Feb 16, 2021

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Salon Renos on a Budget


small space salon transformation

On Friday, October 2nd, 2015 I got the keys to my brand new, downtown Calgary salon. Almost exactly 1 year after moving here (I moved to Calgary on Sept 22, 2014). 

When I first arrived I was working out of the basement of my rental home in the suburbs, not so patiently waiting for the perfect commercial space to pop up. 

Even though I had my own salon back in Saskatchewan, I’d always done things on a very tight budget and I DIY’d a lot (and I am NOT a DIY’er). I didn’t truly understand just how much a professional designer could help. 

Now that I’m 10 years into being self-employed, I knew it was time to stop doing DIY, fix-it jobs (not only because my time is worth something) but because I knew that a designer would save me time and money in the long run. Not to mention totally level-up the experience for my clients. 

I know I’m not the only busy stylist who wants to make sure my client’s getting the best experience!

I’ve realized that as much as DIY can help on a budget, it’s not always the best use of your time. 

Running back and forth from Ikea, making decisions, it can be a lot. And if you have clients wanting to book in with you, might as well spend that extra time with those clients, create revenue and then use that revenue to pay someone else to do the design work for you. 

They’re the professionals, they know how to do things quicker and more efficiently. Just like we don’t want people doing their own hair, we know it won’t always turn out the way they hoped for, a designer can help you get the results that you really want. 

I knew I wanted to work with a designer who really knew me and my personality so that it would shine through the design. I’ve worked with other creatives before who were great but didn’t know me. (Just how I can do someone’s hair better when I know them longer, the same goes for working with someone in a creative field). 

That’s why I went with Leanne Bunnel Interiors, not only is she mega-talented, she’s also been a client of mine for years! So she not only knew me, but she knew my space and how I used it. 

When Leanne and I sat down to collaborate there were a few things that were really important to both of us:

  • Keep it budget conscious. We achieved this by purchasing Ikea furniture and using paint to revamp the space

  • Using a construction company that we trusted. We went with Unique Projects & Renovations to bring Leanne’s design to life. 

  • Find a local artist, Rozzie Lee, for the painting of the space. We used the painting design to tie in the stations to the shelves and the whole space. 

What really helped keep this renovation budget-friendly was creating an impact with paint. Rather than huge structural changes we created murals and shapes with paint to really make the place pop and draw the eye to different spots in the room. 

To say I’m obsessed with the final result is an understatement. 

two side by side images of the salon renovations. image on the left shows a green comfy chair in front of pink shelves. The right one is a brown salon chair in front of a well-lit golden mirror. The wall behind is painted with a colorful rainbow

Check out the youtube video to see what it looked like before! 

It turned out so much better than I could’ve ever imagined!

Now, I wanna be transparent that I know not everyone has the budget to do huge renos or hire a professional designer. So if you DO have the time but you DON’T have the budget, a really great place to get inspiration is on Pinterest. 

I actually have an entire board all about decor ideas for small salons and salon suites. Do you follow me over there?

All in all, whether you do a full renovation like I did, or you update some paint, there are great budget-friendly options to spruce up your space. I hope this inspires you to get creative!

Go on, binge the latest posts (you know you wanna)…

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

Hey, I’m Dawn!

“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

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