Waiting room designs and COVID 19: creating safe inspiring waiting spaces for your salon

Waiting room designs and COVID 19: creating safe inspiring waiting spaces for your salon

WAITING ROOM designs that stand out are very hard to come by, nowadays, it’s like one trend pops up and everyone follows. Problem is, marketing principles are built upon the idea of differentiation. 

Meaning, if all salons on my block look the same, then I lose nothing going to whichever. Thus, it becomes a matter of “which one will I reach first! If you are looking to create the perfect waiting space for your salon under current global conditions, this post is for you.

We will highlight essential design elements for salon, barbershops, and beauty salon waiting rooms plus the interiors in 5 minutes or less!

so, grab your reading glasses and roll your sleeves, we’re going in!


Waiting room designs and COVID 19: creating safe inspiring waiting spaces for your salon in 5 minutes or less!  1

How can I make my waiting room better?. 1

Tear down or keep the walls up?. 2

What type of salon furniture is recommended for waiting areas?. 2

Small salon waiting room versus large waiting rooms. 2

Place waiting room furniture near charging stations and provide free Wi-Fi 3

Cutting stools versus waiting lounges. 3

How do I decorate a small waiting room?. 3

Center all attention on the reception desk. 4

How should salon furniture be placed on an open floor plan?. 4

  1. Maximize for multipurpose use (studio salon floor plan). 4

How should salon furniture be placed on a closed floor plan?. 5

  1. Plan for debris removal 6

how to protect salon staff and others from COVID-19. 7

Conclusion. 7


How can I make my waiting room better?

All the anxiety, annoyance, and frustration brought about by the coronavirus mean that depending on how long the pandemic lasts, Salon and barbershop owners may have to rethink their waiting areas.

Think about it, if allowed to operate, overcrowding is not allowed and entertaining customers worried about catching death with their hairdo or cut is not easy.

If you are looking for a guide on how to operate a salon or barber at these dark times, skip to “how to protect salon staff and others from COVID-19”.


Tear down or keep the walls up?

Recent studies show that quote “physical barriers create emotional barriers”, meaningif your waiting area is separate from the work area, you should tear down that wall and create an open space.


Doing that is great in that customers will get to see how you operate and questions like “how long will I wait” will answer themselves.

The problem with dividing waiting areas is it can not only lead to crowding on one side of the wall, but it can also encourage massive infection spread. Therefore, experts recommend a large waiting area that allows anyone to sit near or far away from everyone else.

What type of salon furniture is recommended for waiting areas?

Small salon waiting room versus large waiting rooms

The size of your space usually determines the type of furniture you can put in. consequently, if you run a small establishment, don’t cram all your waiting furniture in one place, instead, spread out your furniture to create the illusion of space. For example, if you get a lounge chair, limit the number of people who sit on it at a time to prevent close contact.

A good way to achieve this is by limiting the number of people at your premises at any given time. this may warrant changing staff rotations or encouraging bookings instead of walk-ins.

For larger salons or barbershops, you have a lot of room to spread, so, keep your windows open for better ventilation and keep people far from each other.


Place waiting room furniture near charging stations and provide free Wi-Fi 

Some clients are very impatient… impatience means that person will most likely get frustrated and go to another salon, and you don’t want that.

As a consequence, you have to find ways to keep your prospects both safe and entertained. A charging station will keep their phones on and wi-fi will soothe the boredom. You can also play some relaxing background music to make them feel at home.

Cutting stools versus waiting lounges

Comfort-wise, waiting room lounges offer more coziness, however, prospects will have to share, and as we have seen that is still a big no-no.

Cutting stools on the other hand are cheap alternatives that can be used to change unused spaces into waiting areas.

rich snippets when searching for waiting room designs

Here is a perfect example:

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By simply adding protective screening in between the chairs, this space can be turned into a safe waiting area in a salon. the portability of the stools also means they can be set anywhere.

For this to work, I highly recommend stools that have back support, why?

Lack of back support will cause slouching, resulting in back pain and crankiness. The idea is to keep prospect minds away from boredom or physical pain!

How do I decorate a small waiting room?

First, add two large mirrors to counteract that claustrophobic feeling common in small spaces. This will open up your space and if placed right, improve lighting quality in the waiting room.

Center all attention on the reception desk

In most salons and barber shops, the biggest piece of furniture is usually the reception desk. A reception desk is supposed to be the face of your establishment. It is the first thing clients see as they walk-in. therefore go for something that not only feels classy but also welcoming.

You want to keep it simple but also save up on space. That’s why we recommend these.

rich snippets when searching for waiting room designs

Bold and austere versus warm and inviting?

The answer to that is it depends on the overall aesthetic you want to create for your business and visitor reactions you aim for. What we like most about these Dominican reception desks is their space-saving modern design, ample compartments for monitors, provisions for cabling, and the legroom.

Open vs closed salon concept 

As mentioned above, for smaller salons, an open concept without dividing walls is ideal in that it opens up space and makes your salon look larger than it is. On the other hand, a closed concept is more suitable for larger salons that need separate spaces for more specialized services such as waxing.

A closed floor plan is also energy efficient in that you don’t have to heat or cool rooms that are not in use.

How should salon furniture be placed on an open floor plan?

1.      Maximize for multipurpose use (studio salon floor plan)

Experts recommend that you place anchor pieces such as barber chairs or workstations perpendicular or parallel to each other as you see fit. The considerations are… enough walking room and a unifying theme in terms of color, detailing, and materials.

The point is, move your furniture around until you find the perfect position for everything.

2.       Use larger furniture to create a balanced look

The two biggest pieces of furniture in your salon are probably your lounge chair and reception desks, these two pieces of furniture should complement each other. If you have space, you can also throw in an ottoman or two and or a table.

3.       Wall-mounted work stations

The great thing about wall-mounted works station is stylists can claim and customize their workstations. Also, separate work stations can slow the spread of infections or viruses.

4.       Long and narrow versus large open space

Large open spaces mean in most places more rent and plenty of room for stylists and clients to move about. But as we all know; salon and barbershop work is very collaborative. Consequently, long and narrow spaces are great in that they allow conversation and collaboration. In contrast, if the space is too narrow, moving equipment will be clunky or distracting.

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How should salon furniture be placed on a closed floor plan?

Overall, the most important aspect of waiting room design is practicability. The idea is not to cram in as many works stations as possible because that will only lead to workplace accidents and more infections. Instead, make sure that the staff has enough room to move around without breaking their toes, knocking over furniture, or interfering with their colleague’s work.


Another aspect you shouldn’t overlook is lighting because light can be used to make your salon look larger and livelier.

1.      Plan for debris removal

 Debris removal from open spaces is easy, on the other hand, closed waiting rooms or spaces can interfere with cleaning work.

Remember, the easier it is to navigate your premises; the easier cleaning will be. Therefore, again, ensure that there is enough legroom for everyone.

2.       Furniture should conform to your theme

Assuming that your color scheme is red and white, a black waiting lounge will fit right in. see the thing is, you don’t want your theme to feel disjointed if you go for a closed floor plan. So lay the foundation of your theme in your reception area and extend it to the work area to create a unifying feel to your business.

This will improve customer experience and last longer in their minds.

Closed floor plan Salon theme ideas

  • Use color with purpose/effectively.
  • Don’t place products you sell behind the reception desk as it creates a barrier that may discourage browsing.
  • Know what to show and what to hide.
  • Use Plinths to define separate areas.
3.       Buy darker upholstery

A salon is a busy place; thus, spills and accidents will happen. however, the great thing about darker furniture especially in your waiting room is stains don’t stick out on darker upholstery and are easier to clean.

If you run a very busy establishment, consider investing in clear sofa covers.

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how to protect salon staff and others from COVID-19

We are still unsure how long the coronavirus will last, but that doesn’t mean that you have to close up shop indefinitely. For salon owners, here is how to make your waiting room and premises safe for staff and customers.

  • In break rooms, entrance areas, and waiting areas, use signs or floor marking to encourage physical distancing.
  •  use Portable ventilation units to increase circulation and control airflow.
  • Where social distancing is not possible, install transparent shields or physical barriers.
  • Remove chairs or lounges from waiting rooms if space does not allow social distancing.

The rules in place are dependent on how widespread COVID-19 is in your country. So, if you are not required to shut down. you should:

  • Create enough distance between workers and customers.
  • Wear gloves until a customer’s hair is washed.
  • Staff and customers should wear masks.
  • Employees should learn to communicate via a mirror, not direct/face to face interactions.
  • Run at a maximum of 30% normal capacity (rotate staff)

I know, these rules can be hard to enforce, but ignoring them only puts you, your employees and staff at risk! So just do it!


With the way things are because of the corona epidemic, closed salon waiting rooms may end up becoming a thing of the past. Consequently, salon or barbershop owners will have to adapt their businesses to the changing times.

That means, structuring your business both for safety and style. For example, transparent shields in between workstations and floor markings will keep people apart even in small spaces.

Did we leave anything out? Or do you have some waiting room ideas that will blow our minds? Tell us in the comments!

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