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Essential Five: Joe’s top tips

From choosing the right lighting to a colour palette that matches your brand and concept, there’s a myriad of decisions to make when refitting or opening a barbershop. Session stylist Joe Mills opened his eponymous salon, Joe and Co in London’s Soho more than 12 years ago and has just undergone a major refit thanks to a severe flood during lockdown. Here’s his top five tips for creating a fabulous interiors.

The Concept

Before you even start, you need to plan out the salon floor. How much space do you have, where are you positioning stations and furniture, how many power points do you need and where? These plans will save you time and money in the long run.


Set a realistic budget from the outset, but be prepared to run over. There are always unwelcome surprises and things that need changing with any project so have a fund that you can dip into when needed. When choosing furniture it’s worth investing in the best – we used Takara Belmont basins and chairs in Joe and Co. If you need to cut spend, look at other areas of the refit but not the furniture. It’s used the most in the shop and needs to stand the test of time. You don’t want to have to buy new chairs every year because they’re broken or stained.


Don’t be afraid to look outside the box for inspiration. By all means look at other barbershops and what works for them, but also look at designer stores, retail outlets… European barbershops are doing great things right now. Bring all your inspirations together and you’re bound to get a creative spark for your own design.

Client journey

You’re designing a salon that needs to be enjoyable for the client as well as the team who work there. So, put yourself in your client’s shoes and walk through the door. What do you look at, where do you walk to, make it as easy as you can to ensure they enjoy the whole experience when they visit you.


The right music sets the ambience for the barbershop so choose wisely. Think who your clientele is; classics always work well,  but avoid anything too hardcore. And don’t forget to get your PPR and PRS licenses.

Find out more about Joe Mills:


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