"We went back to a large lounge area, bar and a real focus on plants and the surround ings. At weekends we screen classic movies on the wall for clients to enjoy."
Since Joe Mills launched The Lounge Soho in 1998, the salon has undergone a complete revamp, not to mention a change of site thanks to flooding.
Driven out of the original premises by a flood in March 2021, Joe moved The Lounge into his barbershop Joe and Co and the barbershop moved into The Lounge.“The two businesses swapped locations. Although the refit was initially driven out of necessity it ended up with me reviewing what we do and how we do things,” he remarks.
This new direction has resulted in a pristine salon with a relaxed feel to it. Joe has ensured the space is gender-neutral and is welcoming to everyone. The salon’s new look actually goes back to its roots: “When we first opened in 1998 there was a focus on a ‘lounge’ feel which, looking back, we started to move away from. So, with this in mind, we went back to a large lounge area, bar and a real focus on plants and the surroundings. At weekends we screen classic movies on the wall for clients to enjoy,” explains Joe.
Walking into The Lounge Soho, you are greeted with sofas, armchairs and rugs – with plants decorating the area. Italian strip lighting beams down onto the salon, with Joe noting how it complements the natural light within the space. Amazingly the build was completed without having to close for longer than one day. The team worked tirelessly to create a new version of The Lounge Soho, as the salon excitingly transformed right under clients’ noses.
"The colour bar is a vintage haberdashery unit we reclaimed.Our style is a mash-up, but it works.”
The stunning space has a simple layout, with the beauty being in the details. Joe opted for a colour scheme of pink, yellow, blue, turquoise, and black – with polished concrete flooring. Putting his own stamp on the interior design, he created a blend of modern and vintage décor in the Soho plot: the Lounge area is a mixture of new and custom-made pieces, the basins and sinks are from Takara Belmont and the trolleys are 1970’s designer items from Joe Colombo. "The colour bar is a vintage haberdashery unit we reclaimed. Our style is a mash-up, but it works.”
Reflecting its barbershop roots, The Lounge Soho features sinks in front of the client at their styling station – rather than a dedicated backwash area. This results in less travelling for the client and fits the gender-neutral ethos. A salon in the heart of Soho that welcomes everyone, what more could clients wish for?
Name: The Lounge Soho
Address: 22 Peter Street London W1F 0AG
Owner: Joe Mills
Size: 1,200 sq ft
premises: We have had the space for eight years but have just relocated The Lounge Soho there
JOE'S TOP TIPS
1 Work towards a tight budget In my experience, things always change a lot when you start a project like this, especially prices!
2 Make sure you have the right team Having the right people behind the project makes such a difference.
3 Plan it out Think about the client and their journey when they come into the salon.