Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holidaly Fun!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's Been a Loooong Time Since My Last Post!

My how time flies when you are crazy-busy!

We found our two Christmas trees this weekend: one for the family room with colorful kid decorations, and one for the living room with sparkly, more formal decor.

This year, the kids hung their own tree - and it looks totally great. Oh sure, there are lots of branches where my 6-year old has clustered 3 ornaments on the same low branch, in exactly the same spot - but that adds to the overall effect and charm. And nobody was able to get to the uppermost branches - so it's a touch sparse at the top. At night we've been singing carols around the tree before bedtime.

I ask you, how much more "holiday" does it get than that?

I'm getting ready to head out to New York on Sunday for a Deskside Media Tour to introduce a new C2 product to a bunch of great design and home magazines. I am so excited! NYC at Christmas-time.

So in preparation for the blitz, I needed to visit the salon to get my hair done. I've been visiting Gene Juarez for about the last year, and they just relocated the salon to a new space.

About that space...

On first blush, it's great. Contemporary, but with an approachable aesthetic that helps inform clients that modern doesn't necessarily mean "cold". However, the more I really looked at the details (and when you are getting your hair colored, you have time to look!), the more the details weren't appropriate for the function of the salon (At least from my point-of-view).

In design school you learn "Form follows function", meaning that if it looks great but doesn't work well, you have not successfully accomplished your design goals. Well, the salon looks GREAT. I LOOOVE the curtain of ball-bearing chain beads behind the front counter. You just want to play with it.

And the fireplace in the waiting area - nice touch. Especially during the months from October through March.

But the banquette-styled sofas were a bust. Not comfortable and nowhere to support myself and rest my arms. Not comfortable is not a feature I am looking for when paying a premium price in a salon. No, no, no, I want to feel LUXE (which happens to also be a great C2 color, #361, by the way).

Apparently, the row of hairdryers is a real problem. They are also situated in a row with banquette seating, instead of individual chairs. My concern was that clients personal space would feel violated because there is no real designation between drying stations. And I saw a woman try and balance her lovely cup of tea on the seat, because there was no place to set the cup.

Worse still... apparently the banquette is too high and many women cannot even rest their feet on the ground! Imagine! Sitting there feeling like a little kid. So the short-term solution has been to add some throw pillows for added back support (apparently that not working so well, either), but they are going to have to devise a foot-rest or something to accommodate. And if you are a person of size - you can't stay seated easily because of the design. Yikes. One month into the new space, and that is not fixed yet. Oh boy.

I am going to be watching how the pearlized floor tiles age. They are white with a pearlized glaze and an interesting texture that gives them a lot of surface interest. They are also getting splotches on them where hair color drips onto them. Even with quick clean-up, they are getting ghost stains if you look closely. I noticed that the stylists also have this as their flooring around the chairs - wouldn't that increase leg and foot fatigue for people who must be on their feet all day? This is where "Form follows function" is IMPERATIVE, in my book. Make the staff happy and they will make their clients happy! The traffic areas are some sort of warm wood laminate flooring.

The white walls are tasty. And yes, I can't believe I'm saying that either!

The citrus green accent shots, love 'em.

I found more of that purpley-gray I've been noticing lately. Yummy.

I think it will be interesting to see how things evolve there. Will the salon age well? What changes will need to be made now that it's real-life time rather than just a concept?