The design of the Tailored hair salon and art gallery in downtown San Francisco seeks to balance flexibility with economy, accommodating multiple spatial configurations using a set of modular furniture components. The 1200 square foot space simultaneously accommodates the everyday workings of a salon, while transforming into an art gallery for special occasions. The custom ‘toggle stool’, inspired by the Shaker chair rail, is a multi-directional furniture piece designed to variously stack and cluster as seating, tables, counters, or product shelving that can hang from the wall on a grid of pegs. With an interest in empowering the client-as-builder, the furniture was designed with specific but simple details to be replicated and constructed by the client. Highly detailed annotated models, provided instruction for the client to construct each custom piece. Because of an extremely small elevator cab, all sheet materials had to be delivered in half (4’ x 4’). Every material seam in each piece of furniture was calculated and customized to accommodate this. Each annotated model described seaming strategies to ensure as much precision and efficiency of materials, time and therefore, budget as possible.
Styling stands, custom designed with salon equipment holsters, contain concealed, dimmable lighting at the top of the styling mirrors to illuminate clients as well as the art and can be rolled into place for styling or be pushed into gallery wall configurations for art openings. Each stand has a picture rail routed into the top on both sides so that in a gallery configuration, the stands act as backdrops for artwork. A custom mural by Erik Marinovich in the restroom coordinates geometric details with the modular furniture and millwork.
This salon is meant to serve as a first flagship for what will be an expanding chain of hair salons. Working with such a small budget, short timeline (start to finish from design concept to opening in less than 6 months) and a client who was working to orchestrate all the usual business startup tasks in addition to doing much of the construction themselves, provided an opportunity to design a process for communication and construction, and ultimately a design system that can flex and expand depending on the client’s growing needs.