Director of the well-loved MINK Dublin salons Kate Verling has overseen the extensive refurbishment of their Ballsbridge salon. We chat to her to find out more.
MINK Dublin is known for its pampering treatments, and the Ballsbridge salon has received a redesign to create an even more luxurious experience. We spoke to director Kate Verling to find out more about the space, which was designed by Grainne Weber Architects, as well as her plans for the future.
What was your vision for the space?
I wanted to evolve the identity and experience into a modern, new age MINK. We underwent an extensive branding journey with Image Now before the brief was given, allowing Grainne full creative direction to guide the space into what MINK represents today, in 2020. I trusted Grainne completely to bring to life all the work we had achieved up until that point. The palette became a little more muted, allowing the hero elements of our service journey shine to the customer.
What were your priorities in the redesign?
We had a 'wish list' of things we wanted to deliver to our client experience, and Grainne was superb in making it all happen. We spent a huge amount of time and resources on ensuring the ergonomics, flow for the customer and that the surroundings provided comfort, ambient lighting, clean air space, and beautiful surround sound. We added little touches, such as an individual sink for each bespoke manicure table to ensure the client is not disturbed or moved during a manicure with us.
What was the process like working with Grainne?
A pleasure! It was very much a collaboration. Image Now guided the branding into the space, and we took great care to weave in personal touches and new additions such as our new MINK product line and how the client can best experience that in the space.
What kind of materials and textures are used in the project?
Everything in the space is bespoke, which was important to us. Grainne designed joinery that was both functional and beautiful. The crisp white entrance desk and gifting stations are replicated throughout our manicure and pedicure stations, delivering a sense of calm and luxury. Soft wooden panelling with linear hints of brass are used as the backdrop throughout the store, adding notes of texture with privacy curtains to our entrance window and pedicure area.
Could you talk me through some of the main features of the space?
As we are so passionate about service, that had to be the hero feature of the space, delivering excellence in how we carry out each service to the customer. We spent a lot of time making sure our bespoke manicure and pedicure furniture elevated the therapist experience, hiding areas such as waste, and showcasing our new product line and standards to sterilise the tools we use. All services now begin with a sealed autoclaved pouch, meaning all metal tools that reach our client are medically graded as safe. We have also brought forward the first compostable, luxury disposable towel, something you will see featured at each station.
Were there any notable suppliers you sourced materials and furniture from?
We worked closely with Truwood Joinery from Co. Monaghan who handmade our furniture package. We used as many Irish suppliers and materials as we possibly could.
How long did the process take?
I first met Grainne in 2018! We have been looking at design options together for a long time, tweaking and evolving ideas and concepts until the time was right to press the button on the refurbishment. We managed to complete the job in just under 3 weeks this January, with the support of our builder Fergus McCluskey, of MG Developments.
What are your favourite things about the redesign?
I love the energy in the space as soon as you walk in, it has a wow factor to it that is made up of all the little touches and concepts coming together. The space feels light, luxurious, warm and comfortable. It needed to work hard for us, and still retain the sense of family charm the business was built on. I really feel we delivered that to our customer.
Will your new space in Monkstown have a similar design?
Plans are finalised and we have begun works in our new Monkstown location. It will be a smaller boutique space, retaining all the new touches our Ballsbridge store has to offer. We are so looking forward to opening Monsktown late spring, 2020.
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