Say No Mo Beauty Salon, Kyiv Ukraine

Lo Studio di interior design balbek bureau firma il concept per SAY NO MO

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Say No Mo is a conceptually new format of a beauty salon.

The main task faced by balbek bureau from the very start of the design process was to break away from a traditional perception of a conventional beauty salon, and its gender distinction.


The owner of the establishment is Canadian. In her years of working in the beauty industry, she has learned how to make a client happy. This understanding became the basis of the interior solutions delivered by balbek bureau.

To get on the same mental wave with the client is perhaps the most important aspect while working on a project. Architectural team managed to do just that. That is why the proposed concept took off instantaneously: first, in the hearts and minds, and half a year later, materializing on 36 Shota Rustavely Street in Kyiv.

Say No Mo is a 200 sqm, two-level premises in an old building in Kyiv. With the curved-walls geometry and without a single parallel wall, the place boasts 4-meter high ceilings and has a distinctive atmosphere. The ground level of the salon features several zones: reception, lounge, manicure/bar, and pedicure. The basement level contains a make-up zone, hair care, cosmetology, restroom, and facilities.



Say No Mo is a conceptually new format of a beauty salon.

One of the main visual accents of the salon is located in the reception area and creates an instant wow-effect in visitors. The cast-in-situ concrete ‘broken’ arch serves as a metaphor for broken stereotypes in the beauty industry. It is made of poured concrete and weighs several hundred kilograms.
The construction of this form was a multi-phased process; it took more than 4 months from the docking assembly to the final joining of shears and toning of the structure. The reception counter is also made of cast-in-situ concrete and visually resembles a stone block. However, the monolithic look does not impede its functionality, it has a desktop and plug-in connection spots to ensure a fully functional workspace.
The reception zone has a lounge area with furniture groups and a fireplace that serves not only as a waiting area but also as a place to socialize during cocktail parties.


Say No Mo is a conceptually new format of a beauty salon.

Another main element and a signature mark of the interior is a set of the rounded ‘golden’ panels. Their shape envelopes the walls and columns and visually joins 3 zones: the entrance to the salon, the bar, and the pedicure zone. The panels are used in retail operations, serve as bar shelves and partitions, and mask the unevenness of the original walls. Panels are made of polished stainless steel (0.5 mm thick) with titanium nitride coating. The bar counter is plated with black metal with crude welding seams made intentionally prominent. The top of the bar is made of a 12-mm thick composite material.


Say No Mo is a conceptually new format of a beauty salon.

The pedicure zone is located on podiums the ergonomics design of which is a perfect fit for nail technicians. Podiums are equipped with integrated sliding drawers and washbasins for the use of the salon staff. In the middle of the zone, there is a free-standing washbasin that was assembled from two Soviet-era baby bathtubs. Overall, the pedicure zone is finished in light tones with contrasting golden accents, giving it a feeling of cleanness without a sterile look of an operating theatre.

Nail Art

Say No Mo is a conceptually new format of a beauty salon.

The passage that leads to the nail art zone has a hanging hammock chair, which has become a favorite Instagram spot of the salon visitors. A 2-meter deep water basin was discovered in the nail art room during the leveling of the concrete screed. The architectural team decided to keep this unique feature, filling it up with balls the color of the landing; a glass floor was assembled on top of the basin.

Make-up, Washing, Cosmetology and Restroom

Say No Mo is a conceptually new format of a beauty salon.

Salon’s ‘-1’ level is located on the basement floor. Given the lack of natural light, low ceiling height, and small square area of the premises, the entire floor has been finished in white, with the maximum use of mirrors, which visually made the space look light and airy.

Interior design balbek bureau
Architects Slava Balbek, Sofiia Hupalovska, Nataliya Stukonog
Project Manager Natalia Kozak
Area 200 sqm
Location Kyiv, Ukraine
Photos courtesy Yevhenii Avramenko

balbek bureau

balbek bureau is a Kyiv-based architecture and interior design practice founded by the Ukrainian architect Slava Balbek. For 13 years of experience, balbek bureau has been designing individual commercial and corporate spaces in Ukraine, Europe, the USA, and Asia with 110000 sqm. of gross building area. balbek bureau’s mission is to advance Ukraine to the leading global positions in architecture and design and to create modern spaces that meet the needs of diverse groups of population and the requirements of the future. The key message architects convey through theirs projects is that architecture and interior design are a powerful tool for change.

by AN shopfitting magazine no.159 ©