Translating your brand into Touch Points for the senses

My last Blog article focussed upon discovering & Honing your Brand Archetype, and why it’s important to translate that into your physical premises. Here I look further into how that is achieved.

Many business advice blogs touch upon branding your interior, and will clumsily suggest using up to 3 colours derived from your logo as well as black or white1, without understanding that successfully translating your Brand into the physical environment needs to be done with much more subtlety and aesthetic consideration than a slap of paint and a logo on the wall.

Translating your brand into Touch Points for the senses

Your physical presence is more than just your logo and PMS colours. Those are a necessary ingredient to consider, but just a small part in the overall recipe to create an environment that fully embraces your brand, that needs to be translated into a feeling, and what better way than delighting all of the 5 senses: sight, touch, smell, taste and sound.


Colour is treated with a high amount of consideration, particularly because it can have such an individual interpretation beyond simple interpretations like ‘yellow makes me happy’ and even polarising, for example ‘burned yellow reminds me of urine or rotten food’. How they make you feel, for example some cool colours such as blue and green, can be calming and can assist in creating a soothing environment. Within a salon and beauty setting, strong colours can also affect the quality of light, which can become detrimental in an environment where it is important to see hair and makeup colours clearly.

The colour, pattern & tone of materials such as wood, stone, metal, fabrics & plants are an important consideration which are never overlooked by an interior designer as they provide neutral touch-points for the eye to rest, and natural materials are a way to add an element of authenticity to elevate your brand.

Use of lighting cannot be underestimated, and the design of your project will also encompass identifying the right lighting levels for each task, as well as using lighting as a tool to emphasize key zones such as social areas or display areas. The style of light fixtures used, and the use of dimming further elevates your brand.


When you walk through a room, it can be the small details like the feel of a door handle when you touch it, or the cool smoothness of a stone benchtop under your fingertips. These details are always considered by an interior designer.

The floors at Endota Spa are real timber & they are wonderful to walk on in bare feet. While real timber flooring may not be ideal from a practical perspective or price-point for you, consider ways of introducing authentic natural surfaces and finishes; perhaps a section of wall panelling instead.


I recently designed a Wellness Centre at the Aurora Apartments in Melbourne, and the existing Pool Lounge design was the jumping-off point. The first impression I had when walking into the pool lounge was the aroma or oiled blackbutt timber floors and panelling on the walls. Oiling the timber, rather than sealing it with a clear polyurethane coat was the key. It left a lasting impression.

Wool has a distinct smell all of it’s own, and pure wool floor rugs with the oils still present reminds me of my mother’s stint of learning to spin and knit when I was young.

Our sense of smell can also be enticed by floral arrangements & plants, aromatherapy & the beverages you serve. Emirates use Molton Brown hand soap, bodywash, shampoo and conditioners in their airline lounges and in-flight; the fragrances are beautiful and luxurious.

Avoid unwanted lunch smells & chemical smells by investing in good a mechanical air-conditioning system designed by a services engineer, and do the job right the first time.

Aurora Apartments, Pool lounge


The beverages you choose to offer also play a part in your overall branding touch points. I mentioned in a previous post that I love when I treat myself to Endota; the offering fragrant green tea while I’m waiting heightens that anticipation of a great spa experience.


I think most would agree that the sound of a coffee machine evokes a social, welcoming and service-oriented atmosphere. Take advantage of the many automated coffee machines that Jura and other manufacturers offer, for an easy to use solution to provide an elevated service for your waiting customers, perfect for a hair salon with a highly social & relaxing atmosphere.

The background music you choose to offer also play a part in your overall branding touch points as I’ve mentioned in a previous post.

The importance of acoustics cannot be ignored, yet so often is in budget oriented designs. Acoustics must be considered right at the beginning of the planning process to block out those unwanted noises such as the toilet flushing, or outside sounds filtering into a massage suite or beauty room. Refer to my previous post for discussion upon the importance of considering the wall, floor and ceiling materials for a pleasant acoustic environment.

(please pin the below graphic to your pinterest board for reference)

Photo: Uby Yanes @Unsplash

So, why Hire an Interior Designer?

Unfortunately many people get confused or intimidated by the idea of hiring a professional Interior Designer for their project, and might be concerned about the process of working with a designer & the costs of doing so.

A lot of people I meet feel that they can hire a builder and do the design themselves, selecting materials and fixtures in dribs and drabs, often at the last minute (leading to less choice) with poor planning & lack of an overall vision. This will lead increased costs due to changes, additions and variations that the builder will not have allowed for.

You will save money & time. Your designer will plan functional and appealing spaces, provide drawings, visualisations & material / furnishing selections in a strategic manner so you can get competitive quotes, and you know what the design will look like & cost right from the start.

You require a Qualified Interior Designer & Registered Building Practitioner for any commercial project or residential project that requires a building permit; a proper interior designer is a highly trained & experienced registered professional, not just someone with ‘a good eye for colour’ and a knack for picking furniture.

“Thank you so much for all your hard work on our brand new space…Our clients adore the new space just as much as we had visualised in our very first meeting. We spoke about how a salon should feel the moment you step through the door and how to make this happen. After purchasing this space (an empty concrete shell) I didn’t have any idea of where to start. You started creating this amazing space and brought to life what I thought was never possible”

Kara MacIsaac – Absolu Hair Salon


  1. 3 Steps for Building a Strong Brand Identity for Your Salon or Spa

Let’s make something beautiful together, book an appointment to explore your dream project.

Image: Omar Rodriguez @ormphotography