Cool Spaces: Annaesthetic Beauty Studio

WORDS Melanie Reeder-Powell PHOTOS Michelle Reynolds

Durban beauty salon Annaesthetic schools us in colour-blocking while harking back to a luxe 1940s Miami Beach, echoing the city’s Art Deco accents and penchant for tropical kitsch.

It’s not often Carmen Kelly and Susie Hart of Durban design house Georgette Black get such a brief brief. “Make it pink!” was the call from beauty salon owner Annie Ludick. “Her brief was even in capital letters on the WhatsApp message!” says Carmen, who has been curating spaces in Durban for 15 years.

Annie and her partner, former ad executive-turned eventing guru Kgolo Mthembu, are creatives themselves. The salon, Annaesthetic, is an addition to their existing hub, where Annie also owns a sassy dance studio and Kgolo runs the popular rooftop bar Views at Twenty5, overlooking Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Annaesthetic’s design is the ultimate colour-block experiment, and Carmen layered multiple textures and soft hues to best showcase Annie’s favourite colour. “We also thought about what pink means,” says Carmen. “It’s a healing colour, in addition to suggesting love and self-love. Annie and Kgolo have a baby girl, so at the time we were all feeling the pink! We also looked to a bygone era of the beauty salon, when women would spend the entire day getting their hair set and their nails done.”

The location, with its views of Durban’s beachfront, prompted Carmen to use a glam, 1940s Miami, tropical aesthetic, bringing in the Art Deco landscape with subtle accents of gold and pockets of green. All furniture and fittings were custom-designed and built, utilising soft contours and comforting fabrics that invite you to stay a while. Oversized, shell-shaped velvet chairs at the pedicure stations evoke Alice In Wonderland awe, and tell the story of the pristine pearl that will inevitably emerge post-pamper…

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