The Living Room is a hair-salon-cum-art-gallery in the heart of the lively Bastille district, off Rue de la Roquette. With its discreet black facade and graffiti-covered windows, it could be mistaken for a tattoo parlor.
Inside, the walls are covered with works by young contemporary artists. There are vintage objets trouvés and Japanese anime figures on occasional tables and display cabinets. Not exactly décor that shouts ‘hairdresser’, it’s surprisingly homely in an ironic, Portlandia kind of way. The soundtrack is Azealia Banks in heavy rotation on the background.
«People are fascinated when they come in,» says The Living Room‘s English-speaking, colourist, Aurelie. «They come… and they keep coming back.» Marie Claire magazine even took to the atmosphere, describing it as «like visiting friends, with sofas for lounging, soft lighting, tea and coffee…it’s chic and simple, packaged in a contemporary setting.» Aurelie has been working there for almost a year and half. Finding exactly the right colour for a client is an art that can’t be taught but Aurelie is that rarity, a gifted colorist.
Born in Vietnam, The Living Room’s owner and head stylist, Matt, trained in Paris before working in an up-market salon in Convent Garden for six years. Since opening his eccentric, hole-in-wall salon eight years ago, his skilled, dry-cutting technique has drawn a loyal clientele.
Even better, in a city where top salons will give you little change from six or seven hundred Euros for a ‘cut and colour’, at The Living Room, you’ll need less than 20 per cent of that.
Words and Photos by Cheyenne Tulsa