When Melissa Columella decided to move her salon to a larger space in a new shopping center across the street, she wanted a different design—something contemporary and minimalist. Two years later, after lease negotiations, construction, buildout and design, Salon Bellezza moved from the southwest corner of Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard, in Shoppes of Pebblebrooke, to the southeast corner, at The Pointe at Founders Square. The move to the 2,900-square-foot space came in September, as the lease was ending, and provided 500 square feet more.
“I am grateful to have the most wonderful staff, so I wanted to give them a beautiful, comfortable, functional space for them to create in,” says Columella, an esthetician who co-owns the salon with her stylist husband, Michael. “My last design was baroque. It was like a woman’s boudoir, the inside of a jewelry box, with chandeliers and gold everywhere.”
But gold cast a yellow tint on customers’ hair, so in her new space Columella opted for a black and white contemporary design with pops of emerald green. “That and the high white ceilings create the best light to work by,” she explains.
Columella knew what she wanted, but needed guidance, so she hired architect MK Architecture LLC, interior designer LVD Spaces and Heatherwood Construction Company, which built the plaza, for the buildout.
“I wanted to make sure I was doing it right. I also didn’t want it to get too busy or dated,” she says.
She also hired Sanders Cabinets Inc. to create a coffee table and cabinetry, and purchased salon chairs from Georgia-based Minerva Beauty.
The garden theme decorates the space with green leaves, vines, a trellis and a silk tree—named Vivian, which means “life”—that sits within a dark wood coffee table, as well as green velvet couches in the waiting area.
“A garden is a nod to the nursery that was on the property,” Columella says, adding that it also benefits her husband. “His therapy is our garden, where he loses himself. I thought it was a shame he only gets to garden two days a week, so I brought it here.”
Dark gray luxury vinyl-plank flooring matches a long fireplace mantel in the waiting area. Some wood features caused difficulties due to code restrictions, so a fire-retardant black paint was used that allowed the mantel’s wood grain to show through.
“There are a lot of details and color schemes,” says Erik Squibb, Heatherwood project superintendent. “It helps separate different areas of the salon and creates transitions.”
For example, black vertical slats allow light to shine through the salon area; distinctive Schumacher luxury wallpaper differentiates work areas; and sliding doors allow sections to be closed off.
At the reception area, customers can check in and order coffee, tea, wine and other beverages while waiting for an appointment or color processing. White-washed brick surrounds the fireplace, providing a cozy feel. Customers also can sit at a counter at the front window.
A separate makeup area features whimsical Schumacher wallpaper with birds and butterflies. Salon chairs upholstered in a warm woody brown face vertical, live-edge wood-framed mirrors and white cabinets in work stations that accommodate 16-24 employees. That number includes the couple’s daughter, Maria, an esthetician and nail tech who also performs microblading; their son, Michael, does errands and support work. Above the chairs, vines hang from white trellises.
Inside the nail salon, customers can sit on large massage chairs while soaking their feet in custom-made green glass bowls. The area is cordoned off with large sliding glass barn doors that keep it bright while not excluding those inside from salon activity.
In the shampoo area, Columella hired graffiti artist Marcus Zotter to create a black-and-white mural titled “Dahlia”—showing a woman’s face, a butterfly, magnolias and peonies, with a smattering of bright green leaves.
“Marcus projected it onto the wall to determine the scale,” Columella says, adding that it’s filled with her favorite things, including a butterfly that represents a customer’s transformation, and a bumblebee representing her husband, who is “busy as a bee.”
A color-mixing bar is hidden in the back, where ceilings are lower in the staff areas. They include a breakroom, laundry, bathroom and Columella’s office. Employee and guest bathrooms feature stunning Schu- macher wallpaper.
Toward the back are two treatment rooms decorated with relaxing Chinoiserie-style wallpaper that are used for facials, waxing, eyelash extensions, tinting, massage, permanent makeup and scalp micropigmentation, or SMP. Sliding doors allow the rooms to connect if guest educators are teaching classes or a customer’s family is watching an SMP reveal. “It’s life-changing,” Columella explains.
She’s pleased with the outcome and the help she received.
“She was a really involved owner who knew what she wanted and helped the process along by being here nearly every day and supervising,” Squibb says. “It helped us make decisions much faster.”