This is a bit of shameless reblog, but it is so cool I had to share…. I am not even sure if I can get this paper in the UK but I will endeavour. The post comes from the fantastic Apartment Therapy and the lovely photos are by Ashley Poskin.
The day has come and Rocket Queen is now open for business with Charmaigne and Danny inking creatively in the fabulous new premises. Here is the tattoo studio makeover story…
When we started the room was large and full of shelving with bumpy concrete walls, a rubbish ceiling, uneven floors and generally in a very sorry state. It took ages to clear it, and a full skip load of rubbish had to be taken away.
The room has 3 windows, all with security bars which need to stay as part of the lease, which then led to ‘Inspiration No 1’- a prison cell.
This room has to be highly functional, and also very sterile for Health & Safety standards. Bearing this in mind, we decided to go for non-porous surfaces which are easily cleanable. I kept thinking about the film ‘Dead Ringer’s with Jeremy Irons in his operating room, so took the tiles idea as ‘Inspiration No 2′ – an operating theatre.
I did want to bring in an abbatoir feel as ‘Inspiration No 3’, and use chains from the ceiling to hand screens from, but was rightly persuaded that it might scare off the clients!
We tiled all around the room with metro tiles and used black grout to make them stand out. A new ceiling and plasterboard was added to make the rest of the surfaces smooth and hygenic:
The new upper walls were painted in dark charcoal grey paint, (washable but with a matt finish), and the lowered new ceiling was painted white to reflect light. The floor is high grade linoleum for hygiene in a dark grey with a slight sparkle finish and it is non-slip. To keep the room very clinical, we installed a stainless steel medical sink, and chose a variety of storage furniture in enamel which continued the sterile look. The white cabinets came from Ikea, and the black trolleys are actually mechanics’ garage storage systems. The tattoo benches are adjustable so that clients can sit or lie any which way for tattoos on any part of the body.
As two tattoo artists work in this room, we bought and installed two medical privacy screens in case people want a private area during their sessions. I changed the very dull plastic white pvc panels on these for new waterproof and wipeable fabric, (aka shower curtain fabric sewn into panels, and which is as slithery as hell when you sew with it!). We used really cool retro patterns of tattoos and tattooed people for these.
Love this fabric!
As the room is predominantly grey, black and white we added some punches of much needed colour, with posters and original artwork by artists like Jacknife’s Chris Hopewell.
Before & After: really pleased with the transformation…..
There are two separate treatment rooms, which have been decorated in much calmer colours; one for laser removal and the the other for reflexology and beauty treatments:
You can see the first makeover on the reception and shop area here…
Finally we are at the end of the long road to finishing the main reception and shop area at Rocket Queen. All the furniture is in, the stock is displayed and we can now turn to finishing the other studios rooms. Scroll down to the bottom for the full before and after photos, quite a change!
The new Reception area has a desk for drawing out tattoo designs and artwork which we made from an old carcass as seen here:
I wrapped the frame in faux leather, and then applied ribbon to hide the staples to the sides. We then applied the initials of the business in aged brass studs: To each side of the desk are display cabinets which show some items for sale of natural skulls, metal ones and metal stag heads.
Looking across the room is the main seating area. The colours are meant to be pinging and vibrant, and the more they clash the better. The large mirror can be used for clients to inspect their latest body art, and it also helps bounces light back around the room.
Behind the sofa is a collection of old pinball machine parts hung on the wall to create a great, bright and colourful display. The coffee table is also made from a pinball machine top, with new legs added to make it horizontal as they are usually set on a slope. The end section will be used to hold magazines.
Over in the shop section we have used glass and metal shelving and a vintage shop fitting display cabinet to display the stock.
The items we are selling in the shop range from taxidermy to oddities to antiques. This is a bit of a home-made passion, and we are learning some taxidermy techniques as we go…
Before and after:
I will post the main tattoo studio room reveal very shortly….
My husband bought me home a beautiful, and bit odd, gift recently…. this amazing saw with message painted onto it:
This is serendipity I am sure, as I am helping my friend design her tattoo parlour ‘Rocket Queen’ at the moment. So I decided to make some for the shop that she can use…. after much font investigation and paint sampling, plus a trip to the local junk shop for saws, here are the results:
I basically upcycled some old saws, painted the metal black and then painted the fonts and decorations on after tracing the text using a reverse method with chalk on paper. A final coat of lacquer and they are good to go. I love them, and think that every operating theatre should have one above the door saying ‘Surgery’ on it….
My fabulous friend Charmaigne is opening a tattoo parlour , and we have been coming up with ideas to transform what is basically a HUGE empty space with creative ideas and a low-as-possible budget. The shop consists of a vast reception area, two treatment rooms, a tiny staff room, WC and the main tattoo studio. Various people will work in the shop; tattoo artists, a reflexologist, manicurist, and a laser tattoo removal specialist.
Most parlours we have seen are very male orientated – lots of photos of tattoos on the walls, big black leather sofas and quite cold in style. We want to make a welcoming, fun, entertaining space for Charmaigne’s customers and their friends, and came up with a hybrid of Boudoir, Circus and Fantasy inspired ideas for the main reception space. Lots of large scale props will be added later as decoration from pinball machines to pop art to a large scaled rocket.
The blank canvas was really daunting; lumpy rendered walls, awful suspended ceilings, and floors that were mixed levels and in a very sorry state. A massive strip out followed, with new ceilings going up followed by plastering some wall areas. The floors had to be stripped and made level. Lighting was replaced with directional spotlights.
The first space you enter is the large reception area. We chose an dark aubergine purple for the walls to warm up the large space. Here is the first coat going up onto the very textured walls, (horrid to paint). New ceilings and lighting had to be installed. Rich gold is being used on skirting and door frames, this ties into planned decorative items being added later into the scheme. Charmaigne has basically bought all the gold paint in the county for this project to date….
The main tattoo workroom has to be very hygenic, and follow strict Health and Safety rules with non-porous surfaces. We decided to follow a clinical/institutional theme in this room and play on the operating theatre theme of cleanliness! The films ‘Dead Ringers’ is the inspiration for this space. It also has existing security bars on the windows that have to stay, adding an slight prison feel to the room. Metro tiles half way up the walls were applied to start which will have very dark grey grout, and a plasterer booked to come and skim the remaining walls and ceilings to provide a good base to paint on. The walls will be a deep dark grey to offset the tiles and bright lights needed for tattooing. The flooring is ordered; very dark grey lino which again is hygenic and practical.