In renovating the beauty salon Vanitas Espai, in Barcelona, the starting point for the interior design studio Cm2 Disseny was to create a stylized environment with a clean elegance that would also be inviting. To do this, HI-MACS® acrylic stone was selected as the optimal material, becoming an essential piece that fitted in perfectly with the space as a whole.
Vanitas Espai is located in the heart of the iconic Eixample district, one of the liveliest commercial and recreational areas in Barcelona. The salon reopened this year after a painstaking renovation project by the interior designers Cristina Caballero and Clara Lleal, from the firm Cm2 Disseny.
To bring the project to life, the designers needed a material that was versatile and elegant, with first-rate hygienic properties, and that would at the same time combine harmoniously with the other elements chosen, such as iron and wood. It was also essential that it would fit in with the tiles, designed by Marcel Wanders, from the Italian firm Ceramica Bardelli, which served as the guiding theme of the project. HI-MACS®, in Alpine White, was the material chosen, thanks to the infinite design possibilities it offers, among other reasons. The result is an elegant, comfortable space where clients can enjoy a pleasant atmosphere while receiving their beauty treatments.
A prominent feature of the salon is its stage-like feel, dominated by a large, sculptural mirror that stands on the floor which is lit with LEDs. As the interior designers explain, “white curtains have been installed at the back of the hairdressing area to intensify the stage-like effect.” As a result Vanitas Espai’s clients become the main stars as they are being advised by the beauty and personal care consultants.
The space has been divided into five sections: reception, manicure and pedicure area, washing room, hairdressing areas, and private treatment rooms, with a fluid connection that provides a relaxed atmosphere overall. Each zone has a defined function and a defined area, although one common aspect that unites them is the natural wood flooring, which also imbues the space with warmth. This was the premises’ original flooring, and it was decided to preserve it due to the overall effect it gives the space.
A reception that oozes elegance
The establishment’s reception and waiting area welcomes clients into a space lined with tiles and a window box with a trailing plant providing a touch of natural freshness. The front of the reception desk was created using 12-mm HI-MACS® Alpine White, where the ornamental motif from the tiles has been reproduced in relief and on a larger scale, setting the tone for the establishment’s unique and exclusive identity. The texture given to the surface was possible thanks to the properties of HI-MACS®, which has the appearance of stone, but can be manipulated using the same tools as in woodworking.
As a personal touch, the front wall of the imposing reception area has been decorated with framed photos of styles created at Vanitas, complementing the dark brown sofa from the firm Crearte Collections.
A unique display area
To achieve an evocative space which is used for selling products, a display panel was designed featuring clear glass shelves backlit with LED lights, with a background of cream-colored textile paper. Cm2 Disseny thus managed to create an area with great warmth, where each of the items displayed stands out.
Two functions, one piece of furniture
Descending a short flight of stairs takes you to the personal care (manicure and make-up) area, where the central element is a unique table made from HI-MACS®. The designers define this table as a transformative piece of furniture, since it fulfills two functions in just one piece. Thanks to its design, which includes a mirror at the back, the table can be used as a hairdressing table as well as a table for doing manicures, depending on the service being offered to the clients at any given time.
The versatile acrylic stone was drilled at four points to insert two lamps, with bronze-painted iron feet, and two table legs, made from the same bronze painted material. These also serve a decorative purpose, as they are used as orchid vases. Following the color theme, the nail polish display case was covered with a metal sheet in a bronze finish that is backlit to highlight this area.
All the furnishings in Vanitas Espai were designed by Cm2 Disseny and custom made by the carpenters Ideas & Ambientes. This includes, for example, the essential multi-use carts where HI-MACS® reappears as a key material. Like the table mentioned above, the top of these carts has been drilled to hold a bronze-painted iron leg that acts as a vase and support for hanging up bags. Clients can also rest their personal objects, coffee, tea, or other drinks on the carts.
A film-worthy hairdressing area
Always maintaining the tiles as the guiding theme, next comes the washing area, framed by the enveloping black color of the walls and furniture. These elements mark the entrance to the area specifically dedicated to hairdressing, where there is the strongest sense of the stage-like feel of Vanitas.
The space opens up, turning into a dramatic hairdressing area decorated with imposing round mirrors, ideal for ensuring clients can see the transformation of their looks. The room is lit with a large white Snoob lamp from the firm Karman.
The perfect combination of materials has thus played a key role in the remodeling of this space. In particular, thanks to its uniform surface with no visible seams and excellent hygienic properties, it was possible to adapt HI-MACS® acrylic stone to the needs and meet the demands of Vanitas Espai in Barcelona, without having to sacrifice any part of its elegant and welcoming personality.