Drybar in Graton hair-styling salon, West Sonoma County real estate, California commercial interior, US spa retail photos

Drybar in Graton, California Store

Retail and Spa Interior Development in CA design by Heitler Houstoun Architects, United States

Sep 4, 2019

Design: Heitler Houstoun Architects

Location: Graton, west Sonoma County, California, USA

Drybar Graton California
photo Heitler Houstoun Architects / © Clark Dugger Photography

Drybar in Graton

Drybar, the nationwide chain of hair-styling salons, is a triumph of architectural branding. In the nine years since its first store opened in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA, DryBar has added about 120 stores across the continent that conform to their signature design aesthetic and offer customers in any location a consistent experience.

The Drybar brand is a service concept expressed as a very particular look. Certain key elements of the design are seen in virtually every store interior (except a few where the look has been modified to fit the context of a special location). These include the bar itself; the white marble countertops; a chandelier made of yellow plastic hair dryers; placement of mirrors where the customer will only see them at the end of the treatment; and a coffered ceiling made of Ceilume thermoformed ceiling panels.

“The real groundbreaking idea of the original Drybar,” explains Josh Heitler, Senior Principal of Heitler Houstoun Architects, “was to break the mold of the salon, to have it look and feel and smell nothing like the typical salon experience.” Heitler Houstoun, New York, NY has designed all of Drybar’s stores from the beginning, refining and tweaking the design, and even fabricating the signature blow dryer chandeliers by hand in their own office.

Drybar Graton California
photo Heitler Houstoun Architects / © Clark Dugger Photography

“In 2009, when we were designing the first one, nobody was really sitting at a bar to get a service. Now it’s so ubiquitous, it feels like there’s a bar for everything. But that was the unique idea: you’re getting a service in a new and social way, where you’re sitting at a bar having a glass of wine, watching a movie, perhaps you’ve gone with friends… You’re not staring at yourself in a mirror the whole time.

And, there’s the built-in idea of the big reveal, when they turn you around to the mirror at the end. The station itself, all of the dimensions and all materials are standardized across all the stores. The idea is that a customer who’s traveling, at a Drybar anywhere in the country, will find that part of the experience comfortable and familiar.”

Drybar Graton California
photo : Steven H. Miller

That comfortable, familiar experience includes the elegant, coffered ceiling of thermoformed Ceilume panels used in almost all Drybar stores. They were selected for a combination of style and performance.

“The owners and founders gave us what initially sounded like an impossible task,” explains Heitler. “They wanted it to be ‘timeless, but of the moment.’ We’ve used a mix of traditional elements with some more modern elements. Visually, the ceiling panels contribute to the traditional side of the balance. They look like coffered ceilings, which gives texture and interest.”

Heitler points out that style was not the only criterion for the ceiling. “They’re also a very maintainable and cleanable product; that’s important due to hairspray and other styling products. We originally used a different panel, but we quickly changed to Ceilume because the original panels, although they looked similar, were not as easy to maintain and clean. The Ceilume panels have worked for us over the years because they give us the detail and the character we’re looking for, but in a very practical and maintainable way.”

Made from rigid vinyl, they are impervious to water and washable. If it is necessary to remove suspended ceiling panels for access above the ceiling, the panels are lightweight and easy to remove without damaging. Drybar’s ceiling, Ceilume’s Cambridge style, in white, is one of 39 styles, available in 16 colors and custom colors.

The coffered ceiling, complementing the rectangular product shelves and the crisp detailing of the bar, completes the stylish ambience that the founders sought to bring to hair styling. “It is intended to be a positive social experience, such as going to a bar” comments Heitler. “A lot of that comes from the hints you get from the environment. It looks like spaces where you’re used to having fun.”

Drybar Graton California
photo : Ceilume

Drybar in Graton, California – Building Information

Design: Heitler Houstoun Architects

About Ceilume
Ceilume is the leading manufacturer of thermoformed ceiling and wall tiles and panels. The company’s roots go back to when “Mid-Century was Modern” and the pioneers of modular ceilings.

The family-owned business is located in California’s wine country and occupies a historic apple-packing warehouse. With an eye on the future, Ceilume’s research and development continues to improve interior finish systems to meet changing environmental, performance, and aesthetic needs.

Photography © Clark Dugger Photography, Ceilume and Steven H. Miller

Drybar in Graton, California images / information received 040919 from Heitler Houstoun Architects

Location: Graton, California, USA

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