Friday, August 3, 2012


This is what turns out to be a rare post that's actually all about ME and MY SALON-- The Art of Nailz.

The blog has suffered for the last few months due to a busy schedule and the fact that I walked into work back in January or February and suddenly hated the place.

Ok, not "hated," exactly-- who can hate where they work with a view like this?

But for 2 1/2 years, the salon was decorated with muted beiges, with red accents and dark brown wood tones... very English library. (And upon reading the infamous Fifty Shades books, I started referring to the decor as the "red salon of pain--" which, frankly, is not how you want your salon referred to, but it made a good inside joke.)

Honestly, I loved the way the salon looked. But it was time for a change, I wanted to brighten everything up.

And thus began what has turned out to be a ridiculously long remodel process.

First, the office suite next door became vacant. Which I have been waiting for since I moved in so that I could expand and add a dedicated pedicure room.

But I really wasn't looking forward to doubling my rent.

Fortunately, the massage therapist who also works on the same floor as my salon agreed to split the rent with me so she could have some storage space other than the corner of her massage room.

So, once negotiations with the leasing agent were finished and construction plans were approved by the landlord-- the crew started knocking a hole in the wall.

The landlord/contractor was thrilled with where I wanted the doorway into the new expansion-- you can see why: our walls are made of hollow brick.

My doorway meant that his crew had to cut through the brick. There used to be a door between the two suites, but that drywall patch is now located behind my sink. I had a Plan B ready in case he insisted on using the existing cut, but it required more walls on the other side... he eventually muttered something under his breath and said my door was going where I wanted it.

This photo shows Step One of the construction-- the initial cut into the brick wall.

This project took a little over a week. The crew came in, cut halfway through the wall for the doorway, framed and wired the low wall that would divide the new suites in half-- the "back" half  of the suite, with the windows, would open up to my existing salon. The "front" portion-- with the door from the hallway-- would be shared by Cindy and I for storage.

Next is a photo of the new doorway once it was cut through my side of the wall. EVERYTHING in the salon was covered with fine, red, brick dust for days!

Meanwhile, I paced the floor waiting for the construction to come to an end so that I could get around to painting.

I collected about 30 paint color samples and taped them to the wall. Everyone kept picking the bright aqua blues.

I exercised my veto power with the explanation that I wanted something "almost white" and tried to explain that if I went with any of the brighter blues we would all end up feeling like we were drowning in the aqueduct of It's A Small World.
To no avail. The only person who agreed with my color choice was the hair stylist across the hall.

But finally, the construction ended and it was time to paint. Never mind that I hadn't quite settled on the new color yet, since I wanted to go so light with the new color, I had to prime over that red wall first!

It took us 3 weeks to get the walls primed. Mostly because we did it ourselves and we still had to work during the week, and our weekends always seem to fill up with little chores that have to get done before anything else.

The painting project didn't get started until May, which also took us away from very important camping projects.

Nevertheless, we got the walls primed and eventually painted... well; we got the main salon painted. It was decided to wait on the pedi room until the construction was done....


Well, yeah. I had to have a pedicure station built too. And I have been totally all about the raised bench seat style pedi station for quite awhile now. LOVE the set up. I had my plans all worked out, I just needed someone to build the thing for me.

I looked into pre-built units but I didn't want plumbing (I promise to post my pedi procedure as soon as the dang room is actually done) and I didn't want to spend $8,000 on it.

So I started investigating my options for local carpenters.

I eventually begged and pleaded one of my clients' hubbies to tackle the project for me. I drew him pictures, I gave him measurements, we stood in the new room and stared at the blank wall while I pantomimed my vision to him.

He was skeptical. He wrinkled up his brow and sort of looked at me like I was speaking in an alien language.

But he took my drawings and my measurements home.

This particular client's hubby is also the neighboring hairstylist's step-father, so about a week later, when I hadn't heard anything back from him and I was starting to suspect I'd driven him to a breakdown and might have to start looking for another carpenter-- Bree came in to inform me that Paul was building my pedi bench and it looked "really cool."

And then, one day I came to work and the thing was just in the salon, right where it ought to be.

Now he's working on cabinets that will go on the sides of the bench.

Paul's responsibility ends with the installation-- finishing the wood and upholstering the bench seat will be left up to me.

And we still have to paint the pedi room.

This is turning into a long, drawn out, 6 month process.

I can't really finish the main salon area until the pedi room is done because the stuff that's sitting on shelves in the salon (shelves that DO NOT BELONG in here!) will eventually find their home in the cabinets that Paul is currently building for the pedi room.

I don't love working in chaos. It sort of messes with my sense of Place. And I'm keenly aware that it affects other peoples' perception of a business (or your home, but we do tend to be more forgiving in that respect.)

I know my regular clients will be patient with the progress and are eager to see how it all turns out. But everytime I have a new client come to the salon I am tripping over myself in apologies for the clutter.

Well. I guess it's not that cluttered in here, so much as it just feels not-finished.

Mostly, I have learned that the next time I'm tired of looking at my walls, I will close the place down for a week and get it all done at once. Then just re-open with a flourish and a triumphant "VOILA!"

In the meantime-- please pardon our dust-- the Art of Nailz is undergoing an expansion and remodel. Trust me, it's gonna be awesome!