The best salons offer a lot more than just straightforward beauty services. They’re also destinations in their own right, providing immersive experiences that make their clients want to return again and again. Interior design that really nails a salon’s branding is a big part of making that happen, pairing the services received with unforgettable visuals that will forever be associated with that particular business. In Stockholm, Sweden, ASKA Architects did just that for the headquarters of Maria Nila Salon.
Located within a historic four-story building in the center of the city, the new Maria Nila Salon is a vision in soft pastels, evoking the relaxing sensual pleasures of high-end salon services with fluid organic shapes. Giant MDF and plexiglass cut-outs in dripping shapes call to mind endlessly flowing hair products and introduce a youthful, playful, and creative feeling. The whole salon is awash in dreamy shades of lavender, mint, turquoise, pink, and peach.
ASKA wanted to give the building itself a voice in the design, as well. They chose colors and design elements that would complement original features like floors made of checkered marble and wood laid in a herringbone pattern. At the entrance, the purple plexiglass installation hanging from the ceiling frames the antique wooden door for a contrast of old and new.
The salon is designed to show off the company’s products while doubling as office space. Softly undulating product shelves are spread throughout each room, their shapes taking inspiration from natural elements like water, trees, caves, and coral reefs in a nod to Maria Nila’s nature-centric approach.
“The concept of the House of Maria Nila is to always be inviting, have an air of friendliness, and encourage a modern way of expressing beauty,” states Maria Nila. “While the townhouse Maria Nila now calls home is located in Lärkstaden, an area fully built on the design that dominated Swedish architecture in the early days of the 20th century, it’s clear that the inside speaks young-at-heart and playful.”
“With a wish to not compromise with the old soul of the house, Maria Nila asked the new and upcoming architecture firm ASKA to take on the mission to create an interior that would mirror the values of the brand: friendly, curious, and honest. A task that fitted well with the philosophy of the trio. ASKA’s belief is that styles, design expressions, and epochs will pass with time. But the essential architectural qualities, the residuals – aska in Swedish, will always remain. With the use of pastel colors, round shapes, and soft materials, ASKA has mixed the old soul of the building with the young spirit and energy of Maria Nila.”
ASKA visited the space often throughout the renovation to fine-tune certain elements as necessary, like adding their own custom acoustic panels when a particular room was found to be too noisy. They designed and crafted much of the furniture seen throughout the salon and brought in objects made by hip young creators like furniture designer Gustaf Westman and LED artists Josefin Eklund and My Zachrisson.