Salon interiors

HJ Interiors: Fresh Beginnings for Room 97 Creative in The Springs, Leeds

by charlottegw / last updated January 7, 2021

hj interiors room 97 creative leeds

Opening in 2020 was always going to be a challenge, but lockdown gave Room 97 Creative in The Springs, Leeds the time to achieve perfection.

Name: Room 97 Creative
Address: The Springs, Thorpe Park, Leeds LS15 8GG
Owners: Marcello Moccia and Karen Perry
Furniture: DIR in Birmingham
How long have you been in the premises: 11 months

They say good things come to those who wait and 2020 has been a year of waiting particularly for North Western Hairdressers of the Year Marcello Moccia and Karen Perry who opened The Springs Room 97 Creative shortly before the first lockdown.


“This wasn’t the ideal start to a new venture, but it also gave us time to iron out any issues that had risen when we opened,” says Marcello. “I had been looking to open another salon in Leeds with my business partner Karen at the helm and this property is part of a new development in Leeds, surrounded by offices, shops and restaurants. As it was brand new, we were able to open the salon within a matter of weeks. However, three weeks after opening, we were forced into lockdown!”

It was frustrating but it gave the team extra time to perfect the space in their new home. The salon is simple, functional, relaxing and friendly. When clients walk in, they are welcomed at reception before being brought through to an open plan-style salon area. There are seven styling stations that run along one side of the salon. Each has a large mirror and a brown square hydraulic styling chair. There is plenty of space between each station, so even before the COVID-19 restrictions were introduced each client had privacy.


The Springs follows the same design as the other Room 97 Creative branches in Wakefield and East Ardsley, but each salon is injected with the owner’s personality. In the Leeds salon Karen installed flower walls in the reception area and there are large prints featuring the team’s winning black and white collection from HJ’s British Hairdressing Awards, sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional. It’s touches like these that gives the salon real character.

Neutral shades of white, ivory and brown dominate, but there are pops of pink and a beautiful fuchsia flower wall. The team have been savvy in terms of lighting – there is one window at the front of the salon but there is no natural light in the backwash area or main salon floor. There are large spotlights above the styling station, as well as in the backwash area. The light is diffused so it’s not glaring for the client, but it gives stylists and colourists a true light when working on the hair.


Speaking on the topic of what they would do differently, both Marcello and Karen are unanimous in their answer: “We wouldn’t change a thing – it looks great and it’s a lovely work environment for us and the team.” And why would you change a thing, when perfection has been achieved.

Marcello and Karen’s top tips

Create a classic base
Stay classic but add points of interest that you can easily change to keep the salon looking fresh.

Build in a 20% contingency
Put your budget together but add 20% for overspend and unexpected expenses.

Think about the salon traffic
Think about how the team are going to work and the flow of your clients and stylists.

This article originally appeared in the January issue of Hairdressers Journal. 


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