By Colette Wright
Just a 10-minute drive from Victoria, BC, is a small but posh town called Oak Bay. While this little waterfront village is very vibrant, with its one-of-a-kind shops, galleries and cafés, there is also a feeling of being a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
It has been the perfect location to open up a boutique-style salon say Scott Garnett and Jayson Van Ee, owners of David Levi Salon.
“With Jayson’s 15 years of expertise in the hair industry, we had always planned on owning and operating a salon together,” explains Garnett, who manages the financial end of the business. “After we moved from Calgary to Vancouver Island three years ago, Oak Bay immediately became the destination to make our dream come true.”
Today, David Levi Salon is turning heads— literally—because it’s located on a major street corner in the centre of town. Garnett credits the salon’s success to waiting patiently for the right piece of property to become available. “It took about a year for what we thought would be the best location in Oak Bay.”
From the outside looking in, the year-old salon exudes a luxurious and inviting ambience. Its two large exterior windows make it is easy to see the layout of the reception area. “With pure white walls and shiny glass shelving, we’ve been innovative by using the vibrant colours of our product lines, Kérastase and L’Oréal Professionnel, as accent colours,” claims Garnett.
Above the reception desk, Garnett chose to hang a black-rimmed light rather than a sparkling chandelier. “Since men make up 30 per cent of our clientele, we want them to feel comfortable, so we added more masculine decor touches.”
The owners have also taken into consideration clients’ privacy, blocking the view of the cutting/colour area with a wall behind the reception desk. At the top of the wall, a long rectangle has been cut out, allowing lots of light to filter into the back.
Walk through the front doors and you’ll be escorted to the waiting area, which is on an upper level at the back. This is where you can relax on cushioned storage benches and watch the flat-screen mounted on the granite wall above the gas fireplace. Colourful, plush pillows accessorize the room nicely.
But what may seem odd to some is seeing a cutting/colour chair in the waiting area. For personal reasons, Garnett and Van Ee have designed the salon so it is somewhat wheelchair-accessible. “These clients enter the back door, which is very welcoming from a design point of view and still get five-star service.”
The shampoo area is also on the upper level. Three individual back-wash sinks with movable bowls make the client comfortable but also allow staff to manoeuvre, especially when doing hair and scalp treatments.
A set of five steps takes you down to the cutting/colour floor. Garnett points out that the furniture is very symmetrical, a design feature he and Van Ee prefer, with square-shaped chair pedestals, white cube-shaped shelving units and matching light fixtures between the full-length mirrors. Garnett says these mirrors create the illusion of a larger space and reflect more natural light.
Mounted at the top of each station are three rectangular halogen lights that point down at the client. Stylists are able to adjust the amount of light to their own liking.
Van Ee had the electrical outlets installed on the side of the shelving units between the mirrors, not on the floor. Colour mixing is done in a back room to avoid cluttering the area. Garnett adds, “While David Levi Salon tends to be unique and progressive in the town of Oak Bay, the locals don’t seem to mind a little European flavour in their daily lives.”
2047 Oak Bay Avenue Victoria, BC; davidlevi.ca; 250.592.0777
Jayson Van Ee and Scott Garnett
1,250 sq. ft., five cutting/colour stations and nine staff
Loraine Lee, Romanoff Homes and Interiors Furniture & Equipment: O2 Beauty Supplies & Kingdom Beauty Supply
Kérastase, L’Oréal Professionnel
Edge Management Systems
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday/Wednesday and Friday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.