May’s Parlor Design

The Virginia Pilot recently did an article on Millennials and how ‘kids’ our age are starting to get back into manual trades…jobs that computers and machines have taken the craft out of. Racheal Browning was featured in that article and now she finally has her own little place to showcase her talent. I am so happy I was able to bring her vintage parlor idea to life with the design of May’s Parlor. The space is located on Pacific Ave and 28th street…right next to Subway!

The exterior has come a long way from the previous hair salon. Here is the before picture:


And here’s the pretty (almost) after. We really wanted to paint the building, but the landlord wasn’t feeling it…sigh….so we did shutters and a happy yellow door. The new porch and handicap ramp will be painted white once the wood acclimates (you have to wait 3-6 months to be able to paint it!!!) New landscaping and yellow chairs give the building some of the curb appeal it was lacking. I’ll update this picture in a few months once the porch is painted and the table/barstools are out there.

Before we get to the interior transformation, we have to talk logo-because every business should be fully branded…from the mission statement and business plan to the logo, to the interior, to the graphics and marketing. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G needs to be cohesive and recognizable. Since Racheal didn’t have one yet, I offered to try my hand in designing a logo.  Keep in mind, I am NOT a graphic designer….but sometimes I like to play with graphics…and sometimes they actually turn out to be cute! We just happened to find the most perfect wallpaper to accent her logo and I knew it was fate.

Inside obviously got a big overhaul. Any time you turn a regular building into a place that serves food (or any type of building use change), you know there will be some pretty extensive changes to bring the place up to code. We had to add an exhaust hood, a platform on the roof for HVAC equipment and exhaust, all the baking equipment, lots of hand washing sinks, cleanable surfaces, etc. Apart from all the technical upgrades, we also had to make it appealing to customers while reiterating the brand. Like I said before, the logo was a starting point for the interior and this lemon wallpaper was spot-on…so we started there and added lots of pops of yellow and mint and some cool “vintage” finds.

We found these amazing table bases at a restaurant supply store and we had the tops made from the countertop material (Corian). The most perfect minty chairs are from Urban Outfitters.

The teapot centerpieces are from World Market…

The circular wall hangings from World Market are actually meant for candles, but I wanted something more interesting. I went to Target for some $1.99 white mugs and planted a draping succulent in them. Easy to keep alive and pretty-what’s not to love!?

On the mantle, I didn’t want to hang something that would cover up our pretty wallpaper, so I went for varied height candlesticks in the same black and white as the fireplace itself. They were all different colors and materials (hey clearance rack!) so I painted them all with a black spray paint.

The front and the top of the counter is clean and white so that the baked goods pop out at you.

At the other end of the bakery, Racheal seamlessly created a vision I had of a shutter wall. Using pieces she found at local thrift stores, she painted them all and hung them. Have I ever mentioned how much I love clients who can DIY?!!! She also painted the vintage piece she’s using as a coffee stand/trash piece and the large shelving for retail. We framed some leftover wallpaper to reinforce the pattern and added 3 pendant lights over the bakery counter to further highlight the sweets!



I had a chocolate almond croissant the other day and literally licked the paper it came in. Like chocolate all over my face inhalation status. It was hands down the best treat i’ve had in a long time and I highly recommend checking it out! She does pastries, muffins, scones, cakes, artisan sandwiches, salads parfaits, cookies, tarts, coffees, and teas!

We wanted to put a window in so guests could see the bakers doing their work, but also didn’t have a place for the menu since the ceilings are so low….so, boom…window menu!

…and a changing paper menu for the baked goods.

In the restroom, I ordered some vintage metal signs from Amazon, and got a new mirror and some accessories from Homegoods.

Special thank you’s to Racheal for trusting me (lol) and to Moliar Group, the contractor! Be sure to check out the bakery, open at 7am-perfect for a beach breakfast and coffee!!