May 7, 2024

From Drab to Fab: 6+ Trendsetting Hair Salon Design Ideas

As a beauty and hair salon owner, you dedicate all of your time to making everyone else look and feel great. How often do you direct that attention inward?

Often you find the most talented stylists working in the most unprofessional spaces. We understand. It’s easy to get caught up in work and let other priorities fall by the wayside. But if you plan to stick around in the industry, a modern, professional hair salon is a must. The right salon design can really make a difference, creating a welcoming atmosphere that leaves a lasting impression. It’s an impression that your clients will talk about and share over and over again. 

Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned professional in need of a salon interior refresh, keep scrolling as we break down 6 key ideas that will help you create a space that your clients will love. From expressive motifs to functional design, we’ll share all the current best practices in hair salon design.

1. Opt For Quality Lighting

Great lighting is essential for any salon setup. Poor lighting directly impacts mental and physical health, causing eye strain, headaches, and fatigue. Harsh lighting, while brighter, could create the same fatiguing effects on employees and clientele. 

Stylists need to have illuminated, clear vision from all angles when working on a client’s hair. Without proper lighting, they could miss tiny details that could make or break a hairstyle. Where possible, create moments of natural light to combat the fatiguing effects of electrical lighting. Combine this with adjustable light fixtures to control light intensity. Even diffusers can help light evenly disperse throughout the salon, creating a natural feel. 

When choosing bulbs, opt for a neutral colour temperature that will emit a gentler, calming light. 4000K (a.k.a. natural light) is popular in interior settings.

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2. Create a Relaxing Oasis with Natural Elements

Incorporating natural elements such as wood, stone, and greenery can create a calming and rejuvenating atmosphere in your salon. Consider adding living plant walls, timber accents, or stone feature walls to bring the outdoors inside.

A trip to the salon is your client’s self-care day. Some may take the whole day off to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of Melbourne. Reward their business with a tranquil oasis designed for relaxation. This will also benefit your stylists, as a calm client is much easier to work with than a fidgety one.

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3. Maximise Space with Smart Salon Layouts

Efficient use of space is key to a successful salon design. Opt for open-concept layouts, modular furniture, and multi-functional workstations to maximise space and accommodate varying client needs. Strategic placement of mirrors, lighting, and shelving can also enhance the sense of openness and flow within the salon.

A lighter colour scheme combined with larger mirrors can give the illusion of more space. Furniture and reception areas can be designed to function as storage spaces. Reception desks and waiting areas should be placed in locations that won’t obstruct foot traffic and workflow.

When we partnered with Cocolocks for their salon fitout, space was extremely limited. We were tasked with designing an interior that was not only beautiful but highly functional. And with limited space, every design choice had an impact on the final result. 

To achieve this we started with a complete mechanical redesign of their salon workstations. Stationary workstations would force Cocolocks to lock into a particular floor plan, which wouldn’t be ideal for a growing business. Instead, we created two-sided floating workstations, effectively doubling the number of stylists that could take appointments at a given time. These floating workstations were also mounted to ceiling sliding tracks and could be moved and reconfigured as necessary. 

Read the full case study here: Cocolocks Case Study

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4. Get Creative with Stylish Salon Decor

You’ve put blood, sweat and tears into making your business grow. And you probably spend more time in the salon than you do anywhere else. Why not make it feel more like “you”? 

Inject personality and style into your salon decor with a mix of personal elements alongside trending design choices. From statement light fixtures and art installations to quirky accent pieces and decorative accessories, let your creativity shine through in every detail. Experiment with textures, patterns, and colours to create a visually stimulating and Instagram-worthy salon space. 

Uncle Rocco’s Barbershop in Port Melbourne has a deep Americana motif. Taking inspiration from time spent living abroad on the West Coast, owner Fab recreated a space that reminds him of his second home. Vintage skateboards line wood-panelled walls. The moment you step in you’re instantly transported to a place that doesn’t feel like it’s in Melbourne. That type of separation is what allows your clients to unplug and enjoy their time in the salon chair.

Your salon design should also have an element of brand identity. Consider incorporating your logo, brand colours, and signage into the salon decor to create a cohesive and memorable visual experience for clients.

5. Stay on Trend with Contemporary Salon Designs

Keep your salon design fresh and on-trend with contemporary design trends and styles. Whether it's Industrial Chic, Scandinavian Minimalism, or Byron Bay Boho, draw inspiration from current design movements to create a salon space that feels modern and relevant. Stay abreast of industry trends and adapt your salon design to reflect the latest in hair and beauty culture.

We can agree that trends come and go, so why follow them? When it comes to interior design, trends tend to stick around much longer.  Locking into a particular motif won’t put an expiry date on your fitout. If anything it will make your business look and feel much more professional when compared to an outdated design.

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6. Focus on Comfort and Ergonomics for Staff

Prioritise the comfort and well-being of your staff with ergonomic salon furniture and workstations. Choose salon chairs with adjustable height and lumbar support, provide anti-fatigue mats for standing areas, and ensure adequate lighting and ventilation to create a safe and comfortable working environment. Happy and healthy staff are more productive and provide better service to clients.

Other Trending Hair Salon Ideas

While a complete salon fitout might be necessary to take your business to the next level, there are also smaller things you can do right now to make your space better for clients and your team.

  • Offer luxurious amenities and refreshments 
  • Send clients off with a goodie bag of trial products
  • Invest in salon management software, helping receptionists secure rebookings when clients exit
  • Install anti-fatigue mats around workstations

Transform Your Salon with Inspired Design

With the right design choices, you can transform your salon into a stylish and inviting space that delights clients and inspires creativity among your stylists. From visual branding and natural elements to smart layouts and luxurious decor, there are endless possibilities for creating a salon that stands out from the crowd. And with Canopy Fitouts, you can create a space that reflects your unique vision and passion for hairdressing.

At Canopy, we are all about creating inspiring salon and barber fitouts. Our team of designers, architects, and builders will work with you to strike the perfect balance of form and function in your salon. And with experience across 30+ industries, we know exactly what it takes to bring your space to life. 

Speak to our team today and we’d be more than happy to give you advice on cost, budgets, requirements, and timeframes for your beauty or barber fitout. Give us a call at 1800 434 868 or email