Houses are really my thing, but when a client recently contacted me about a new commercial venture she was starting with her daughter and a close family friend- a high-end nail salon in NW DC- I couldn’t resist.  Now as much as I’d love to say that I’m a nail girl, I can’t.  I have freakishly long E.T.-ish fingers to start with, garden way too much sans-gloves, and can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually been to a nail salon.  (Most include weddings.)  I do appreciate the pretty nails I see on others though, and usually look at them a bit longingly at them, thinking maybe one day I’ll get there.

My clients’ inspiration for the nail salon is incredible.  The vibe they’re after is light, open, airy, relaxed, natural, modern & a bit glam.  I wanted to move right into their inspiration photos.


{image via pinterest}


On top of having incredibly good taste, my clients are some of the kindest people I’ve ever met.  They’re warm and sweet and care so much about giving their clients a truly special and unique experience.  You can also just feel how in-synch they are as a team when you’re around them and their is excitement is contagious.


{me, Carrie, Chad & Lauren in front of the building}

The salon is called Varnish Lane, and will be in a building that formerly housed a bank, so we’ve got lots of work to do!!  A major renovation is underway.  Carrie, Chad & Lauren’s initial vision for the salon – both as a brand and as a physical location- was so good it gave me chills when we first discussed it.   The relaxed luxury, the effortlessness,  the friendliness, the natural feeling woven throughout all are almost identical to the core values of my own company, so as I help design the interiors, I can’t help but get insanely excited for them and what they’re building and think about all of the endless possibilities they have.  There’s nothing like what they’re doing in DC and I think people will absolutely love it!!!   (And I might also start having pretty nails too!!! 😉 😉

{We plan on doing a large wooden marble-topped island with brass fixtures}

We’ll be using lots of white, with black, gold and warm wood and leather accents.  We’ll bring in color with seasonal flower arrangements and of course, in the multi-colored polishes that will line some of the walls.  The space will feel spare and open and textural, but also collected and interesting and layered in places.


{image via pinterest}

Each mani/pedi chair will have it’s own ipad for clients -or their little ones- to enjoy.  (It’s a gift how quiet my kids get when they’re allowed to play on the ipad!! 😉 😉


[the master bedroom in my previous home…  this plus a bit more black}


Varnish Lane is opening this Fall, so we’ll all be running around like crazy to get everything done in time!!  I’ll keep you posted as we move forward with the design & implementation.  Carrie, Lauren & Chad have been gracious enough to allow me to share the details!! 🙂