A salon-meets-café-meets retail outlet in a unique and cohesive space designed by the Canadian firm +tongtong.
A café-cum-salon-cum-retail boutique in Toronto is aptly called Her Majesty´s Pleasure as it is indeed a dream come true for the female residents of the city. Designed by local firm +tongtong, this lady´s haven (which also serves men!) is situated at the base of a newly opened building in downtown. By reiterating materials, patterns and concepts across each area, the interior design of Her Majesty´s Pleasure feels cohesive and connected throughout the space.
Edgy yet light
The +tongtong team, under the creative direction of John Tong, has given the space a sense of casual elegance fused with a natural, tactile and edgy environment. They have kept the palette light and fresh, selecting white, light grey, charcoal and varying shades of blue for the main colour scheme. Hints of copper, bright yellow, Douglas fir plywood and slate add warmth to the palette.
A bold custom-design graphic floor pattern of blue and grey tiles adds a sense of definition to the entry café/bar. Here, one side of the room consists of a seemingly ornate, yet stripped down, whitewashed bar that´s topped with white marble. A line of geometrically folded copper stools reflect the coved lights under the bar, while across the room, bistro tables and custom-designed grey leather banquet seating with a geometric black steel base and Douglas fir footrest line the wall.
Riffing on the character of the bar, the sideboard features a white tile design with flecks of copper that resemble falling leaves. ¨Copper is a really warm tactile material and is the perfect foil to the whitewashed accents. It gives a bit of sparkle. It´s a precious metal that´s still industrial and elemental,¨ says Tong.
Playing dress up
The designers have accentuated the towering 20-foot-high ceilings by installing industrial, multi-pane glass and steel window frames behind the bar - a treatment that plays with the proportions of the spce and also allows patrons to view the salon area from the bar. The bar and the salon are mirror images of each other, with identical white enameled steel pendant lights hanging in parallel lines, like voluptuous earrings complimenting a dress.
As one enters, one can also see an architectural structure at the back of the space. Serving double duty as a pop-up retail boutique and reception to the salon, this monolith is ¨a product display system grown out of an architectural construction,¨ says Tong. ¨It´s a structure within a structure.¨ The pitched roof language is another nod to tradition, resembling barns and tree houses alike, but the geometric wooden shelving, backlit by LEDs, is fully modern.
A place to indulge
Traveling past the wooden pop up, you arrive at the beauty salon. The marble bar from the entry wraps around, extending the experience into the salon and setting the stage for manicures. A long, raised wooden deck lined with Muskoka chairs defines the pedicure area. Above the deck, the coved ceiling is painted a fresh yellow and softly lit with a rafter-like structure assembled on the top. Like the retail boutique, the pedicure area, which was designed with an outdoor porch in mind, stands out from the main area.
The blow-out lounge also eschews the typical salon set-up. Patrons sit at the marble bar as they get their hair done, with bartenders serving on the other side. Located across the aisle, the make-up lounge - which can be used for post-treatment time or booked for private functions - is fashioned as a wooden cabin. At the center of the lounge, geometric copper stools surround a custom-designed table, which is topped with copper and white diamond-shaped tiles.
A medley of materials, Her Majesty´s Plea¡sure is as royal as it sounds!
Design Firm: +tongtong
Lead Designer: John Tong
Designer: Kateryna Nebesna
Architect of Record: Steven Fong Architect
Contractor: Gaydon Contractors Ltd.
Total Area: 3000 sq ft
Styling: Tamar Rosenberg
photos: Lisa Petrole