Homes - Interior Photo Credit: Tracy Ayton

Great Spaces: Vanilla Loft

Inside an L.A.-inspired North Van hair salon with some lofty design ambition.

When most couples want to spend more time together, they’ll make a movie date or take an Italian cooking class. Newlyweds Chris Weber Mirlach and Patrick Mirlach, on the other hand, decided to open a hair salon. Chris is a stylist renowned for his colour work, and Patrick has made a career in retail management, so the duo was more than up for the challenge. Inspired by chill-but-homey salons in L.A. and Australia, they called in interior design firm House of Bohn to help bring their vision for Vanilla Loft to life. “There was kind of an instant concept of doing an artist’s loft,” says designer Karin Bohn.

“Their style is very bohemian and kind of casual but still fresh and edgy and modern.” The ceiling was already exposed, so Bohn installed a faux brick wall to amplify the industrial-heritage-L.A.-cool spirit. An open-concept kitchen offers a place for stylists to hang out at the counter with a coffee between appointments; power outlets in the island let clients sit and work on laptops as they’re waiting for their colour to set.

For those who want a cozier spot to hang out before or after a makeover, there’s the teal sofa from West Elm that sits on an antique rug in the waiting area.

At the workstations, custom gold-rimmed oversized mirrors help elevate the room from the typical beauty-parlour set-up. “Salon design is tricky because a lot of stuff—salon chairs, wash sinks—is hard to customize because it can be very cost prohibitive,” explains Bohn. “But if you don’t have special features that are unique and different, a salon can look like any other salon.” They’ve been married three years now, but inside this dreamy salon where the Mirlachs now work side by side, the honeymoon phase still feels very much alive. “It feels like home,” says Chris.

Vanilla Loft
127 3rd St. E, North Vancouver
vanillaloft.com

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