Victorian Laboratory Influences Wonderlab Salon in Hertfordshire

by rachael / January 12, 2013


Step over the bespoke mosaic flooring bearing Wonderlab’s logo and you enter an enchanting salon full of unique touches – antique theatre chairs in the waiting area, vintage factory lampshades through the middle of the salon and a bespoke colour station featuring a butler’s sink. 
Masterminded by sister-in-laws and co-owners Katie and Jade May, the salon was designed alongside Roar Creativity, with whom Katie had previously worked in her marketing career. It was because of her business knowledge, alongside Jade’s 20 years’ experience of hairdressing, that the duo decided to set up a new salon together, offering an unusual and magical experience to clients in Hertfordshire.  
Wonderlab salon, Hertfordshire Wonderlab salon - exterior.jpg
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What state were the premises in when you began refurbishment?
Jade: The premises were previously a pet shop in a very bad state of repair. The attraction was the location – we were specifically looking for somewhere on Chorleywood high street premises there don’t come along very often. After the lease was completed, the refurbishment took six weeks.

Why did you choose Roar Creativity as the designers?
Katie: I specifically worked with a company that did not specialise in salon design so they wouldn’t follow ‘normal’ design procedures. 

What look were you aiming for?
The inspiration was a return to the magical wonders of Victorian times where ‘mad’ inventors had no creative boundaries and inventions were weird and wonderful.

How did you pick the colour scheme?
To fit in with the Victorian science laboratory concept we used lots of dark wood and copper. An injection of colour was required so we selected a turquoise green, the colour of copper carbonate. White is also used throughout in the Victorian tiles, which create a traditional but easy-to-clean surface.

What do you think are the standout pieces of the salon?
Our beautiful reception desk was made from copper as a feature piece and it positioned within the retail area. The entrance to the salon features decorative beading and pillars on the shop front to give an authentic Victorian look – inside the styling stations are together on the left hand side with a separate retail area to the right, all featuring bespoke shelving.

Is there anything you would change in hindsight?
I don’t think there is. If we open a second salon, this will be a good working model. 

Who is the salon designed to appeal to?
It is meant to have a broad appeal, but was specifically designed with the local area in mind. 
Many people have migrated from London or work in London and live in the village, so we wanted it to feel like a West End salon but with the warmth and location of a village. 

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Name: The Wonderlab
Address: 6 Main Parade, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire
Owners: Katie and Jade May
Size: 600sq ft
Staff: Three
Styling Stations: Five
Budget: £70,000
Finance: Self
Design: Roar Creativity
Furniture: SalonTec, MWC
Features: Copper reception desk, feature mirror and tiled arch, copper sign and barbers pole, mosaic entrance.


Design: Roar Creativity – 020 7284 5833
Bespoke furniture: MWC – 01793 208031
Salon Furniture: SalonTec – 0151 486 1112



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