San Francisco-based interior designer Christine Lin’s latest project comes in the form of a new nail salon, Lacquerbar. Situated in Berkeley, the space poses a fresh approach to the traditional hole-in-the-wall salon. Founded by Angela Prilliman, the all-female run space is fun, high-powered, and boldly colorful. An eccentric array of polishes come named after successful women from the likes of Michelle Obama to Beyonce. As if that wasn’t enough, it also doubles as a lounge where a creative color block separates a bar area from the under-21 section. We caught up with Lin to get the insider scoop on the unique design of Lacquerbar. Take a look!
What was the main source of inspiration for the design of the salon?
There were several! We were inspired by Lacquerbar’s strong, girl-power branding for the colors. A temporary installation by fos for the graphic paint, India Mahdavi’s REDValentino flagship store in London for the curves in the furniture, and Donald Judd‘s minimalist furniture for the bar and reception millwork.
What is your favorite part of the salon?
It’s hard to pick! I think it might be the “nevertheless she persisted” wall. It was so timely when that phrase became a meme! At the beginning of the year, Angela and I were deciding on what phrases should be cast in neon, and “nevertheless she persisted” was so perfect to go with the gallery wall of female role-models such as Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, and Beyonce (after whom Lacquerbar brand nail polishes are named).
In the age of social media, channels such as Instagram and Pinterest tend to influence the designs of public spaces—salons included—was this something you thought about when cultivating the aesthetic?
In my opinion, it’s a focus on the experience of the space that makes the space “Instagrammable” and not the other way around. Before social media and the internet, there were millions of spaces designed to be as such, and that people continue to post for inspiration. For all of my designs, regardless of budget and client style, I go into the project with the goal of making it portfolio-worthy, as in, the highest level of quality and design I can provide. I won’t accept anything less—after all, this is my passion and my art. The art comes into play with melding the client’s preferences and style together with my own sensibilities to create something that we both love and as a result, is photo-worthy.
Its attitude! Most of the nail salons you see out there are spa-like and Angela, the founder of Lacquerbar, wanted the opposite. She wanted a place where you could hang out with your friends, listen to fun music, and rock out your nails. This isn’t a quiet place to speak in low tones, but a place to lounge or have some drinks, and that’s reflected in the design. Essentially we took the brand concept of Lacquerbar and made it 3D.