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Errol Douglas Atelier Salon | Visit

May 15, 2024

Errol shows us around his smart new space in a top London hotspot.

Errol Douglas Atelier Salon | Visit 2

HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THE STYLE OF YOUR SALON INTERIOR?
First off, we knew the salon needed to have impeccable standards. Having been established in 1928, The Peninsula is a brand with an outstanding heritage that operates luxury properties in twelve major cities. The spa, which was completed in December of last year, is a haven of tranquillity and wellbeing – it was so important to us to honour that sense of serenity. When it came to the design, we had more or less a blank canvas; the hotel didn’t want sharp lines or anything that felt too dark, but other than that I had free reign.

WHERE DID YOU FIND THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGN?
I wanted the space to have a traditional feel. Because of its setting, I took my inspiration from some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. I also spent time in the Peninsula, exploring the rooms, soaking up the mood it had created and going through all the textures, so I had plenty of reference points.

DID YOU USE AN INTERIOR DESIGNER?
In the past, I have always dealt with interior designers and worked with people who understand my style, but sticking to budget was absolutely key for this project. I received different quotes from five different interior design companies, and they all came back way over the odds – I think the prices were all inflated because of the prestigious Knightsbridge location! It just wasn’t feasible, so I thought ‘okay, I’m going to do it myself.’ One of my hobbies is interiors, and I was very clear in my vision from the start. So, I created a moodboard and I did it myself.

WHAT ARE THE KEY ELEMENTS OF YOUR SALON DESIGN?
One of our challenges was needing to divide the area. We’ve got a pedicure area and then I’ve got the salon, so it took me ages to come up with a way to keep them separate. The answer was to put in a floating wall. Not only does this create a natural divide, it also throws back colour onto one side. The backwash area is very special too, the chair goes completely horizontal and the lights go down, so it feels completely private and very exclusive.

Errol Douglas Atelier Salon | Visit 5

DO YOU HAVE ANY CURATED PIECES OR SPECIAL FEATURES IN THE SALON?
The little dressing tables at each styling station were bespoke and made specially for me. I’d seen a design I loved, based on a proper dressing table with an old-fashioned 50s Hollywood look, and got these based on that. There are only ever a maximum of two clients in at a time, so each space feels very exclusive. We also have some beautiful, original artefacts – the one I love in particular is a set of Regency cobalt brass bird candle holders.

HOW HAVE YOU EMBRACED SUSTAINABILITY WITHIN THE DESIGN?
While the overall aesthetic is very high-end, we are still mindful of making sustainable decisions. One of the most economical and eco-conscious things anyone opening a new salon can do is seek out good-quality pre-loved salon furniture, rather than just buying new, so I sourced much of the functional pieces through a pre-loved website, even the mirrors. You would never tell they weren’t brand new! We also use Easydry biodegradable towels.

DESCRIBE THE VIBE CREATED BY YOUR INTERIOR.
It’s called the Atelier and its quite boudoir-esque in its vibe. Most salons tend to go for that lounge feel, but this is more like a bedroom than a living room. I know a lot of women that love a luxurious dressing room, and I feel this combines the best of both worlds. It’s like an ultra-luxurious suite – a bedroom combined with a big dressing room to provide somewhere you can get ready in style.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE ARE YOUR CLIENTS’ FIRST IMPRESSIONS WHEN THEY WALK IN?
When they walk in, I want clients to notice the atmospheric feel that touches all the senses. The lighting changes in different areas to create a relaxing mood and the colour palette is based on simple beige and green neutrals with rosewood and mahogany accents. We also have essential oils burning such as sandalwood, peppermint and geranium to provide a real sense of tranquillity. Most of all, I want clients to feel relaxed – it’s a luxurious spa that really makes you feel good.

Errol Douglas Atelier Salon | Visit 3

WHAT SALON SOFTWARE DO YOU USE AND WHAT FEATURE OF IT DO YOU FIND MOST USEFUL?
We use Shortcuts. It’s good in that it sends out automated texts and alerts to clients. It helps us with monitoring patterns such as average client bills and rebooking rates. I love that it sends out reminders for client birthdays and little touches to show we never take our clients for granted – it remembers our clients’ favourite food and drinks too! Because it runs as an app, all of my stylists can use the software’s features on their own phones and laptops too.

DID YOUR PRODUCT BRAND OR COLOUR HOUSE INFLUENCE YOUR STYLE OF INTERIOR DESIGN?
The Atelier is a styling-only salon, so if clients request colour, we’ll take them by car to our Motcomb Street salon. Our colour palette is neutral, so it wasn’t influenced by any brand, but it works excellently as a backdrop for all the different products we stock.

WHAT SALON FURNITURE HAVE YOU CHOSEN AND WHY?
For most of it, I used Cinderella. As I mentioned before, you can seek out really good quality, pre-loved items, which is a great option.

DO YOU HAVE A DRESS CODE OR UNIFORM FOR YOUR TEAM?
We don’t allow blue jeans or trainers – that’s mainly to ensure the client can distinguish us from them. Even though it might sound a bit old fashioned, I just think that we shouldn’t be too casual at work. As long as my team are dressed smartly, I’m happy – I also think this gives us a bit more status!

Errol Douglas Atelier Salon | Visit 4

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