When it comes to men’s grooming, nothing quite beats the experience of a barbershop, especially one that places an emphasis on providing a premium masculine aesthetic with an industrial edge.
Augustin Homme, a Montreal-based shop that offers fine men’s grooming in a luxurious setting, elevates the standard grooming visit by offering a casually cool yet sophisticated environment.
Located underneath Salon Augustin (their flagship women’s hair salon), Augustin Homme has a homey-meets- salon-energy vibe that’s traditionally lacking in many barbershops. Offering beverages such as espresso and scotch, and comfortable seating to watch sports games, men easily feel right at home. So, it’s no surprise that when the COVID-19 pandemic began, Augustin Homme had to pivot and change up their signature “cozy” style to offer a whole new experience.
Relax in Style
Although the shell of the barbershop itself was given a more industrial, rough finish—hence the unpolished cement floors, vaulted ceiling with exposed ductwork and lack of trim work—Augustin Homme’s owner, Sam Agostino and his wife, Katrina, wanted to fill the space with more elevated items.
“The space is filled with luxury,” says Katrina. “From custom gilded lettering at the entrance, to leather chairs imported from Italy by Lanvain.” To further accentuate the stunning barbershop chairs, she adds that Thomas O’Brien Hicks lights were placed above each chair to provide a visual sense of comfort. In repeating the brass from these lights, oversized mirrors from Restoration Hardware were placed above each station, Lewis Dolin drawer pulls were put on the drawers and Rejuvenation shelf brackets were used to hold up the custom shelves above the back of the bar.
“Overall, it was important to think outside the design box,” says Katrina. Rather than having a typical waiting area and reception desk, Augustin Homme has a bar instead. “Since we decided to put in a bar, it made sense for it to have a glass display case as a top, to further feature the products.”
Making a Change
Though the barbershop prides itself on providing a more intimate atmosphere, so much of that effect has been removed due to the pandemic and multiple provincial lockdowns that have forced the closure of barbershops and salons. “[When we first reopened] we had to remove our waiting area and we haven’t been able to serve our famous cappuccinos since!” adds Sam.
When designing the space initially, the goal was to configure the entrance to be within the main entrance so that clients wouldn’t have to enter from outside. “Since the space was carved out from the centre of the building, there were no windows,” he says. “Therefore, I thought it was essential to do a glass- fronted entrance. This also gave the barbershop the opportunity to look like the exterior of a high-end men’s boutique. Another critical decision was to open up the ceiling.”
When the barbershop reopened after the first provincial lockdown, many safety and health measures were implemented: Personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff, additional sanitizing protocols, hand sanitization stations and longer appointment times to ensure proper disinfection between clients. However, it was important to the owners to still try to give their clients the ultimate “Augustin Homme” experience—or at least as close as they could get. “We were able to devote a space specifically to men’s needs, with an aesthetic catering to our premium clientele,” says Sam. “It’s that play between the finishes, which I believe sets it apart from other barbershops. Not everything matches, which is what makes the space feel more inviting and relaxing. Our clients may come for a haircut, but they often linger and chat longer, because they are so comfortable.”