Sidnam Petrone Gartner designs a salon with the makings of a neighborhood hot spot.
Sheila Kim -- Interior Design, 11/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
When Anthony Gianzero signed the lease for his new 500-sq.-ft. salon, he wanted an inviting ambience, unlike the intimidating commercial spaces so prevalent in the salon's Chelsea neighborhood. He approached New York-based Sidnam Petrone Gartner with that request; the firm, in turn, responded with a design for the salon to double as a comfy neighborhood hangout. The salon's centerpiece, a reception area that conceals the cash register and displays the salon-represented product lines, is also a bar, serving complimentary water, wine, or coffee to waiting customers. "I've seen some people come in when the lights are down, and sit here, thinking it was a nightclub," says design principal Eric Gartner. Formed of stainless-steel and blue-black stained wood, the reception is topped with two glass panels in an L-shape.
The rest of the salon reiterates the juxtaposition of dark-painted hardwood and glass from the blue-black floors to the cantilevered shelves at the hair cutting/styling stations and glazed façade. Since the salon is unisex, Gartner explains, "we tried to strike a balance between glass, light, and floors; the dark floors have a masculine aspect, and the glass and lighting have a feminine character." With this metaphor in mind, the firm incorporated translucent, acrylic box lighting fixtures on the wall that also visually define the stations. The glazed façade serves a dual function as well, balancing the "feminine" side of the design while providing a welcoming setting with its three sets of double doors that open outward to the sidewalk. Gartner adds that while "the salon entrance makes the space accessible so that people can move about freely and comfortably, coming and going as they please, the façade's openness also expresses nonexclusiveness."