Virtual Tour

Le Posh Salon

Anton Akopian抯 new Los Angeles salon is turning heads for its daring design, even drawing strangers off the street to pop in and look around. With custom stations, walls of birch wood and delicately tiled interiors, the aptly named Le Posh Salon is decidedly 21st-century in style. The first full-service salon on Sunset Boulevard, it offers an array of treatments, including facials, massage, nail services, hair design and coloring, plus full body treatments. For the first time, Anton discusses, in detail, how his design dreams came to life.

What was the concept behind Le Posh Salon?
The idea was to create an atmosphere that didn抰 exist in L.A. - an entirely new concept. We wanted to combine the best of European design with cutting-edge treatments and five-star service. The key word here is 搖niqueness.

Le Posh was built from scratch. How do you undertake such a project?
Research is key. We spoke to a number of architects before forming a relationship with the team at Tag Front. TF had designed a number of famous restaurants, including Blue Velvet and Takami, so we were able to view their aesthetic directly. For our project, the renderings and blueprints looked amazing: more like a chic lounge than a classic salon.

How long did the project take, from start to end?
Eighteen months. You always run into hurdles here and there.

What are the salon抯 standout features?
Its size, at more than 5,500 square feet, is a feature in itself. Space is a luxury in urban landscapes, and we were conscious of using every foot to enhance the client experience. The floor plan is very open, and each area flows into the next. One of my favorite features is the birch-wood area, which exemplifies the modern, organic aesthetic we wanted. The curved wall also turned out to be a talking point; people come in just to look at it.

The curved wall introduces texture to the space. Was that a conscious decision?
Yes. It was important to create depth and texture, as we wanted to keep the artwork minimal. For example, the tiles we use throughout the salon have a delicate, flower-like texture visible only upon close inspection.

Tell me about the color palette. Despite having such a modern space, you avoided the often-used all-white interior.
We deliberately kept the colors warm to add to the lounge feel we were after. We used natural yet contemporary shades such as slate, bark, orange, berry and moss. One wall features metallic tiles in various shades of brown and bronze. Color helps differentiate areas of the salon.

So you抳e considered sight and touch - what about sound?
On Fridays and Saturdays, a DJ comes in and spins for the clients. It adds to the lounge feel, and clients love the live interaction. The spa plays a mix of calming music, as that抯 a separate area and needs to remain tranquil.

The idea of borders is interesting, since you offer a range of services. How did you incorporate the flow of services into the layout?
The space is very open. If you抮e in the lounge or hairstyling area, you can see people in the manicure and pedicure area, and vice versa. This keeps the client visually stimulated and also promotes our range of services.

I notice that the VIP area is separated from the rest of the salon
It was specifically designed as a space for couples. A woman can have a manicure while her partner has a haircut. It抯 the ideal space for our celebrity clients. It offers complete privacy.

Tell us about the technology. The work stations, for example, are totally unique.
We spent a lot of time looking at various brands before deciding to have everything, from manicure bowls to hair stations, custom-made. Each item is designed for optimum functionality as well as aesthetic value. There is no point having something that looks good if it impedes the work of our staff.

The only branded items we bought are the Takara Belmont barber chairs and Living Earth Crafts massage chairs. These brands are the Rolls Royce of their categories.

Now that you抳e finished the design and construction of the salon, is there anything you would change?
Honestly, no. I was talking with our architects the other day, and they were saying how this is the first time they抳e had a project where the final result looked almost identical to the original renderings. They said it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I抦 glad it happened here.

Any advice for other salon owners planning a new build or revamp?
My only advice would be to make sure your salon is unique, with both design and service. Look around your area to see what抯 being offered. We tried services at nearby salons to understand what was missing. It takes a lot of homework and meetings to find the right people to work with. Once you have the right concept and team, stay true to your vision and don抰 compromise. And good luck.

- SHINE DHARAN

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