Studio Grayscale | Retail & Hospitality Interior Design



Looking for inspiration and ‘how-to’ tips for designing a beauty salon?  Look no further!... Here is the step by step guide to designing an amazing & inspiring beauty salon.

The salon experience - begins with great customer service, but sometimes you need more than just the service… the interior design of your salon is also an important aspect of your customer’s experience.  Creating a salon interior your client loves, together with amazing service, will no doubt ensure your customers will continue to return time & time again.

As interior designers, this article is about imparting our knowledge on how to create an amazing beauty (or hair) salon….

1)      Step 1 - Layout planning:

The first step in designing a beauty salon, or any type of salon is to look at your plan layout.  If you’re in an existing space, this might be different – but if you’re looking at leasing out a new salon, begin with the floor plan.  With some site measurements, and a scale drawing, you can start to review how this space might evolve into an amazing salon.  Begin by outlining exactly what you need within the space. What are your requirements?... for example:

  • how many treatment rooms?

  • how many benches / seats / tables?

  • how many seats in your waiting area?

  • how large will your reception area need to be?

  • will you require a staff room or storage room?

Once you’ve outlined this, if your capable in a program such as Autocad, Revit or Sketchup, you can start to plan out the space.  Begin with the base build structure, and then begin to plot out your requirements to fit within the bones/structure of the space.  If you’re not able to do this, enlist the help of an interior designer.  You’ll just need to provide them with your requirements, and they can plan the space out for you.

2)      Step 2 – Inspiration & design direction:

Begin to research sources of inspiration.  When beginning design work for a beauty salon or interior design concept, we always begin with inspiration research.  Some of our favourite go-to sites for sourcing inspo include:,, and, as well as our own on-foot research pics.  We collect hundreds of images, and then we evaluate & sort.  We categorise these into areas of design, such as: shopfront, lighting, joinery, signage, wall treatments, and many more, as relevant.  Our process then involves presenting these to our client. If you’re going through this process yourself, simply evaluate and review, until you start to see a pattern and common links that begin to give you a clearer design direction.

Of course, when you’re putting this research together – make sure you keep in mind your customer, who you’re designing for. Its not about your personal preferences, but about what is going to appeal to your ideal customer.

If your interior designer is putting these images & research together for you – try to be clear & concise about what you do & don’t like.  We generally always find, the clearer direction & feedback we get from our clients, the better, and more on point, the design outcome is.

Another point to note is – when beginning to work on the concept design, be very clear about your budget.  This is generally one of the first questions we ask.  The reason its so important: it influences the design outcome in a huge way. There are many ways to produce design solutions, and budget is a key driving factor.  Your interior designer can (or should) be able to design according to your budget, to a point (the budget still needs to be realistic & achievable).  This is just one of the values in investing in an interior designer for your space – they bring with them a wealth of experience and know clever ways to produce effective outcomes.

 3)      Step 3 – Design:

Once you (or your designer) have a clear design direction and a confirmed plan layout – it’s time to develop the concept.  Generally, this will need to be done by an interior designer, as the concept will be drawn up in 3D, so the space can be fully visualised.  We find even during this process, whilst we have a clear direction from research completed under Step 2)…. when elements come together in 3D, some work, some don’t, so the process of evaluation & design development continues.  Once the concept is fully resolved, we present this to our clients for review & comment.  There may then be some refinement required before we proceed to construction drawings.

Construction drawings are the final step in the design process, and at this stage – we convert all the conceptual ideas into a reality that can then be interpreted by a shopfitter for construction.  Another top tip – if you’re working to create a budget-friendly solution: aim to source joinery off the shelf, as much as possible.  This will almost always be more cost effective than custom joinery solutions.  For salon friendly solutions - check out  This can even be a great source for items such as reception counters.

 4)      Step 4 – Implement & Construct:

Once construction drawings are complete, your shopfitter or builder will price the project for you.  There may be some further refinement to design details, to align the design with the budget.  Permits will need to be applied for, and relevant approvals obtained (such as shopping centres, local councils etc).  Then the build can commence! 

In summary, the key takeaway tips for designing your beauty salon:

-          Plan your space to suit your requirements

-          Do your research, know how you want the space to look

-          Know your budget and inform your designer of this

-          Invest in an interior designers’ knowledge

-          Source off the shelf items where possible

If you’d like any more specific tips, or have any questions – feel free to get in touch with us - via

Amy Gray