EXPOSÉ: Anthony Vacher & Sterling Apothecary

Hair Expo Exclusive: 2015 Best Salon Design Finalist

As the saying goes, “Everything old is new again.” This adage has never held truer than in the case of barbershop decor. With their characteristic dark colors, rich woods and scattered curiosities, old-timey barbershops are just as much of a feast for the eyes as they are a place to get a shave and a haircut (two bits).

Anthony Vacher and his team at Sterling Apothecary drew inspiration from not only the real deal: 1930’s era barbershops, typical British Empire design elements, and old speakeasies, but also from their modern-day adaptations; shows like “Boardwalk Empire” and “Peaky Blinders.”

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When it came time to graduate from conceptualization to realization, Vacher & Co. opted to go the DIY route: “Taking the old and making it new, we reconditioned old hairdressing cabinets, 100-year-old barber chairs, vintage mirrors and 1930s furniture. We designed and built the whole space ourselves knowing exactly how we wanted the shop to look. It was much easier for us to do this than bring people in to do it for us. It took three months to open the doors.”

Far from simply wanting life to imitate history, Sterling Apothecary was designed with a specific goal. Vacher and his team wanted a relaxing space with an “old-school” vibe where you expect great, old-fashioned service. Most interior design focuses on creating a mood, or atmosphere to make visitors feel a certain way. What is interesting about the approach used at Sterling Apothecary is that they designed this space to reflect their level and style of service. Considering that Vacher’s favorite feature of the parlour is that “people don’t want to leave,” it’s apparent that they reached the goals they set for themselves from the very beginning.

Another great feature of this space is the fact that it was done with a small budget. It proves that you don’t have to have endless supplies of money in order to have an endless supply of style in your space. Vacher’s advice for working with a less than super-sized budget is to be proactive, do as much of the work as you can yourself and to never underestimate the power inherent in the details. Details, after all, often make the space.

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