As if going to the salon weren't fun enough—Brig Van Osten's newly redesigned p!ay hair lounge in Simi Valley, Calif., is infectiously colorful and carefree.



Brig Van Osten






Brig Van Osten and Samantha Swanson (director of the salon)


Ten chairs for Bumble and bumble haircare only—no nails, skin or childcare.


In four words, “fresh-squeezed California cool,” says Van Osten.


Mixed bag; custom-made stations are IKEA ALEX cabinets “hacked into stylist stations,” Van Osten says, plus added wood and plumbing pipe. Van Osten worked with Takara Belmontto design rolling carts that “will still roll after one year!”


Mizutani scissors, GHD flat irons, Oster clippers and Sedu blow dryers


Bumble and bumble


If you watched any of the third season of Shear Genius, you know that winner Brig Van Osten isn’t afraid of color or creativity that brings wild, playful themes to life.

Her newly redesigned salon in Simi Valley, California, is no exception. Van Osten has owned p!ay hair lounge for eight years, and she and her Salon Director and stylist Samantha Swanson started brainstorming a re-design in October 2013.

The theme? Pop art—with a hint of aviation (couldn’t you tell?).

“I see the world in color,” Van Osten says. “Very BRIGHT color. Rarely am I able to work with another creative person as seamlessly as I did with Samantha. Once our vision had come together, we purchased as much of the furniture and the décor items as we could and stored them in my home—we relied 85 percent on the Internet for those items.”

Architects of Design: p!ay hair lounge Salon Tour

"One week before the final redesign weekend, our entire team came over to my home for a paint party to help us get a lead on the final days,” Van Osten says. “Each person on our team, including their partners, had a hand in our new space.”

Architects of Design: p!ay hair lounge Salon Tour

Aviation happens to be another passion of Van Osten’s; she spent the first half of 2014 learning how to fly a plane. Propellers on the walls and plane-patterned couches reflect her newest skillset. It’s also clear that she’s thrifty in the best way.

“We love DIY at p!ay,” Van Osten says. “We are creative and resourceful far beyond the hair world, and this talent really helped us make some beautiful and unique things within the reach of our budget. You can make small changes that can have a huge impact on the overall vibe of your space without busting your bank account.”

Architects of Design: p!ay hair lounge Salon Tour

“We collected our ideas on a private Pinterest board,” Van Osten says. “My advice to all creative types is if while you are creating something, if it goes left of center, don’t panic. Ride it out. More times than not, the results are better than what you originally planned.”

Van Osten and Swanson Googled ‘60s and ‘70s paint colors and took an iPad to Lowe’s to pick colors, which took them less than an hour. The wall in their hallway reads, “My hair was famous before I was.” –Christopher Walken

Architects of Design: p!ay hair lounge Salon Tour

A salon that doesn’t know how to self-promote—especially on social media channels—is a salon doomed. P!ay hair lounge added a makeover photo studio to its space in order to amplify its efforts across social media platforms.

“Collectively our team has been pumping up our YouTube channel, playhairlounge, with quick makeover videos, and we desperately needed a more substantial space to shoot them in.” The quick videos show dramatic and subtle transformations alike.

Architects of Design: p!ay hair lounge Salon Tour

Van Osten and Swanson say they faced some challenges with the salon space and redesign. It seemed tight, and they wanted to add a 10th chair. They wanted to open things up, and because they are an exclusively Bumble and bumble salon, showcasing retail was key.

The space felt dark and cramped before, and they definitely don’t feel the same about it now. They also wanted to add a secluded color lounge (pictured left). Their final goal on the itemized list was to “make it look super awesome.” Mission accomplished.

To see more images (plus a few "before" shots) of p!ay hair lounge's new look, check out the video below!

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