Tighter budgets require imaginative design thinking, and Le Hideout beauty bar in Montreal, is a neat example of when innovation wins. Think raw concrete floor, sculpturally formed MDF, and Ikea sinks used as footbaths.
In the vivid cultural hub of Griffintown, one-year-old studio Ménard Dworkind Architecture & Design (MRDK) made sure that the end belies the means, by investing in materials strategically, and agilely manoeuvring the 650 sq ft space. Becoming known for its attention to detail, and ability to work closely to a tricky brief, MRDK forged Le Hideout in an awkwardly geometric, commercial space at the base of one of the many condo buildings rising in this rapidly evolving part of town.
The design centres around an immovable concrete column that MRDK covered in a computer-cut floral form that grows up and onto the ceiling – not wildly dissimilar in principle to the one designed by Snøhetta in Aesop's Sloane Square London boutique, which opened last year. This structure doubles as a nail polish display, mirror-mount, and useful storage, in the otherwise fairly stripped-back space.
The pedicure station consists of the aforementioned IKEA sinks and reasonably priced Structube chairs taken off their legs, and installed on a tiled plinth at the front of the store. A rare but savvy expense, durable (tough as nails) Douglas fir lines the walls, and will last a lifetime, wrapping the room in a warming hue. In an act of economic balance, the concrete is left exposed and untouched throughout in an effective – and efficient – move. Original construction marks double as an abstract flooring pattern – found artwork, that appears new and deliberate.
Design flourishes continue at the reception, where a steel countertop folds over the front of the cabinetry, subtly recalling a painted nail, a fun addition that neatly manages to sidestep gimmick. In all, Le Hideout is a well-thought-out beauty spot, with enough eye-catching aspects to last the length of any mani-pedi.
For more information, visit Ménard Dworkind Architecture & Design's website
168 Ann St,
Receive our daily digest of inspiration, escapism and design stories from around the world direct to your inbox
Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees Wallpaper.com and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.
Knoll classics become unique works of art in the hands of Noel Mercado
Chicago artist Noel Mercado transforms three Knoll classics into one-off works of art using discarded car parts
By Rosa Bertoli Published
Budding romance: Dior pays homage to the rose
Dior Joaillerie’s ‘Bois de Rose’ collection pays homage to the classic flower
By Hannah Silver Published
Alaïa teams up with Rare Books Paris to curate a stylish library
Alaïa partners with Rare Books Paris to celebrate some of fashion and art’s most collectable tomes, curated by Peter Mulier and displayed in Alaïa’s Paris and London boutiques
By Tianna Williams Published