Citrus ROOMS |

2 mins

Citrus ROOMS

Salon owner Gemma Yull tells Ellen Cummings how the design of her salons helps her run a successful business

Gemma Yull opened the first Citrus Rooms salon in 2012 and now runs two sites in St Neots and St Ives in Cambridgeshire. While the salons are known for their brow treatments, they also provide beauty treatments including nails, facials, massage and waxing.

Creating a theme

Finding inspiration for salon design is an important part of creating a beauty business, and for Yull this was easy. “It comes from my love of Spain and the Mediterranean,” she explains.

“We have social areas, and then we also have the more traditional treatment rooms as well – we have lemon, lime and orange treatment rooms, which have the corresponding colours and scents.

“I wanted to create something fresh and vibrant, but also with neutral tones. We use a lot of muted greys and whites, but with bright greens, yellows and oranges dotted around. We also use a lot of vintage-looking wood, including for our signage.”

Brow bars

Yull says she was the first to take on HD Brows in Cambridgeshire, and in her words, the business “went absolutely berserk”, so she knew brows had to be a central part of her salon.

“I knew I wanted to do a brow bar concept. I could see them popping up all over London and I thought we needed something like that locally. So, the design was built around the fact that when you came in, the brow bars were the first thing you saw.”

Aromatherapy focus

The team creates custom aromatherapy blends, and they’re an integral part of the salons. Yull explains, “It was important to me that I had what I Lounge like to call a ‘scratch and sniff’ salon. All the treatment rooms smell of their particular name, whether it’s lemon, lime or orange. In reception, there’s a citrus scent that we change depending on the time of year – at Christmas we have orange and cinnamon, for example,” says Yull.

“The great thing with the citrus theme is that it goes across the board – we customise treatments too. When a client has anything with the word citrus in it, whether that’s a massage or pedicure, they get the choice of customising their scrubs or lotions with whichever oil they fancy that day.”

Finishing touches

Choosing the right fabrics is important, especially when they must be both functional and aesthetic. Yull comments, “We’ve had leather chairs in the past, but they don’t wear particularly well. We still have leather chairs for the brow bars, but for nails, we’ve got fabric wingback chairs.

“The pedicure thrones and reception benches are custom-made with velvet, which we change regularly. The velvet gives a luxe feel and they’ve also got big crystal buttons which stand out against the wood and muted tones,”

Welcoming atmosphere

The salon’s design plays an important role in attracting and retaining clients. “I wanted a cosy space that felt like it gave you a cuddle no matter what time of year it was – and that’s what we get told by clients. Especially when we’ve been through these tough times, in our industry it’s important people walk out that little bit taller.”

This effect on clients is boosted by Yull’s relationship with the rest of the salon team. “I work as one of the team – even now, I’ll still clean the toilets! I’m not one of these people that sit in the office. If the team feel like they’re cared for, then that rolls down to the clients.”

This article appears in February 2023

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This article appears in...
February 2023
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