Ian McCabe Studio
For his second location, celebrity stylist Ian McCabe chose the up-and-coming Union Market neighborhood, envisioning an aesthetic distinguishable from his first salon in DC’s Ritz. The renovation transforms a 3,200-SF warehouse shell into a raw yet ethereal new space that channels the area’s edgy attitude, while maintaining the character of the original structure.
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The updated boutique studio incorporates elements of the original warehouse including the use of the historic entrance façade as a striking divide between the front and back sections. Much of the original brick remains, hand-painted a subtle crème color to elevate the space and play off the soft airiness and sunlight provided by the center skylight. Ceiling trusses connect to form a delicate butterfly pattern reminiscent of the original infrastructure and provide contrast to the industrial style ceiling pipes.
Metallic copper hues of the Ian McCabe logo are incorporated throughout the space to create warmth in the otherwise cool and minimalist space. A sophisticated, monochromatic palette was of high importance both to appeal to high-end clientele and help staff discern the subtle nuances of hair tones during the treatment process.
The salon was measured with extreme care to ensure everything from the vanities to the inside of the cabinets fit perfectly within the new space to reduce clutter and promote efficiency by strategically hiding cords and wires, and by providing ample storage space for products and tools. Extra-large vanities take up more square footage than normal to add to the client experience, producing a luxurious space that feels both exclusive and intimate.
Hospitality-inspired features elevate the space further, including charging stations available at each vanity for client use during time-consuming treatments. Suspended mini terrariums and greenery add an unexpected touch of nature for clients as they sit through hair-washing, making the space more visually interesting and evoking feelings of tranquility. As sessions end, a coffee and espresso bar is made available to clients, re-energizing them following a period of pure bliss and relaxation at the salon.