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 trouvĂ©s and Japanese anime figures on occasional tables and display cabinets. Not exactly dĂ©cor 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.
Â«People are fascinated when they come in,Â» says The Living Room‘sÂ English-speaking, colourist, Aurelie. Â«They come… and they keep comingÂ back.Â» Marie Claire magazineÂ even took to theÂ atmosphere, describing it as Â«likeÂ visiting friends, with sofas for lounging, soft lighting, tea andÂ coffee…it’s chic and simple, packaged in a contemporary setting.Â»Â Aurelie has beenÂ working there for almost a year and half. FindingÂ exactly the right colour for a client is an art that can’t be taught butÂ 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