Great Spa­ces

In­side an L.A.-in­spired North Van hair sa­lon with some lofty de­sign am­bi­tion.

Western Living - - CONTENTS -

In­side an L.A.-in­spired North Van hair sa­lon with some lofty de­sign am­bi­tion.

When most cou­ples want to spend more time to­gether, they’ll make a movie date or take an Ital­ian cook­ing class. New­ly­weds Chris We­ber Mir­lach and Pa­trick Mir­lach, on the other hand, de­cided to open a hair sa­lon.

Chris is a stylist renowned for his colour work, and Pa­trick has made a ca­reer in re­tail man­age­ment, so the duo was more than up for the chal­lenge. In­spired by chill-buthomey sa­lons in L. A. and Aus­tralia, they called in in­te­rior de­sign firm House of Bohn to help bring their vi­sion for Vanilla Loft to life. “There was kind of an in­stant con­cept of do­ing an artist’s loft,” says de­signer Karin Bohn. “Their style is very bo­hemian and kind of ca­sual but still fresh and edgy and mod­ern.” The ceil­ing was al­ready ex­posed, so Bohn in­stalled a faux brick wall to am­plify the in­dus­trial-her­itage-L. A.-cool spirit. An open­con­cept kitchen of­fers a place for stylists to hang out at the counter with a cof­fee be­tween ap­point­ments; power outlets in the is­land let clients sit and work on lap­tops as they’re wait­ing for their colour to set. For those who want a co­zier spot to hang out be­fore or af­ter a makeover, there’s the teal sofa from West Elm that sits on an an­tique rug in the wait­ing area.

At the work­sta­tions, cus­tom gold-rimmed over­sized mir­rors help el­e­vate the room from the typ­i­cal beauty-par­lour set-up. “Sa­lon de­sign is tricky be­cause a lot of stuff—sa­lon chairs, wash sinks—is hard to cus­tom­ize be­cause it can be very cost pro­hib­i­tive,” ex­plains Bohn. “But if you don’t have spe­cial fea­tures that are unique and dif­fer­ent, a sa­lon can look like any other sa­lon.”

They’ve been mar­ried three years now, but in­side this dreamy sa­lon where the Mir­lachs now work side by side, the hon­ey­moon phase still feels very much alive. “It feels like home,” says Chris. Her­itage Hoax Made from a foam click- in- place prod­uct, the “brick” wall looks in­cred­i­bly real— es­pe­cially once Bohn fin­ished it with dry­wall mud to add a lit­tle grit and char­ac­ter.

Work It Out

Ex­tra prod­uct is tucked away in the is­land’s draw­ers. There’s a printer slyly in­stalled in there, too, so Pa­trick can use the kitchen as a fully func­tion­ing of­fice.

Frame by Frame Works from lo­cal artists in­cor­po­rated here and pep­pered through­out the room are ro­tated reg­u­larly to show­case new tal­ent.

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