Salon Design Service
Salon Design Service
In what might first seem an unlikely collaboration, Gents@27 was conceived when Mark Powell, the owner of a cleaning supplies company, met barber Matt Stringer. However, together they set upon a shared vision to create a haven of relaxation and high quality barbering; where guys of all ages could escape the chaos of everyday life to indulge in a little 'me' time. After securing the ideal high street location, a historic and character-rich building that once served as a Tea Room, the two embarked on a mission to create an inspiring space that preserved its architectural traditions, whilst introducing a contemporary vibe that staff and clients would appreciate. "We knew that by taking the right approach to design and planning, and investing in the best equipment, we'd create a feel good factor for our team that would resonate with clients too," says Mark.
Looking at the interior, it's clear to see they've met their objective. After factoring in their personal experiences of visiting and working in barbershops for many years - good and bad - Mark and Matt took their vision and ideas for Gents@27 to Takara Belmont's chief designer, Tetsuya Ito. The journey to bring their imagination to life was set in motion. Mark Powell: "We wanted to respect the architectural history of the building inside and out, but also to ensure it blended in with the heritage of the area. Botley is a small historic village, so we wanted to enhance the ambience of the high street."
Using the original interior architecture to their advantage, exposed brickwork and polished concrete floors are a perfect complement. They're also practical, aesthetically pleasing and easy to clean and maintain. Timber beams nod to the building's historic origins and this theme continues with a bark-edged timber styling shelf and rustic timber display shelves. Whilst projecting a natural aesthetic, practicality and functionality have been considered in equal measure. With two dedicated backwash stations, the Takara Belmont Majolica Porto basin adds to the experience whilst blending in seamlessly with their design. Styling station wall lighting is characteristic of a bygone age, yet the trend for vintage retro make these eye-catching and absolutely on-trend. Discreet ceiling lighting ensures their team of barbers can focus on the job in hand.
Meanwhile, air conditioning is not the only feature taking care of client comfort. As the barber in this partnership, Matt Stringer knew that Takara Belmont was essential to achieve the quality of grooming experience and interior style they were looking to accomplish. After visiting Takara Belmont at Salon International, Matt saw the Apollo 2 barber chairs, Mini Cabi Steel Towel Unit and Majolica Porto basins as integral to their project. "Matt is the barber and he insisted we had to have the best chairs and equipment. He was right," says Mark. "We could have bought cheaper but that would have been a false economy. My view is. if you buy cheap you end up buying twice as much and spending more in the long run. With quality in every detail of our design and vision for Gents@27, this was an area we were not prepared to compromise on."
Matt Stringer: "Apollo 2 chairs brought the classic style that we imagined and wanted and they are reliable, comfortable and perfect for the clients too. As an area with a growing and diverse population, it needed a barbershop with a modern take on traditional barbering, where clients get a real experience rather than just a quick short back and sides. We're delivering that and equipment is key to the customer experience and how our barbers deliver that service.'
With clients spending 30+ minutes in the shop, their determination to create a real barbering experience is paying off. Sure, there have been a few bumps along the road to completion, like waiting for their customised Apollo 2's with piping to arrive, ensuring equidistant electrical conducts and tricky plumbing installations, but the overall effect at Gents@27 has inspired Matt and Mark to eye up potential sites for a second high-end shop. We say simply, watch this space!
Salon Design Service