HJ Interiors: KAO Salon Academy in London’s West End
The KAO Salon Academy in London, which sits on iconic Shaftesbury Avenue was upgraded and redesigned this year.
Name: KAO Salon Academy
Address: Shaftesbury Avenue, London
How long has it been open: 7 years
How many academy staff: 5
Training academies need three key traits to provide students with a good learning environment – they should be bright, welcoming and durable. The newly redesigned KAO Salon Academy in London ticks all of those boxes and more.
Redesigning a working training space was no mean feat with instalments and fittings having to
be worked around existing training commitments and schedules. The new large theory training rooms and separate training salon are designed to aid the learner’s experience. With 20 styling stations complete with luxurious Maletti and Olymp chairs, the academy is blessed with space and plenty of natural light from the windows which spans the entire length.
Some of the academy’s key areas were reimagined to make it a more workable space. “We rearranged the reception, retail product displays and the backwash areas to bring the academy in line with how hairdressing salons function in 2020,” explains Albert Ewan, owner of refurbishment and installation specialist Albert Ewan Design. Albert, who undertook the redesign added: “We also created a dedicated office area for the training staff and a much larger backwash area with state-of-the-art Maletti backwashes.”
As you might expect, ensuring everything has longevity is key for a busy academy. As such, the floor is made from a high specification, quality commercial-grade timber flooring and the shades of grey and white which feature on the walls and units are timeless. “The majority of the walls are white, the styling areas and reception wall are a dark grey and to complement these tones, we chose a light grey for the reception furniture,” explains Albert. “For the reception area a big part of the brief was allowing it to function as not only a salon reception, but also as a place where general admin duties can take place.”
The large illuminated panels on the exterior identify the London Academy to passers-by and the new retail section shows off the brand’s latest product offering. “The shelves are individually lit by LED concealed strips, designed by Albert Ewan Design and supplied by Pahi Barcelona,” adds Albert. All the artwork and large wall hangings feature in-house marketing which, just like the academy itself, clearly sends out a message that the KAO Salon Academy is at the cutting edge of hairdressing training.
Albert’s top tips
Build a realistic schedule
Always allow enough time for the planning and design stages.
No question is too small. You need a clear understanding of what is going to be the outcome and purpose of the salon space.
Get the professionals in early to see what is feasible for your budget and your space.
This article originally appeared in the November issue of Hairdressers Journal.