RoCo's ethos has always been to create beautiful hair and also to encourage sustainability and help the environment.
RoCo opened their innovative new Salon along Derry's Quay in July 2015.
In March 2015 a fire from a neighbouring building had caused major damage to their award winning salon forcing them to relocate.
Owners Ronan Stewart & Connor Grant decided they would turn a negative in to a positive.
They found their ideal premises on the waterfront and spent 4 months converting what was an unused restaurant into a stunning 4000sq ft Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Luxury Salon.
The guys scoured the country to salvage different pieces for the new salon and brought together a team of experts from around the North-West of Ireland to create a new concept in Hair Salon Design.
Here is the story of how this Environmentally Friendly salon was created:
The Work Stations
The team found these old sash windows in a local salvage yard . They had been taken from a pub in County Derry and had lain for over 10 years.
Local carpenter ,Todd Gfeller, from Gfeller Specialist Joinery, Derry used his vast expertise to strip the frames back, then doubled up and joined them adding mirror glass giving them a whole new life and purpose. Salvaged 30 year old scaffolding planks were cleaned up and added as shelves creating these 16 unique and beautiful Hair-Styling stations.
Heating & Lighting
Local heating experts BML measured the potential loss of heat through the 26 2metre sq windows and worked out the BTU's in the building needed to maintain a consistent 21 degree temperature with minimal waste, They sourced super-efficient radiators that use minimal fuel with great heat output and strategic placement of radiators to create minimal loss of heat.
Salon lighting is so important, who wants their beautiful blonde looking brassy because of the wrong lighting?
But because lighting is one of the biggest wastes of energy in a salon, the guys approached local lighting expert Paul Howie from TE Howie Lighting which resulted in a full LED refit with a mixture of daylight and warm light in separate areas of the salon to create different atmospheres.
Whilst this meant an initial £8,000 investment in bulbs and fitting, this will reduce the energy output in lighting by 90% and estimate that this will have paid for itself within 2.5 years.
The name Derry comes from the original Irish “Doire” which translates as Oak Grove or Oak Wood so it’s entirely fitting that these Irish oak sleepers , which have been salvaged from a yard in County Derry , have been reused to become displays for RoCo's product range .
Haircare is so important to the team at RoCo and they wanted something to make their own range stand out.
The architects from Gradon grasped the concept perfectly and carpenter Todd Gfeller and his team spent weeks hand placing each piece of salvaged wood and offcuts of various timber from the workshop. The result is a stunning fusion of mixed woods which incorporate the following;
OK, not local but this is a favourite of the guys, probably because of the work they know that went into creating this, beginning with a salvaged 10ft x 3ft stunning piece of Spalted English chestnut wood. This piece was air dried for 4 years. So precious, that it had to be transported from Bristol, England, in a vertical pallet. Beautifully moulded, crafted and lacquered then filled with a sea blue resin to create the most stunning affect, this piece of wood makes the reception area feel alive.
After salvaging a rusted metal sheet from Eglinton, County Derry they used that as the front creating a stunning effect mixing industrial with the natural.
The shelving behind reception is made of Roof Sarking Boards that were salvaged from a recent refurbishment of an old house in Belfast, which was was built in 1867 and was once owned by shipbuilder Edward Harland from Harland & Wolff and then became a sister house to Northern Ireland Ireland's government building, Stormont.
You can get the distinct smell of these rich boards as soon as you reach the reception area.
These opulent Turkish Chandeliers were sourced in a warehouse in Dublin and were hand refurbished.
COFFEE LOUNGE/ WIFI Area
The furniture used in RoCo's waiting/coffee area was sourced up from various locations. Tables and chairs came from the old Redcastle Hotel & Coachouse in nearby Donegal, whilst the old Chesterfields sofas came from Mid Ulster.
2 Pence Bar Tops
This idea came from a discussion with RoCo's friends about up-cycling, they all that they had too many copper coins laying around, so the team put a call out to their loyal clients on Facebook asking them to bring in their 2 pence pieces and received over 5000.
The team then hand placed them on the bar top's creating a stunning effect when the sun hits them.
RoCo matched the amount donated and gave it to a local charity.
VIP Suite & Academy
On RoCo's mezzanine floor the guys created a relaxing environment with a VIP suite that can cater for up to 10 people , and 5 academy stations used for training students in the RoCo way, with stunning views over the River Foyle.
Some of the furniture was saved and recovered from the previous salon.
The 12ft VIP mirror was custom hand-made using rich mahogany.
The Mirrors in the Academy are the reused frames from the Sash Windows in the Main Salon.
The booths/radiator covers were created using gorgeous waney-edged Irish Elm and reused pallets (that the salon tiles came on).
The 10 salon Trolleys were created using a mixture of recycled floor boards that were acquired from a local primary school gym and from a recently refurbished Church.
These stunning windows came from an Edwardian Townhouse and lay for years in a builders yard, they were cleaned up and the glass was replaced with mirrors.
Peace Lilies Plants
These plants were specifically chosen for the salon due to their air purifying ability and approved by NASA, no less! In addition to absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen (as most plants do) peace lilies also absorb a broader range airborne pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichlorothylene which are found in a wide range of everyday products. There are 10 Large Peace Lilies placed around the salon zapping any nasties from the air.
Make up Bar
Our Make-up display area was created using salvaged display units that originally came from a jewellery store in Dublin. We spruced up 6 units and gave them a modern, distressed look to add to the décor of the salon.