I’ve been a stylist for over 25 years and have worked at high-level salons for most of my career. When I made the move to Phenix, I didn’t want to sacrifice that feeling of quality, luxury and sophistication that my clients were accustomed to because of limited space. So I got creative — with the decor AND storage — while adhering to a few guiding principles. Here’s the go-to list I kept in mind during every decision of my buildout.


Dan Paterno

Sight Lines
Pay special attention to the first thing your clients see when they come in your space. It should be attractive and professional. You don’t want them focusing on half-squeezed tubes of color, your broom, or hamper the minute they step in. Upon entering my suite, I have a few wall shelves of random station products, but was able to position votives in front to conceal them.
Feature Wall or Area
Create one area where you can showcase your logo or branding. It will feel more professional. Also, try to create an area or experience that is a “moment” — something out of the ordinary. I’ve mirrored one whole wall and placed a beveled wall mirror on top of that in front of my styling chair. For the investment, it really doubles the space and adds a feeling of luxury and elegance.
Phenix is great at providing us fluorescent task lighting, but you should also think about light sources that could add ambiance and interest — maybe like adding track lighting to focus on your feature wall or product shelves. Also think about incorporating accent lighting under cabinets, flameless votive candles or some type of desk or floor lamp to create a warm atmosphere. These three types of lighting are what professional interior designers use to make a room pop.
Think about adding visual interest to your walls with wallpaper or other finishes. Surprisingly, keeping all the walls the same color does not make the space feel larger, it makes it feel boring and boxey. I stacked wood laminate flooring on a part of my wall for a modern feel and used two coordinating colors for the rest of the walls to create a feeling of “zones.”
Client Storage
Dedicated space for all client service items. Keeping client specific items separate from yours is a thoughtful way to make them feel special. I have a wall cabinet in reach that houses all my client cups, glasses, coffee and beverage items. This cabinet, plus my fridge, makes clients feel like they have a hotel mini bar all to themselves.
Stylist Storage for Color, Shampoo etc.
My professional color products and accompanying items are stored away while my shampoos and stacks of nicely folded towels are at the ready, defining my shampoo area. I also have a bathroom type cabinet near my bowl to conceal random shampoo items that are small or don’t coordinate with my look.
Back Storage
Look up to find space above cabinets or other shelves where you can hide items that are back supply like service items or color products. I use bins to keep the visual clutter to a minimum and repeating the same bin on a single shelf keeps things looking designed and organized. This might work well on the wall above your door too, since it’s not the first thing clients see. I also back stock retail this way so I can keep the perfect number of retail items on my shelves, and I’m sure to not run out of developer or back bar either. Look on the sides of, and underneath things too. Maybe you could fit a drawer or narrow shelf unit between cabinets.
I hope you find these tips useful. I know our clients are coming to see us and enjoy their one on one, but wouldn’t it be nice to make your suite environment part of that wonderful experience, too?
(c)2015 Dan Paterno, WorkshopDanielSalon.com dpaterno@workshopdaniel.com.