Celebrity hairstylists and entrepreneurs Nikki Lee and Riawna Capri have been important figures in the hair scene for quite some time, styling prominent figures such as Anine Bing, Selena Gomez, and Julianne Hough. They’ve also founded an academy that trains other professionals. For the most part, that’s what this space off of Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles served as. Located in a historic landmark building of old town West Hollywood, they wanted to convert their new studio space into a fully functioning salon called Nine Zero One. Familiar with interior designer Gianpiero Gaglione‘s portfolio, they knew that he’d be the right person for the project.
“I feel that the job of the designer is really to bring out my clients’ ideas rather than me imparting my own designs on them,” Gianpiero told us. “A lot of the inspiration imagery Riawna and Nikki shared with me were tonal drawings from make-up and shades of foundation. Riawna had also just planned a destination wedding for herself and her fiancé Morgan, postponed because of COVID, and she had all this inspiration imagery from it.” Gianpiero drew from those sources of inspiration two things – the color palette and materials.
Key to emphasizing the beauty of Nine Zero One’s clients was a soft palette of warm earthy red tones. “In the reception, we used a Venetian plaster applied by Studio 1 Plaster, which has a beautiful polish to it that subtly reflects back light,” he said. Another key feature, that was the most difficult to achieve was the custom ombre hallway. “I had three contractors looking at it saying they could do it,” Gianpiero shared. “Eventually, the guy who did it had to re-do it three times and I even had to get in there with my own hands to bring the refined feel I sought after.” This particular feature along with the mirrored wall and neon heart created an Instagrammable space for Nine Zero One. “It’s glowy without being showy and it’s just plain fun to photograph with,” he mused.
The other show-stopping feature in the salon is the silk floral ceiling in the VIP room. “Truly, every inch is covered in white florals which was a deliberate nod to Riawna’s matrimonial bliss and pays homage to florist Jeff Leatham,” the designer told us. “Overall these materials and sculptural gestures aim to activate your senses and provide guests with a uniquely, beautiful sensory experience.”
Filled with elegant elements and materials, the salon exudes the laidback luxury quality that is key to Nikki and Riawna’s brand. However, Gianpiero knows when to go high and when to go low. “I’m not afraid of using what many people might call an ‘economical’ material if it provides good aesthetics and durability for a space,” he said. “Prior to the renovation, my clients loved the look of a wood floor but hair dyes stained the last floor, coupled with high heels and heavy traffic, the floor was totally ruined. To resolve this we installed a wood-effect vinyl floor.” Practical and durable, this material selection allowed the salon owners to work worry-free knowing that their floors would withstand anything they threw at it.
Having stripped down the space and opened up walls to create a new more spacious reception and shop, Gianpiero delivered Nikki and Riawna their completed salon in just five months. “I really enjoyed seeing their expressions when they saw the finished space,” he smiled. “It felt like a full-circle moment to the connection we built in our first concept presentation and now. I’m just so excited and happy for them and for the next chapter in their fascinating journey.”