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Friends open new shabby chic hair salon in Cheltenham

By Weekend  |  Posted: December 11, 2012

Becky Hannis, Claire Middlecote and Gemma Kay have opened Beau Amis in Montpellier

Becky Hannis, Claire Middlecote and Gemma Kay have opened Beau Amis in Montpellier

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Time spent having your hair coiffed should be a relaxing and pampering experience and it helps that the surroundings are fabulous as well as the stylists.

And the three friends who have set up a new French-themed salon in Montpellier have got it just right.

Gemma Kay, Claire Middlecote and Becky Hannis have created a little slice of style heaven at Beau Amis in The Courtyard.

As well as their expertise in cutting and styling hair, they have combined their love of beautiful things and come up with a salon that oozes shabby chic style and a Gallic twist.

The three women all met and became friends while working at different salons in Cheltenham and all had a similar goal – to open their own salon.

"It started as just a dream but it was what we all wanted and we finally decided to go for it," said Claire.

While Gemma, 29, and Becky, 26, are both stylists, Claire, 29, manages the salon and it was her flair for interior design that transformed the place into a vintage treasure.

"I'm the Kirstie Allsopp of Cheltenham," Claire joked. "I'm in love with shabby chic."

When the three moved in they were faced with an empty shell and a lot of work to transform it into the salon they were dreaming of.

"We had to scrape adhesive off the floor and it took us hours and hours and was back-breaking work," said Becky.

The entire redecoration took them six weeks, with lots of help from friends and family, but the trio are delighted with the outcome.

"We wanted the salon to look really stylish but not in a way that would make people feel intimidated about coming in but to make them feel at home and pampered in gorgeous surroundings."

They  have certainly managed that with everything done with more than a mere nod to French style from the aged stone flooring to the boudoir-style furniture.

There are also fabulous little touches all around the salon, such as words spelled out in fabric lettering on the walls, bird cages hanging in the window and little knick-knacks dotted all around.

As well as getting their hair cut, coloured and styled, Beau Amis also offers clients bridal styling and a dressing table with nail varnishes that they can play around with while waiting for their colour to take.

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