Chiseled Hair Melbourne

Chiseled Hair Melbourne

Chiseled is another project by South Melbourne-based architects and builders OLSK.

Elvin Tan was the project’s interior designer.

The brief was to create a unique hair salon experience, blurring the lines between male, female, retail, and hospitality. This new brand, bringing four individual hair professionals into one salon environment, was to be defined through the architecture and interiors.

So the brand name – Chiseled – formed the logical starting point for concept development.

The design team thought about the process of hair cutting and styling.

And that consideration formed the main design theory.

Layers, texture, and colour were key.

So, driven by the concept of layers, textures, and colour, the choice of materials played an important role for the Chiseled project.

Materials were layered in different sections of the space so your eye couldn’t take it all in at one go.

The scene revealed itself slowly rather than being consumed at a glance.

Given that four different creative personalities were coming together into this one new space, OLSK and Elvin Tan had to ensure each individual creative had the opportunity to give input, and that the final design outcome was a reflection of their aesthetics, all while maintaining a level of design consistency.

Those robust design conversations were challenging at times.

But they were worth having, as a strong and cohesive design consistency that everyone endorsed was delivered.

For instance, the floors and ceilings were treated in a singular finish; terrazzo for the floor and pressed metal for the ceiling.

From the barber side, cool metallic finishes and concrete-look paint added a fresh, yet subtly masculine feel, while the hair salon side was dramatically warmed up by vertical Spanish tiling.

Space planning and layouts were a key consideration, so the large salon space was divided into several zones. Closer to the entry and reception are both the barber and hair salon services providing visibility from the street.

The washing and colouring stations were strategically located to the rear and featured a green wall and natural timbers, with minimal mirrors in sight to keep customers at ease.

A stand-out feature of the entire project, not included in initial brief but integrated during the design phase, is the Hub.

The Hub utilised the space under the existing stairs and located in the centre of the hair salon.

It acts like a heart, servicing all areas.

Instead of just making this a waiting area, OLSK and Elvin Tan turned it into a bar where customers wait at the start of their session, come back during treatment, and then return again at the end to rebook.

Key Materials Used

Materiality played a pivotal part in creating the layers, colour, and textures that defined this space.

Selections included:

  • Tiling: Earth Terrazzo, Vibrant Blue Mosaics and Black and White Geometrics
  • Timber: Slatted Timber Panelling, Shelving and Storage
  • Metal: Pressed Metal Ceiling, Gold Accent Framing
  • Paint: Concrete effect paint, light grey

Project Details

Project size – 100 m2
Site area – 100 m2
Completion date – 2019
Building levels – 1

Project Team

Architecture and Project Lead


OLSK is a Melbourne-based architecture and construction company specialising in building unique projects. They are passionate about meaningful collaborations with Australia’s greatest designers to achieve beautiful, high quality spaces.

Established in 2002, OLSK has evolved into a multi-disciplinary and innovative construction company with a strong attention to detail and highly developed construction management processes which allow them to deliver premium projects on time and within budget.

Elvin Tan was OLSK’s interior design collaborator for this project.


Daniel Kies from Custom Living Solutions constructed the fitout for this project. Check out some of Daniel’s other projects on Instgram.

Custom Living Solutions on Instagram 


Anthony Richardson

Anthony is the Founder and Creative Director of The Design Emotive, a publication focused on residential architecture in Australia,mainly producing original video content.

He is also Founder and Creative Director of Simple Dwelling, a publication focused on minimalism, simplicity, and tiny living.

Photo Gallery

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Design © 2020 OLSK. All Rights Reserved.| Images © 2020 Anthony Richardson. All Rights Reserved.

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