If you regularly get facials, biweekly mani-pedis, or [insert your favorite beauty treatment here], we don’t have to tell you that nowadays beauty bars, salons, and studios put a lot of thought into the design of their space so that you can feel relaxed and at home from the moment you step in the door. No beauty bar exemplifies this more than The Things We Do, a “beauty concept bar” based in Los Angeles’s trendy ROW DTLA district, where beauty enthusiasts visit for services ranging from gua sha facials to lip filler.
Founded by Vanessa Lee, a renowned medical aesthetic provider, The Things We Do’s space is heavily influenced by her Filipino heritage. In an Instagram post, Vanessa explained that she collaborated with L.A.-based interior design team Wall for Apricots to create the vibrant, whimsical beauty bar that her clients have come to know and love. “I wanted my space to feel feminine and strong. I wanted my Filipino roots to exude through the entire space,” she says. Vanessa’s goal was to remember the women who came before her, with palm fans, or pamaypay, used as decor and handmade ceramic accents throughout the beauty bar. What she and the design team at Wall for Apricots accomplished is a space that begs to be examined inch by inch. Here are our five favorite takeaways from The Things We Do.
Play with straight and curved lines
Sitting in the lobby of The Things We Do, we found it easy to be mesmerized by the curves of the decor against the straight lines of the walls and decorative pedestals. The wall mirrors achieve this contrast on their own with both straight and wavy edges. Throughout the space, you’ll find other wavy pieces, like backboards behind the retail displays.
Create contrast by mixing pastels with deeper tones
For the most part, the color palette of the beauty bar is pastels, including baby pink, salmon, lavender, mint green, and a washed-out turquoise. But the team also chose some deeper contrast colors to give the space dimension. The waiting area is a prime example of contrast done right: The off-white bench is topped with rusty orange and slate blue-gray pillows, while the dark marble coffee table is paired with a lilac-hued planter.
Make sure your decorative objects don’t feel purely decorative
The one part of the space that isn’t particularly inspired by Vanessa’s Filipino roots? The use of decorative objects. According to Vanessa, Filipinos typically don’t like decor that’s just decor—everything needs to have a practical purpose—but The Things We Do’s decorative objects tie the space together. Throughout both the lobby and service rooms, square columns topped by little spheres are a regular visual theme that brings whimsy to the interiors. The decorative spheres also reference the orbs of the lamps and vases throughout.
Layer on texture
The amount of texture layered into this space is next level—and we’re here for it. The team incorporated woven rattan details next to ceramic vases, shiny handheld mirrors mounted on wood, mesh curtains behind velvet plush chairs and seat cushions…the list goes on.
Symmetry is overrated
A huge part of what makes the beauty bar so aesthetically pleasing is that no two spots look the same, and none of the areas of focus have any sense of symmetry. Even spots that are seemingly symmetrical are proven asymmetrical by the decor that surround them. Everything is just slightly off center, making the space so interesting to look at that you should probably get to your appointment early to spend a few minutes admiring all of the tiny details before you bliss out.
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