Clients love it and it makes business sense for us
When the lease on her Reading salon came up for renewal, hairdresser Diane Cox made a decision that would change not only her business but also her way of life.
After 15 years renting a bricks and mortar business premises on a noisy main road with difficult parking, she instead opted for a gorgeous home hair and beauty salon in her own back garden, housed in a contemporary Norwegian Log cabin.
And as Diane’s partner explains: “We now have an asset which over time will be more cost effective than being tied into a long term rental agreement.”
With a Scandi-style vibe, Diane’s home salon boasts three cutting chairs at mirrored workstations, a washing basin, manicure table, customer toilet, small waiting area and lots of storage - and all just yards from her own back door. One side of the building is glazed with large windows and a bi-fold door so customers can look out onto Diane’s flower-filled patio. The interior walls have been treated with a pale tinted natural oil, “…but just one coat as I wanted to still be able to see the natural wood through it and make it very shabby chic,” points out Diane.
“Our customers walk around the corner and say ‘wow’. They like the quietness of its location and how calm it is. We also have so much natural light which is perfect for colouring hair. My salon was on the main road before, so there was a lot of noise and cars,” says Diane.
With the constant heat from hairdryers, salons can quickly warm up, so the building has been carefully positioned to avoid the midday sun. An air conditioning unit also keeps everything cool and comfortable.
Measuring 30m2, the cabin needed no planning permission as it is under 2.5m high, so considered permitted development. Building regulations are also not required as it sits over 1m from the garden’s boundary. Construction took under three months and was carefully timed to coincide with the ending of the old salon’s lease.
With Diane's partner now retired and following other interests, locating the salon within their home was not an option. “I didn’t want people coming in and out, so we wanted to keep the salon separate and for it to be a private space, and that’s what we’ve now got which is ideal,” he comments.
Diane adds: “It’s so relaxing here and the ladies love it. It’s just a completely different, calming environment.”