Maximising space and style are key when it comes to salon design for small spaces. And small but perfectly formed comes with an abundance of advantages; small salon layouts mean lower rents and running costs, less maintenance, and a more intimate client experience.

8 Salon Ideas for Small Spaces

Considerations for small salon designs

When it comes small salon decorating ideas, budget management and planning are key. Whether you’re launching a brand-new beauty business, revamping your nail bar, or looking for hair salon set-up ideas, the fundamental factors of successful small salon layouts remain the same.

Plan, plan, plan

Before you lift a finger or spend a penny, you need to work out what you want, what you need, and what you can afford.  Detail the absolute essentials and prioritise them in your budget.

Think about functionality

It’s very easy to get carried away when thinking about small salon decorating ideas, but always be mindful that functionality is the foremost priority with salon design.  Effective space management is essential to small hairdressing salons, home beauty businesses, boutique beauty salons, and even one chair salons. The design of your salon needs to be practical for both you and your clients.

Set a schedule

Plot a timeline of the elements involved in creating your new salon design, and schedule activity so that it has the lowest possible impact on business revenue. Maximise your income potential by using Timely to schedule advance client appointments and online consultations.

Keep it cohesive

Small salon decorating ideas and design need to actively reflect your brand.  Ask yourself if your colour scheme is on brand?  Is your salon design conducive to the client experience that your brand wants to create?  Does the design of your salon compliment your marketing materials?

1. The natural look

Nature tops the list in terms of what’s trending when it comes to small hair and small beauty salon design ideas.  Think earthy tones and textures, a tranquil salon space, and a positive approach towards sustainability.  As well as benefiting the planet, small hairdressing salons and beauty businesses that adopt an eco-friendly approach also appeal more to an increasing number of socially-conscious clients.

2. Instagrammable interior

In the age of the influencer, it can make good business sense to be mindful of Instagram’s 500 million active daily users when brainstorming beauty and hair salon set-up ideas and interior design. Pink is ever-popular with social media influencers, as are feature walls, and a flourish of flowers.

3. At-home salon

At-home salon ideas have come a long way since the days make-do ‘salon’ chairs in the kitchen.  Garden offices can be transformed into sensational small hairdressing salons, spare bedrooms can become boutique nail rooms, and thinking creatively about garage and loft conversions can lead to incredible home beauty salon ideas.

4. Mobile salon

Small salon decorating ideas involve additional considerations when a salon on wheels is involved.  It’s obviously essential that nothing in your salon moves when the vehicle is in motion, and it’s also worth keeping in mind that less is definitely more as, in comparison to other small salon layouts, space is more constricted in this scenario.

5. Nail salon inspiration

When considering nail salon design for small spaces, classic styling is a great way to keep client conversation focused on the intricate design and endless colour options of your nail work, rather than that of your walls. Pick a palette that will complement every colour of nail varnish , and ensure that your surfaces are suitable for the all-important hand-selfies.

6. Basement salon

Depending on the services and treatments you provide, a big part of your salon decorating ideas budget may need to be allocated to lighting if you are setting-up in a below-ground space.  Small hairdressing salons, for example, are likely to need to invest greater sums in lights that are fit for purpose.

Basement salon ideas that are more budget-friendly include massage rooms, reiki salons, and reflexology clinics.

7. Minimalist magic

It might look simple, and it certainly looks stylish, but minimalist salon design for small spaces can actually be quite tricky to achieve. Fortunately, there is a method to effective ‘less is more’ design, and a definite steps to curating your minimalist salon interior.  Minimalist beauty and hair salon setup ideas prioritise client experience over wow-factor.

8. Colour statement

It’s well worth considering the psychology of colour when thinking about small salon decorating ideas.  Your colour choices communicate unconscious messages to your clients, can have a huge impact on brand recognition, and can influence purchasing behaviour. Pink is known to suggest sincerity, blue is said to evoke trust, and green is believed to signal quality.

How do you decorate a small salon space? 

Coming up with design ideas for small salons doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience.  There are a number of ways to optimise small salon layouts, without going over your salon decorating ideas budget:

  1. Think about how your salon looks from the entrance and from the windows outside. The first impression that your clients get of your salon space is a lasting one.
  2. Pick your furniture wisely.  Choose pieces that fit specific spaces, rather than making purchases and then trying to find the right place to put them.
  3. Remember that you don’t have to do, or buy, everything at once.  Come back to your initial beauty or hair salon setup ideas after a couple of months and decide if you need to make changes or additions to your salon interior design.

How do you make a small salon look bigger? 

It is definitely possible to create the illusion of having more space within small salon layouts:

  1. Dark colours make a space seem small, so keep things light.
  2. Use transparent furniture and accessories; they trick the brain into thinking the space is bigger than it is.
  3. Never underestimate the power of mirrors.  They reflect light and make interiors appear larger than they are.

Hair salon decorating ideas on a budget 

Whilst it’s important to stick to your salon decorating ideas budget, that doesn’t mean that you need to be prevented from creating an incredible salon interior:

  1. Upcycle furniture to create unique statement pieces.
  2. Use detailing and accessories to inject interest into the space.
  3. Create a feature wall using flowers or decorative wallpaper.

Enough looking at other people’s dream setups, now it’s time to build your own. Get inspired!

Keep in mind that no area is too small for your salon, switch items around where you need to and feel free to cut unnecessary junk from your build in order to make space for the equipment that you need.

If you ever get discouraged, feel free to look back at all of these great setups for some quick inspiration.


What are some effective space management strategies for a small salon space?

Effective space management in a small salon involves maximising storage space, utilising vertical spaces, and choosing compact salon equipment. Salon owners could invest in salon furniture that doubles as storage units, use wall mirrors to reflect light and give an illusion of more space, and opt for compact salon chairs that don’t crowd the floor.

How can you optimise small salon interior design?

In a small salon, the interior design should focus on creating a spacious and welcoming atmosphere. This can be achieved by using a light colour scheme, incorporating lots of natural light, and having minimalist décor. A feature wall or a statement piece can add interest without cluttering the space. The reception desk and hair stations should be strategically placed to ensure smooth flow of movement.

What are some creative small salon décor ideas?

Small salon design ideas can range from high-hanging artworks to create a sense of height in a small space, to using dark colours on the ceiling to draw the eye upward. Salon owners can also consider integrating their brand colors into the salon’s interior design. Another idea is to create a home salon feel with cozy and comfortable furniture, giving clients a personalised and relaxing experience.

What kind of salon equipment is best suited for a small beauty salon?

For a small beauty salon, it’s ideal to choose multi-functional salon equipment. This could include chairs with double-sided styling stations, compact nail salon stations, or stations with built-in storage space. The goal is to minimise clutter while still providing all the necessary services.

How can a small salon space be transformed into a dream salon?

This involves thoughtful planning and design. The layout should ensure easy movement for both you and your clients. Invest in quality salon furniture that reflects your brand’s aesthetic and ensure there’s enough natural light to make the space feel open and airy. Also, consider your clients’ comfort by providing ample seating and a welcoming reception area.