Designers’ Challenge” Leon Alexander answers Salon Today Readers’ most pressing questions

Design experts from some of the industry’s top furniture and equipment companies take on SALON TODAY readers most pressing questions.

Each salon renovation and new build-out presents its own unique challenges, yet the solutions present educational opportunities for anyone facing a redesign project now or in the future.

For that reason, SALON TODAY recently invited readers to share their most pressing design questions, and we took those questions straight to the industry top design expert. Our thanks to Leon Alexander, Ph.D., president of Eurisko; for his willingness to serve  and take on any issue our readers threw at them.

What’s the best way to identify an architect or designer who shares your vision?

Alexander: The best way for a salon owner to truly know the compatibility of a designer is to not present your own vision to them first, as you will never know if they are agreeing with your vision just to obtain the business. By using reverse psychology, you let the designer present their vision for your business first. That way, you can compare the designers vision to your own.

A great designer will not agree with your vision if they consider it’s not in the best interest of the business, for example, if the vision lacks a consumer experience strategy or it is not maximizing the potential of the business. Once you have seen the previous work and testimonials of the designer, listen to their advice. A great designer will design the location as if they own the business, implementing the best proven service and retail practices from outside the beauty industry.

A great designer will design the location as if they own the business. -Leon Alexander, Ph.D

What are some tips for designing a styling area that feels open, but still offers a feeling of intimacy for each individual client?

Alexander: Combining an open service area with personal intimacy should involve creating a service space layout with circulation that accommodates both the feeling of intimacy with maximizing the space. The introduction of warm tones in walls or flooring, natural wood tones for the styling stations and non-direct lighting to flatter the customer, subliminally achieves an environment that is psychologically relaxing and creates an individual experience.

My biggest concern along the way is how to remodel a salon with the least amount of downtime on production?

Alexander: A remodel of a salon or an area within a salon is not something that is done every day. It is also connected with an objective to improve the existing space. What is available quickly is not necessarily the correct solution. Begin with the end in mind and allow an extended time for the completion of the project. In the long run, it pays to have what is right and not what is quick.

Our biggest challenge is finding a style that flows through the salon with our floors, fixtures, color choices and overall feel, as well as suits clients tastes. What’s the best process for deciding that?


Alexander: The salon built-out should represent the consumers experience needs. This transcends your brand. You brand is your cultural accessory and personal philosophy. You incorporate that into your values and express that in your marketing. The build-out design should exemplify a buying environment in the retail area and an experiential environment in the service area. The salon owners goal is to bridge the gap between the brand image and the brand identity. An effective build-out will fuse both the psychological and experiential aspects.

Read the full article HERE