renovation, beauty salon, reception desk, wood ceiling, natural stone, white pebbles, salon interiors, China

Renovation transforms a salon into cave-like spaces

| 20 : 00 – 18 November 2019 |

reception desk, wooden panel, reception area, salon interiors

Renovation and transformation of a salon by Studio Dotcof attempts to recreate primitive cave-like experience.

Intended to provide skin care products and services, the salon with street frontage has a series of cave-like spaces. The mezzanine area was expanded and renovated to accommodate a lounge platform. Vertical wooden battens used against the wall behind reception desk emphasize the height and volume.

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Wood and stone – integral part of the renovation

Consulting rooms added close the reception wherin customers can do preliminary tests. Right from the reception to the VIP rooms, all the ‘cave’ spaces have wood and stone as integral part of the decor.

renovation, beauty salon, women salon, salon waiting area

Mezzanine lounge

From the Architect – 

This beauty salon is a renovation project. Our client owns a hair salon originally, located at a corner of a busy crossroad. For some business reasons, client wants to change this shop into a beauty salon. It couldn’t be better that a street frontage shop to be used as hair salon, but the problem occurs if we want to change it into a beauty salon. It will serve female customers mainly.

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Street frontage – such an asset !

Besides selling skin care products, it will also help customer to conduct skin test and skin care treatment. Thus the space requires a higher level of privacy. How to create an appropriate quiet, private, and relaxed environment, inside this busy street frontage space? It becomes the first priority challenge in our design.

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Sketch plan

We created a series of “cave-like” spaces. They are various in size and materials, corresponding to developing levels of privacy. Benefit by the ceiling height of the building, we firstly expanded the existing mezzanine area.

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Way to mezzanine level


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Consulting room

A consulting room is been added adjacent to the reception area. Thus the customer can use it for skin testing after they enter the shop. Furthermore, the roof of consulting room becomes a communal lounge platform, for the people on the mezzanine to use.

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Floor plan – Natural beauty salon


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Communal lounge area

The space of reception area is “mountain cave“, is tall, full of different openings and natural light. We also designed some vertical wood battens to emphasis this tall spatial characteristic. People walk into this tall space by passing through a lower bulkhead from the street, will feel a spiritual lifting-up.

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Waiting area across the reception desk

Then, walking through a darker wood corridor, people will enter a “water tunnel cave”, enclosing by creamy white travertine stones. This is the waiting area, people will stay here shortly before or after entering the rooms for skin care.

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Wooden corridor

The floor slabs are designed as platforms floating on the water, the color tone is kept to be extremely pure, and light is controlled to diffuse from different positions, such as lower part of a wall, or back side of a seat.

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Corridor to VIP rooms

Image of floating islands on the water, purified color, and diffused lighting, they calm people down, completely get rid of the noise and fatigue outside. Then, walking through the waiting area corridor, people will arrive individual rooms. Rooms are enclosed with real wood panels, warm and close.

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Treatment room

Rooms are the smallest “cave” in size, which is closest to human scale, just like our clothes covering the skin, warm and light. Concealed cabinets are designed on the walls inside the room, in order to store the skin care products and equipment.

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Concealed cabinets for storage

These developing spaces are arranged along an intentionally folded and extended path. This intends to attempt and evoke some of people’s deep body memories, which may from the intimate atmosphere of primitive cave living experience.

Travertine stone and white pebbles

Real natural materials such as stone and wood are used for each space. Through the handling of space and materials, we hope to deliver a tranquil experience for the body and moods.

renovation, salon interiors, pendant lamps, product display, skin care products, products displayed on wall

Bentu terrazzo pendant lamps across the reception desk

Project details –

Project name – Natural Beauty Salon

Interior design – Studio DOTCOF |

Project location – Yushan Road, Pudong District, Shanghai, China

Project typeSalon, Health & wellness

Built-up area – 170 m2

Completion year – September 2019

Design team – Xi Chen, Rong Li, Lan Lan

Photography – © Sa Xiao

Materials & Brands – 

  • Lamett Wood Floor
  • Lena custom furniture
  • Toto sanitary
  • Bentu terrazzo lamp


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