In a move that’s brought colour services from the back of the salon to the reception area, Whiteman Soho is a brave new concept colour salon that’s got everyone talking.
Denman Place is a new pretty little courtyard development in London’s Soho and the location of the new Whiteman Soho salon that has created quite a stir in the UK hair industry. Renowned creative educator Lisa Whiteman has long been an advocate of the potential of colour and with her new salon has really pushed the boundaries of convention by moving colour from a technical area at the back of the salon to the very front – in the reception.
Full glass fronted salon has a delightful curve and inside the customer made combined Colour Bar Reception follows this line perfectly. Here clients sit on high stools and experience a range of colour services from a selected menu. The system mirrors a regular bar concept, where technicians prepare and mix colour formulas as if cocktail waiters. Utilising the unique Goldwell Topchic Can dispensing system, colour is dispensed and mixed from the wall of colour as if it were optics in a bar. This highly prominent area is used for spot colour or quick-turnaround services with longer more detailed services are carried out in the main salon area. By placing it at the very front of the salon however, the Colour Bar is a massive draw to the passing public and a clear statement of Whiteman Soho’s speciality.
As a colour-focussed salon Lisa was keenly aware of the huge importance of the shampoo area. Colour clients often spend longer at the backwash and there is often a need to apply toners and rinses, so it was vitally important to her that the shampoo area was designed with both practicality and comfort very much in mind. The semi-secluded shampoo area has motorised Renata –T wash units in a rich golden tan. The space between the units and the deep basins allow technicians to work comfortably while the motorised legrest and massage ensure a relaxing shampoo experience for the client regardless of the duration. The area also has a number of design features including a deep utility sink and secluded refuse bin; practical additions that enable the team to keep the area neat even during busy times.
The premises are fairly compact but the layout and design mask this making it feel more spacious than it actually is. The main salon area has eight simple yet stylish Paloma chairs in rich cream matching the light coloured walls and light oak flooring. Four double-sided self-contained styling units were custom made to fit the tight space and are power supplied from above via the matt-black tiled ceiling. Even though space is limited, Whiteman Soho has managed to accommodate a fully equipped private styling suite for the salons VIP client list.
While she’s pleased with the overall result, there are a few features that Lisa is particularly pleased with. “The orange cushioned pocket waiting area with it’s peephole style window into the main salon is a great feature,” she says, “and the extremely comfortable Renata–T washunits.” She adds, “All the clients love them, they are so comfortable! Asked why she had chosen Maletti as her furniture partners, she was very clear on why. “Client comfort is the first priority, then they have to tick all the practicality boxes for the team. Then the design and colour needed to match the project. Maletti won hands down.”
It was also important for Lisa to keep the windows as clear as possible, one to ensure the salon is flooded with natural light but also to make the most of the picturesque courtyard and the fairy lit trees which are beautiful; especially at night.
The concept of the salon was Lisa’s vision and working together with an architect she was able to present the idea to Alan Cowling of 100% Salons who designed and built all the custom made features like the Colour Bar and carried out the refit. Lisa’s plans are simple, to build and grow the business and increase the current 7 team members to 12 in a year or so. The innovative concept is already proving a success with the salon’s clientele steadily growing and the salon already busy.
It’s often easy to avoid risks in business and follow the norm as a safe option. Luckily for us however there are those like Lisa Whiteman that are willing to try something different.
Whiteman Soho 2-3 Denman Place Soho London
T: 020 7287 5898