April 29, 2021

Nivek Remas Imbues a Toronto Barber Shop With Sophisticated Style

To make the diminutive room feel larger, ombré mirrors, which become more reflective the closer they get to the floor, line arched openings to create a sense of interest beyond the central haircutting area. Photography by Scott Norsworthy.

When Toronto barber Tony Sadiku decided to open his own shop, called Dundas Square Barbers, he imagined something like a gentleman’s club, the kind of thing with old-fashioned molding and a sense of history, an apt backdrop for customers to twirl waxed moustaches. His location—a modern, 850-square-foot place at the base of an office tower—had expansive windows on two sides that rendered wrap-around baseboards, wainscoting and crown molding an impossibility. To nod at the desired throw-back vibe, Sadiku’s design team, Kevin Chan and Samer Shaath, co-founders of Toronto’s Nivek Remas, lined the entire ceiling, as opposed to the walls, with ornamental plaster work. Likewise, the floor, an inlaid zigzag of two-toned grey tiles, also twists tradition. “Tony wanted a memorable flooring design that could be seen from the street,” says Chan. “We created a radial pattern on the floor that reflects in two mirrored columns like a classic barber pole,” says Shaath. “We think it makes for a more exciting, engaging environment.”

Brass pendant lights and tufted leather barber chair also nod to the desired vibe of a classic barbershop. Photography by Scott Norsworthy.
An ombre wall covering in the backroom hair washing station further helps draw the eye. Photography by Scott Norsworthy.
The spare, cubic volume of the reception and cash desk complements the clean-lined, modern bones of the barbershop. The marble cladding recalls a sumptuous gentleman’s club. Photography by Scott Norsworthy.
The illuminated red, white, and blue pole pays tribute to a barber shop mainstay. Photography by Scott Norsworthy.
The building exterior. Photography by Scott Norsworthy.

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