- Feb 18
- 3 min read
Creating our new space
Updated: Mar 3
As I mentioned in my last blog, I started my business in a small, second story space above a coffee shop. It was truly the perfect place to birth my new salon and was exactly what I needed at the time. As the years rolled by, I grew in staff and in clientele. Although growing the business was never a part of my plan, it became its own entity and before I knew it, we had completely outgrown that sweet little space.
I began imagining the space that I wanted and needed in order for the business to not only sustain - but to thrive. Being downtown was non-negotiable so I started scoping out the real estate on Main Street. I met with landlords, toured spaces and kept my eye out for buildings on the market. This process continued for a couple of years until one day, the perfect building became available. The ideal location, a visible store front with huge windows that I could 'see' my logo on. I later learned that this historic, brick building had only been owned by women (at least I've been told).
Two weeks later I met with the building owner. We discussed plans I had for the space, which they felt was overly ambitious and unrealistic based on my three month timeline. However, a few weeks later one of my longest standing friends and I made the purchase together. I would have the salon on the first floor and she would start her own new business upstairs.
Renovations began. My building partner's husband is a carpenter and was a huge help to us with the demolition and much of the construction. I had also been dating my now husband who is a custom wood worker with an architectural background - he was integral in executing my design and helping the finish work.
Above is the space pre demolition. There were lots of small spaces, dropped ceilings, florescent lights and many different types of flooring.
The first step was to expose the brick that I was hoping was intact behind the drywall. We then opened the space up by tearing down all of the walls and exposing the ceilings to the maximum potential.
As we completely gutted the space and cleared out all of the debris, I could finally start envisioning my design.
The space felt much bigger but I wanted to make sure that it didn't feel too dark (the only windows are the three big ones in the front). We whitewashed the floor beams above to create a brighter ceiling that revealed the original structure of the building.
A new vinyl plank flooring was installed to compliment the rustic feel of the salon, while adding durability needed to sustain many years of foot traffic. At this point my vision was coming to life and it was time for the finishing touches.
I wanted to have many different mediums and textures. We installed two faux beams to cover the steal i-beams that spanned the ceiling. I then distressed and stained each to make them look like an original building feature. A hallway was designed to separate the salon from the rest of the building and a dropped ceiling was installed with faux tin panels, to reflect the building's 1933 heritage. We added windows to keep the open feel and created an American Clay accent wall in a super earthy tone. We also applied shiplap to the back wall and spa room. This helps to reflect light from the front windows and offsets the darker opposing clay/brick walls. Our product shelving was made using a reclaimed, two hundred year old heartpine, salvaged from the Howland Tannery in Maine.
There are live edge birdseye maple, floating shelves strategically placed around the salon to display my assortment of crystals and eclectic artifacts. The desk was made from the same maple with black iron pipes and fittings. I chose stations made of reclaimed wood with zinc counters and large mirrors.
After three short months and many long days and nights, the salon came together and we were ready for business on our original target date. During the renovations, I kept the windows covered and the project under wraps, hidden from the public and my staff. The team saw the space for the first time days before our grand opening and I was beyond excited to reveal our new home.
#alchemistsalonblog #salonblog #thealchemistsalon #renovation #avedasalon #beforeandafterreno #shipap #americanclay #birseyemaple #heartpine #floatingshelves #exposedbrick #fauxbeams #salondesign #ellsworth #downtownellsworth #shilohthebernedoodle #demolition