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Interiorssneak peeks

Kojo & Lee Salon Tour

by Grace Bonney

Haircuts can be a tricky thing. For some, they’re a ticket to self-esteem and a better day and mood, but for others, they can be a stressful practice in letting someone else take control of your appearance. After chopping off all my hair in high school (inspired by this video, of course), I finally let go of being afraid of a fresh ‘do and I now relish getting the chance to relax and have someone else figure out what the heck to do with my hair. I follow some of my favorite hair stylists online (including mine) and recently I discovered a new favorite, Nikki-lee of Kojo & Lee Salon, through Anna at Swallows & Damsons.

Anna created a gorgeous arrangement for Nikki-lee’s salon and I was smitten with her beautiful space. I immediately wrote her to see if she’d be up for a tour and thankfully, she was! With the help of photographer India Hobson, today I’m thrilled to share a peek inside the stunning salon of Kojo & Lee, located in a gorgeous 1800s building in Sheffield, England. The space feels like equal parts salon and historic parlor, which I love. If only I lived close enough to make this my regular haircut spot. If you’re in the area (109-111 Devonshire Street Sheffield S3 7SB) you can make an appointment via email or follow Kojo & Lee on Instagram right here. Thanks so much to Nikki-lee for sharing this incredible space with us today. xo, grace

Photography by India Hobson

 

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Nikki-lee did her first training at the age of 14 at the TONI&GUY salon in Guildford (just south of London). Now she's opened her first solo salon in Sheffield! "The whole Kojo&Lee experience is completely different from a traditional salon; there is just a door on the street, with no sign and an intercom to my room. It's appointment only, so you wouldn't know there was a salon there unless you'd made an appointment first. Once you are buzzed in, you go through the dimly lit corridor and up the staircase into the main room, where you are met with a big but warm, inviting room with beautiful big windows to stream in the all important natural light, textured walls and industrial Victorian furniture.
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Nikki-lee worked upto becoming a Senior Stylist at TONI&GUY and then spent six years managing TONI&GUY's flagship Manchester salon. "They opened up so many opportunities which enabled me to explore new creative avenues and also provided the inspiration for what kind of career I wanted to carve out for myself...which in the end, led me to launch Kojo&Lee," explained Nikki-lee.
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"After two beautiful daughters and a lifelong dream to open my own salon, I decided to set off on my own," Nikki-lee says. "I had loved the salons I had worked in but knew I wanted to do something a little different, I wanted to create a unique, creative, more personalised salon experience."
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"I moved from cutting at home into a room in my friend's city centre bar (Great Gatsby) which was a step closer to the new salon experience I wanted Kojo&Lee to provide. People enjoyed coming into a room with just a small salon set-up and me. After a few brilliant years, the time had come for me to start looking for my own place and eventually I found the building I'm in now."
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When it came to decorating the interior of her salon, Nikki-lee kept things simple. "It's been quite a process, because we didn't have £50,000 laying around to do a shop renovation. My husband and I have done all the work ourselves (with A LOT of help from our families, too!)."
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"I wanted the place to be as stripped back as possible to expose the original character of the 1800s grade-two listed building. We focused on areas that could help us achieve something unique without breaking our budget. This equated to an incredible amount of manual labor, stripping gloss paint, pulling down wallpaper and pulling up carpets, but it was all worth it, and we are now open for business!" Nikki-lee says.
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"Our building has eight rooms over two floors ready to be similarly transformed and filled with likeminded hair artists to grow the Kojo&lee Team over the next year," explained Nikki-lee.
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Copper pipes become an unexpected design detail.
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A simple chair and a beautiful mirror are all this salon needs to take care of business.
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Homey details make the space feel more like a living room or studio apartment, rather than a retail or shop environment.
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Details from the amazing fireplace in Nikki-lee's studio.
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Details of the tiles from the amazing fireplace in Nikki-lee's studio.
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