HJ Interiors: Chic French Style at Robert Kirby Wimbledon
The new branch of Robert Kirby in Wimbledon has the feel of a contemporary French farmhouse, with opulent touches that the brand is renowned for.
Name: Robert Kirby Wimbledon
Address: Leopold Road, Wimbledon
In the midst of leafy Wimbledon, Robert Kirby has opened his second salon. Location is everything for the brand and this new space features a similar indulgent luxury to the Balham branch, which opened three years ago. “We really wanted to be in SW19. We don’t want to be a high street salon, which is why we chose to open both of our branches on small residential roads,” explains Robert. “Our brand is centred around a distinct kind of opulence and we like to think of our salons as a lifestyle choice. Everything needs to fit around our client’s way of life.”
The salon caters to a suburban London market. On arrival guests are greeted by a charming reception area with a chic velvet couch. Robert describes his inspiration for the interior as French contemporary farmhouse. This explains the hearty wooden colour table that takes centre stage, the cream panelled walls and the pièce de résistance – an enclosed garden for clients to sit and relax.
“Our brand is centred around a distinct kind of opulence and we like to think of our salons as a lifestyle choice. Everything needs to fit around our client’s way of life.”
The work itself took two months to complete and the speed of the project was helped by the fact Robert inherited the building as an empty shell. “The building had been returned to a white shell when the former tenants left so all we needed to do was add our magic,” he explains.
The salon is modern with classical elements. The colour palette centres around cream and the salon features some restored original Victorian features. “We want people to feel at home in our salons and not like they are being operated on in a laboratory,” points out Robert. He ruled out harsh lighting for that reason and opted for soft and atmospheric lighting instead. Highlights include wall lights that draw inspiration from an old Victorian railway station and three stunning 12-arm chandeliers.
“We were sparing with the wallpaper as we didn’t want to make the salon look like a grandma’s house, but we like to think it gives the feeling of it being in an enchanted forest.”
Robert designed the salon himself. A dark wood floor runs throughout, the wooden cladding on the walls was painted with Farrow & Ball’s String shade and there are accents of Zoffany Nostell Priory wallpaper. “We were sparing with the wallpaper as we didn’t want to make the salon look like a grandma’s house, but we like to think it gives the feeling of it being in an enchanted forest.”
Robert’s aim was to make guests feel at home and he’s succeeded as the salon already has a high return rate. “We regard our clients more as friends,” remarks Robert. “They are only really ‘clients’ on their first visit.”
Robert’s top tips
Don’t forget outside
Renovating the garden was one of the best changes we made. We decked it and added a garden room that contains a kitchen for staff.
Think about your mood board
A comprehensive inspiration board will keep you on the straight and narrow.
Don’t be a slave to your ‘brand’
If you are opening a second branch don’t be afraid to mix it up. It’s not a McDonald’s chain so it doesn’t have to be exactly same!
This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Hairdressers Journal