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Work Spaces: Raphael Lawrenzo Operates
Raphael Lawrenzo has created an island
oasis atmosphere inside his hair-cutting business. Today's Cuts is located
at Archer and Pacific streets in San Luis Obispo.
"A snippet of paradise"
SALON DESIGN AIMS TO PUT OWNER,
CLIENTS AT EASE
Raphael Lawrenzo has transformed his San Luis Obispo salon into a South
Seas paradise, brimming with tropical plants, soft Caribbean music and
trickling water fountains. The effect is reminiscent of the old television
show "Fantasy Island."
"I call it my 'Hair Island,'" Lawrenzo says.
Since he was a young boy, Lawrenzo has studied
television and movie characters, analyzing whether or not their hair
styles matched their characters. He wielded his shears at several
prominent salons in Northridge, Glendale and Woodland Hills before moving
to the Central Coast in 1986 to raise his growing family.
What you see: Today's Cuts' tiny
one-room salon feels like it has been plucked from a friendly jungle and
plopped down on the back streets of San Luis Obispo. Giant potted plants,
like palms and dracaenas fill the corners, while a vining philodendron
runs wild across the ceiling. Rattan chairs and floral cushions mix with
ornate French provincial furniture, decorated with its delicate gold leaf,
florets and Cupids. An old surfboard forms a shelf along one wall, topped
with more plants, shells and wooden parrots. A large, 200-pound gold
framed mirror covers a side window, reflecting more plants and adding to
the tropical atmosphere.
How does the space reflect his personality?
Lawrenzo came up with the tropical theme to create a relaxing oasis for
himself and his clients.
He also dresses the part, with Hawaiian print shirts, white slacks and a
gold chain around his neck.
What was the Inspiration for the design?
Anything that feels tropical, whether from Hawaii or the South Pacific, is
OK with Lawrenzo.
The French Provincial touches also fit, he says, since they are
commonplace on islands once ruled by France.
What he likes: The peaceful atmosphere.
He's also proud of two of his creations - a shell encrusted telephone and
new fountain he recently built with abalone shells.
What would he change? Not much. Someday
he might add a shampoo bowl so he can do hair coloring, Lawrenzo says.
"I'm really good at highlighting, but I'd rather fill my time cutting
Tribune, Tuesday August 27, 2002.