Can Embracing Imperfection Redefine Relaxation? Inside Rii’s ‘Wabi Sabi’ Design at Florian Hurel Hair Couture & Spa

Discover how Rii, alongside her husband, celebrity hair and makeup stylist Florian Hurel, has transformed Florian Hurel Hair Couture & Spa into a sanctuary of calm by embracing the beauty of imperfection through the Japanese concept of ‘wabi sabi.’ Rii, who is also known as a prominent Bollywood singer, says that she intentionally designed an ‘imperfectly perfect’ space, symbolic of embracing our flaws and good intentions.

 Florian Hurel Hair Couture & Spa
Rii (Florian Hurel Hair Couture & Spa)
What was going on in your mind when you first started working on this project?

Rii: Mumbai is such a challenging city when it comes to balancing work and personal life, isn’t it? We might not realize it, but I truly believe that having some alone time to connect with ourselves is just as important, if not more so, than constantly seeking social connections. It can feel like everyone expects us to be flawless, and in striving for perfection, we sometimes forget who we truly are, leading to stress. That’s why I had this idea of creating a space where imperfections are embraced as part of beauty. We’ve incorporated the Japanese concept of “wabi sabi,” celebrating the beauty in the imperfect and impermanent.

What inspired the concept of an “imperfectly perfect” place for the spa, and how did you translate that into the design?

Rii: When you go for a lovely spa time, try to forget all those negative thoughts from your mind. It will help you recharge and tackle your daily tasks with a refreshed mindset! Remember, none of us will ever be perfect in the eyes of others, whether it’s our boss, friends, or even those who may not like us. The key is to love yourself, and everything else will fall into place naturally. Surround yourself with things that remind you of the beauty in imperfection. Once you see the beauty in a cracked wall, you’ll realize that perfection is just a matter of perspective. When you feel good about yourself and appreciate the world around you, you’ll clear 50% of your mind and rest the other 50% when you receive a really good treatment for your body. Enjoy your time at the spa!

How did you incorporate the idea of a peace sanctuary into the overall architectural design?

Rii: Since I am deeply connected to nature, I really wanted to preserve the natural vibe in creating this space, and we gathered most of the natural elements from various parts of the country. The significant rock at the reception area reminds me of majestic mountains, encouraging us to see beyond what meets the eye. Moreover, the doors of each room are crafted from antique reclaimed wood, showcasing visible signs of past usage like nail holes, oxide stains, or saw traces, which not only give the wood a unique rustic appearance but also symbolize the importance of recycling. Every little detail in the spa holds its own significance, from the cement finishes to the door handles, mirrors, pedicure basins, small bonsai trees, and abundant plant decorations, all intricately linked to nature. There is truly nothing more potent than nature’s healing energies.

How did you balance the need for tranquility with the functionality of having multiple distinct spaces (spa, cafe, pet area) within the same facility?

Rii: FHHC & spa is a vision that is thoughtfully curated for meeting all your needs. We aim for every guest to experience a sense of comfort and familiarity during their visit to the salon & spa. Our deep affection for animals, particularly our beloved pets, is evident in our pet-friendly environment, ensuring that our furry companions can enjoy themselves while their owners are at ease. Furthermore, our on-site cafe offers a diverse selection of nutritious snacks and beverages, providing our patrons with a delightful culinary experience. The numerous amenities within our establishment enable us to offer a comprehensive range of services conveniently located under one roof, allowing our clients to make the most efficient use of their time. Considering our clientele predominantly hails from professional backgrounds, there is an inherent convenience in having all their needs met in a single visit.

What architectural techniques did you use to create a calming and inviting ambiance throughout the spa?

Rii: One of the top suggestions for making a cozy space is to tidy up and simplify everything. When we were constructing a spa, we made use of materials in their most natural, untouched state, reflecting a distinct aesthetic and offering a feeling of ease through simplicity. We honored the natural hues of each wall and item, concentrating on the lovely fading effects over time. Vintage items, sustainable and full of significance, were meticulously chosen due to their irreplaceable nature and special qualities. Custom-designed decorations and furnishings were meticulously crafted to strengthen the bond between me and my vision. Lastly, I stuck to the principles of ‘flawed, temporary, and unfinished.’ Indoor gardens were included as a continually evolving aspect of interior design.

What do you consider to be the unique selling proposition (USP) of this spa?

Rii: The primary unique selling proposition of this headquarters is centered around the convenience of housing all essential amenities within a single location, expertly curated by top-tier professionals in their respective fields. Furthermore, the establishment is pet-friendly and offers cafe services. The concept behind this initiative was to amalgamate our diverse travel experiences into a unified space. My background involves a deep connection to nature as a seasoned globe-trotter and climber, while Florian has garnered experience from prestigious locations around the globe and elite salons in Paris and other international cities. Together, we developed a comprehensive solution to address various needs. Envision indulging in a pampering salon experience while savoring top-quality coffee. The true essence of our unique selling proposition emerges from the amalgamation of diverse human experiences. By selecting the finest elements from each of our backgrounds, we have forged a distinctive identity for our establishment that sets it apart. Our meticulous attention to detail in choosing our inaugural location and desired space for our flagship outlet, HQ, further exemplifies our commitment to excellence.

What were the biggest challenges you faced during the design and construction process, and how did you overcome them?

Rii: The greatest challenge was sourcing the appropriate materials and decorations, as each element in the establishment was individually curated or tailored from various locations. Ensuring a cohesive color scheme alone was a masterpiece. Throughout the construction phase, meticulous oversight of each area’s molds was essential, as we intentionally strayed away from precision. I discovered greater difficulty in crafting a design with irregular structures rather than a straightforward build. Fortunately, we were able to enlist the finest craftsmen who embraced our vision and delivered exceptional results.

What feedback have you received from clients and the spa owners about how the space enhances their overall experience?

Rio: We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from all individuals who have visited our establishment, as well as stellar reviews from our esteemed clientele regarding the quality of our services.

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  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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