has come a long way since pouring all of his life savings at the age of 25 to open his own hair salon in South Yarra, a bustling, fashion-forward inner-city suburb in Melbourne. Fast-forward 15 years later and he’s one of the most acclaimed hairdressers in the country with several awards under his belt, including Australian Hairdresser of the Year which he won four times, and a growing brand comprising 12 salons. Not one to rest on his laurels, Scandizzo has recently spearheaded the makeover of his flagship South Yara salon in collaboration with architect Pete Kennon of Melbourne-based studio
, a partnership forged when Kennon designed
Scandizzo’s family house
. Initially planned for 2021, the team took advantage of the covid-19 induced lockdown to complete the renovation a year earlier and the result is a welcoming space of subtle sophistication that bodes well both for the brand’s future and for the city’s post-pandemic recovery.
Part of a brand overhaul, the renovation went beyond the revamping of the interiors to include the enhancement of the client experience. A hair salon, after all, is more than just a place where you get your hair done; it’s also a place where one can unwind from a hectic week, have some “me time”, boost one’s self-confidence, socialize and regain a sense of community. With this in mind, Kennon has designed a space of understated opulence that harbours a soothing yet invigorating ambience.
Drawing from the opulence of the salon’s historic premises, a 1890s Victorian Italianate landmark that once served as The State Savings Bank of Victoria, Kennon’s interior design marries classical elegance with contemporary minimalism. Meticulously restored ceiling cornices and ornate archways that evoke the building’s architectural heritage are complemented by a custom marmarino plaster finish, while the bold use of dark grey terrazzo for both floors and furniture seamlessly tie everything together.
Divided into two sections, the salon’s new configuration reflects the client’s journey. At the front of the salon, a meditative room of soft curves and off-white hues is where the initial consultation and subsequent hair cut or styling take place, while at the back, a more invigorating and playful space of coloured reflections and metallic sheen is reserved for the hair washing and colouring.
Echoing the building’s original arched openings, Kennon designed a series of arched niches that function as intimate booths whose supple shaped, round-edged contours and soft lighting have a soothing, therapeutic effect on clients, helping them relax at the hands of their hairdresser. On the contrary, the metallic wall panelling and dichroic glass partition in the hair-washing area foster an energetic and fun atmosphere. Rather than monopolizing the clients’ attention, the timeless yet familiar sophistication of Kennon’s interior design almost acts like a soothing balm that allows them to relax and focus on what matters most, their own wellbeing.