Say No Mo is a conceptually new set-up of a beauty salon in Kiev. The 'heart' of the salon is a bar that is used for both beauty treatments and traditional cocktail receptions. The main task that Balbek bureau faced from the beginning of the design process was to break through a traditional perception of a conventional beauty salon, and the distinction between men and women.
Balbek Bureau is a studio active in the fields of global architecture and interior design. With over thirteen years of experience in bespoke commercial, corporate and residential facilities. Comfort, innovation and functionality drive every architectural and interior design project. The Canadian owner of this project learned through her years of experience how to make a client happy. This insight became the basis of the Balbek office's interior solutions in order to get on the same mental wavelength with the client. In our opinion, the architectural team succeeded in this with flying colours in the project we show here. The centrepiece of this project, a contemporary beauty salon, is on the ground floor and is a large concrete arch that looks as if it is crumbling, which the studio hopes will serve as a metaphor for the 'broken stereotypes in the beauty industry'. The rough shape is enhanced by the visible details of formwork and the highly structured scene that greets the customers. The main interior element weighs several hundred kilos and it took four months of intensive work to achieve its seemingly effortless 'this has always been there’-aesthetic.
The eye catcher had an 'this has always been there' aesthetic in mind.
At the reception desk, this blocky concrete is also used and was even poured on site. This space can be used for cocktail receptions as well as a relaxed lounging. Furthermore, the room is furnished with some organic sofas, pots of pampas grass, steel side tables and a hanging stove from the ceiling. A little further on is the pedicure room, where a series of comfortable beige armchairs and footbaths stand on bases of white tiles. Some of the tiles have hairline cracks that are inlaid with brass. This detail goes well with the gold-coloured washbasin in the middle of the pedicure room, which was made by joining two very small Soviet-era baths. Behind it, the passageway leads to the nail art area, where a stylish hammock will probably be the visitors' favourite Instagram spot. Finally, the make-up, washing and toilets area is located in the basement. Given the lack of natural light and a low ceiling height, the entire floor was finished in white with a maximum use of mirrors to make the space appear visually lighter and larger. Moreover, the aim of this project was to say a resounding 'yes' to the flight of imagination, creativity and aesthetics. Photography by Yevhenii Avramenko