Check Out This Award-Winning Barbershop Interior

Featuring bright, bold colours and plenty of personality, Shorties is poised to serve up great hair hair and great vibes. Barbering just levelled up. Plus, Shorties won Best Shop Interior at the Modern Barber Awards 2023, so you’ll definitely want to keep scrolling to check out the gallery…

Where: 112b Lower Clapton Rd, Lower Clapton, London E5 0QR

When did the barbershop open?

Shorties opened in October 2022.

When you acquired the shop, what was it being used for? 

The shop was formally occupied by a contemporary leather goods and clothing designer.

Tell us about the renovation – were there any issues?

I fell in love with the space on my first viewing, and I knew the project was going to be a big task. I had some major ups and some soul-destroying downs, but I try to look back at any errors as a learning curve – and expensive ones at that. I was set on my design concept so it was always a case of just pressing forward. I found some amazing tradesmen to help me – apart from one who almost caused the shop to flood three days before opening!

What was your budget?

I was aiming to stay between £30 to £35k for the overall project, but I went slightly over. I got carried away adding more features.

Is the barbershop meant to appeal to anyone?

Shorties is located in the heart of East London, naturally attracting a diverse mix of creatives from the local area, so I wanted the design to help combat any intimidation people might feel when entering a new barbershop. I have always had a strong LGBTQIA+ client base, so it was also really important to me that Shorties celebrated and welcomed diversity and inclusion, in an authentic way.

What makes the space unique? 

I wanted to create somewhere I would like to spend time and hoped it would feel like a welcoming space for others too. The shop is fun, there’s a lot to take in, with neon strobe lights, nostalgic film art and arcade machines. You’ll be kept busy taking it all in.

What influenced the design?

The design is heavily influenced by the 80s/90s era, and running wild with the concept was so much fun, from films to artwork, to the custom arcade machine full of 1,200 classic video games. I love that the space can morph over time.

What is the colour scheme? 

We used quite a few colours – Shorties is loud, a little chaotic even. I had to constantly remind myself to keep some white on the walls.

Tell us about where you bought some of the furniture and artwork?

For my barber chairs I chose the REM Emperor Range, the winged detailing fit the theme perfectly, and the rest of the shop seating is vintage Pullman car bucket seats. I had the reception desk custom built, with a TV playing the best cult classics, and the arcade machine was also custom built and wrapped in vinyl from my favourite film, Aliens. The mural on both the interior wall and shutter is a freestyle design by an artist called Mr Penfold. The rest of the artwork is a mix of some of my other favourite artists: Will Blood, Ryca, Kid Acne and Oli Fowler. The mirrors are my pride and joy, they’re inspired by 80s Memphis-style artwork. I thought it would be incredible if we turned them into a unique shape, so

I had them custom cut and I made the backing boards myself at the shop. I also had recessed LED lighting fitted to make them pop, giving them that cartoon 3D feel. To support all three mirrors, I had a false wall built.

How many stations are there?

There are three stations, with a washroom to the rear of the shop. I’m hoping to use that for colouring and pop-up private services, it’s a work in progress.

Describe the lighting in each area, why it was chosen and what effect is has?

I had a fixed idea in mind from the beginning. While LED lighting is phenomenal for creating colourful content, it still needed to be fully functional for a fresh trim, so we installed interchangeable LEDs for both the main lighting and around the mirrors; it can be modified from warm white to a full-on rave at the flick of a switch. It’s a showstopper.

What is the floor made from and why?

The floor is original oak parquet. It wasn’t in my original design plan, but it would have been criminal to remove it – it’s so nice.

Do you have any regrets or things you would do differently? 

I have quite a few regrets, but I try to focus on the fact that this was my first project and I’ve learnt a lot. I’m a creative person, the financial side definitely doesn’t come naturally to me. Aesthetically I wish I had tiled every square inch of the shop, but with all my ideas I would have needed a never-ending budget, so I had to be careful. I’ve enjoyed the process and only sat on the floor and stress-cried twice – which isn’t too bad, right?

Click on each image for a closer look at this award-winning barbershop interior…