mind, although they didn’t set an official budget, they hoped to get the refit done for around £50k – in the end it cost nearly double that! But for Tristan and Michael it was worth every penny. In fact they are already looking for a location for the next salon. One thing’s for sure, with its stained-glass and oak door frontage, quirky lights and antique features, they will be hard pushed to create a better salon next time.


Tristan Eves Market Square, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 0AH

T:01798 343687

E: Michael@tristaneves.com



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