Salons of the Year 2010: Judges & Process

The new decade signals a clear shift in salon design, as ultra-luxe interiors retreat, and the clean, the comfortable, and yes, even the conservative, take charge.

A WHITE-ON-WHITE PALETTE, a tall vase with a single elegant bloom, a glowing chandelier offering a warm welcome... all elements you could find in any SALONS OF THE YEAR competition. But in 2010, this sort of simple, sleek, comfortable chic is the predominant trend. Whether owners were forced to scale back their buildout budgets or consumer-guilt is making clients crave simpler spaces, the recession has had a definitive impact on salon design. But, as you page through our winners, you’ll also witness the positive impacts—there’s a noticeable sophisticated intelligence to today’s salons and spas, as well as a tickling touch of whimsy.

The Winners

Bangz Salon and Wellness Spa, the 2010 Salons of the Year grand prize winner.

Akari, the 2010 Salons of the Year first runner up.

Vasken Demirjian Salon, the 2010 Salons of the Year second runner up.

Voce, the 2010 Salons of the Year third runner up.

Salons of Distinction: Whittemore House | Von Anthony Salon | Hoboken Man | Salon Salon | Salon Rock, Inc. | Salon Innovations | Pink the Salon | NY Splash Beauty Salon & Spa Lounge | Moda Salon Spa | Jose Luis Salon | Gene Juarez Salon & Spa | Gatsby Salon | D. Laudati, Master Haircolorist, and Associates | Bijou Salon and Wellness Spa | Angus M Salon | Akada Hair Salon


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The Judging Process
SALONS OF THE YEAR judging took place in three phases. First, SALON TODAY editors and designers reviewed each of the entries, including essays and photography. Next, a panel of editors and art directors evaluated each entry in further detail, selecting a group of finalists. Finally, our panel of outside, expert judges scrutinized essays and evaluated seven to 10 images from the finalists, scoring them in five different decor categories. Judges’ scores were combined and used to determine the grand-prize winner, the runners up and the Salons of Distinction.

2010 Panel of Judges

Nancy Nemer
For more than 14 years, Nancy Nemer practiced interior design, and for the last six years she’s specialized in spas for the luxury hotel and resort sector. As the founder of Red Cashew, Nemer uses her thorough understanding of the design process and knowledge of how a spa operates, contributing to the successful concept creation, planning, interior design, and technical specification for spas both domestically and around the globe.

Susan Brunstrum
After a successful career in advertising and marketing, Susan Brunstrum evolved into interior design, launching sweetpeadesign in 2003 with the compelling philosophy, “What inspires you, inspires me.” Today, sweetpeadesign represents a boutique organization that takes on a range of projects of all styles and scope, including: residential design services for interior and exterior space planning; material selections and specifications; project orchestration; and consultation on existing homes, renovations, additions and new construction.

Ann Higby
Ann Higby grew up in the salon industry and loves talking about it to this day. She is president of Hatch PR, a Chicago-based beauty public relations firm that she founded in January 2006. With 15 years of experience in beauty and fashion industry marketing, public relations and event planning, Higby understands the business side of beauty. She currently serves on the board of directors of Fashion Group International of Chicago, and is the PR Director for Designs for Dignity 2010 Spirit Awards.

Sean Faries
On the central coast of California, Sean Faries is an entertainment entrepreneur, who has transferred his success with restaurants and nightclubs into the competitive styling event, “Battle of the Salons.” In the past few years, Faries has helped elevate this electric event into one of the most sought-after styling events in California.

Luda Conti
When she was 18 years old, Luda Conti moved to the United States from Russia, where her grandmother often made her own beauty products. Although she followed her parents’ wishes and studied computer programming, she couldn’t deny her passion for the beauty industry and opened her first salon at the age of 20, focusing on skin care. In 1997, Conti established Avanti in Manalpan, New Jersey, which was destroyed by a fire in 2008. Conti redeveloped the business into the Avanti Day Resort, and captured the coveted 2009 SALONS OF THE YEAR award.

Laurel Nelson
As editor of SALON TODAY from 2003-2009, Laurel Nelson is intimately familiar with the SALONS OF THE YEAR competition and judging salon decor. Today, Nelson is the editor of MODERN SALON, as well as and the e-newsletter MODERN’s Style Watch Daily, which deliver inspiration and top-notch education to beauty professionals.

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Originally posted on Salon Today