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End of stereotypes | Say No Mo, Kiev

Saying no to regular beauty salons, saying no to sexual discrimination and saying no to conventional solutions – this is what’s behind the name of Kiev’s latest and (coolest) beauty salon, Say No Mo.

It’s not easy to take down stereotypes, but the team of Balbek Bureau has a history of succeeding in it. In their latest project, the team responsible for the coolest spots in Kiev reinvented the institution of beauty salons. To more be accurate, they took, demolished and rebuilt it so that something much more free could become out of it.

In the case of Say No Mo, both the client and the architects set the same goal: to create a gender neutral, 21st century and striking interior. They started off from an old tenement house in downtown Kiev: 200 square meters, two stories and a 4 meter height.

The ground level of the salon gives home to the hairdressers and cosmetics part, while the manicure and pedicure were placed on the upper floor. And the cocktail bar, of course. 

The most dominant element of the space, the concrete arch of the reception broken in half has a symbolic meaning to it: it represents tearing down conventional stereotypes. The raw power of concrete and the color grey is balanced by fine details such as the velvet covers or the gilding of stainless steel surfaces.

The designers did not only focus on aesthetics: in the pedicure, for example, they also made sure that workers too have the most ergonomic working circumstances possible, in addition to the comfort of guests.

The cocktail bar is available to guests in the opening hours of the salon, but sometimes the entire place transforms into a large party venue – to that end, the furnishing can be adjusted to the purpose and the given situation easily.

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