Wax & Lash: A Hidden Gem in Larimer Square
Photography by Ali Vagnini
In the heart of Denver, along the underground corridor of shops named the Larimer Square Walkway, sits the upscale boutique salon Wax & Lash, offering hair removal, skincare services, and eyelash extensions for men and women.
And although the staff’s care, customer service, and overall treatments are a cut above the rest, what really causes one’s eyes to flutter is the shopowner’s penchant for high-end interior design.
At first glance, the place seems small, but as a first-time visitor peeks into rooms and turns each corner, she begins to understand the scope of Wax & Lash’s hidden charm. The underground layout embodies the sweet—almost magical—escape of a spa visit, where dimmed lighting, stylish furniture, and comfortable conversation are requisites.
Tawnya Hutchinson in Larimer Square
To find the creative genius behind this beautified salon, one need not look far. The space was designed and outfitted by owner and “Boss Lady” of Wax & Lash, Tawnya Hutchinson (above), who surprisingly has not one ounce of formal interior design experience. The space recently underwent an expansion, acquiring the space of an adjacent office, and with a few knocked-down walls and Hutchinson’s keen eye for the fine details, what could’ve been handicapped by a shoestring budget now appears to be luxury incarnate.
Colorado Homes & Lifestyles picked Hutchinson’s brain to learn more about Wax & Lash’s design story and how she was able to first craft a vision for the space and then bring it life.
The treatment rooms were designed to "feel like you are climbing into bed at home or sneaking away in a gorgeous hotel room."
How did Wax & Lash come to be?
I was living in Stapleton and doing skin care and waxing out of my home, but realized I wanted a little more for myself. I was walking down Larimer in the summer of 2013 and, through a serendipitous series of events, decided to lease the original Wax space—just 400 square feet of raw, empty space.
About a year ago, we opened Lash next door, where L Style Bar is currently, but we quickly realized that both businesses were cohesive—that Wax and Lash could operate under one roof. When we first opened the original Wax space, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could go through that wall [leading to adjacent rental] and take over that space one day?” Turned out the business that had been in that rental pulled out of their lease early, and that got us thinking about expanding the layout and combining Wax & Lash into one space.”
My boyfriend and I went to dinner at Tag upstairs, where we wrote our business plan on a napkin and decided to take the leap. We just finished that big expansion about two months ago. It’s amazing how my dream has come into reality.
How did you decide to take on the designing reins for the space?
I’ve always done my own design work—in my businesses, in the homes I’ve lived in. Everywhere I went, the environment I created was homey yet classy and, most of all, comfortable. People often ask me why I don’t go into the design world, but I design for myself and for the people who come to visit me. I want people to feel relaxed, like they’re coming to see a friend. When people are at ease, they open up and great conversations happen. This is the whole point!
What was your inspiration for the design of Wax & Lash?
I was definitely inspired by the Cooper Lounge, one of my favorite places in all of Denver. It is such a classy place, and I love the vibe of balancing masculine and feminine looks—because waxing is for both genders—and I also love the juxtaposition. I wanted to use a lot of the wood and brick, and also bring in tufted furniture and Man Men-esque midcentury modern style.
Providing an environment of connection and conversation also inspires me. I had someone say to me once, “I feel like I’m coming home to visit with a girlfriend and have a glass of wine.” The downstairs waiting area is designed so that people are sitting and facing each other—like a living room—so that they’re encouraged to engage with each other. It’s very important to me that our customers walk in coming for a wax and leave feeling like they had an entire experience—and the design is why they had that experience.
PAMPER YOUR FRIENDS
Wax & Lash is now inviting people to take over the space for networking events, bridal parties, or happy hour get-togethers. The space can fit 25-40 people comfortably (standing room). “If you wanted to bring in a group for services, we could have about 12 people come in comfortably,” says Hutchinson. “While 6 people are getting treatments, the others can take over the waiting room. They can have full reign of the spa, with mimosas, wine, and small bites of food from any of the restaurants on Larimer.” Learn more at www.waxlashdenver.com.