Surry Hills in Sydney’s East is an eclectic melting pot of emerging and established artists, a haven for quirky design, vintage furniture and fashion, and where fast food line-ups coexist with fine dining venues. In short, it’s always abuzz with life… and that’s where we found our next H&D ‘Business with Heart’ – Sterling Hairdressing Parlour and Barber Shop.
As soon as we walked into this old school parlour, we were greeted by Sterling’s maitre d’, a three year old jack russell terrier, Betsy who belongs to the owner Tony. Betsy continued to strut about the salon with real purpose the whole time we were there.
Looking around, there was some real soul and swagger to this place. The whole space had an effortless style to it and while all the furniture is individually quite busy, they coexist well as no particular area is over-styled.
The high ceiling allows all the items some breathing room from each other so that they all have quiet little zones to live in and can be observed individually.
The owner, Tony, has drawn upon his love of the early 1900’s influences – movies and homes, the gangster swagger of that time, the crooners, old school barbers and the high end hairdressers from the 1940’s.
The pieces in the salon have been gathered by Tony for over thirty years. How nice to have that perfect space for all the knickknacks that we gather over time.
Tony’s favourite things at Sterling are the 1920’s feather print wallpaper in the back area of the salon. We hadn’t seen anything like it and it’s probably our favourite thing too. We’re amazed at how Tony had pulled off such a unique look. The statement wallpaper is teamed with a classic art deco hall table that is styled with a simple vintage phone, photo and ornament. The ceiling of this area is rouged satin which adds such another dimension to the room and we love that the ceiling has been used in the decorating too.
Like us, Tony sources his pieces from a variety of places; local markets, second hand shops and ebay. When he finds an interesting piece he’s compelled to snap it up, but never really considers the parlour complete… preferring it to be in a constant state of flux “At the moment I am happy with it… but I will never stop adding things and changing things around”. We feel you Tony!
We took so many photos at this place that it was difficult to narrow down which ones to feature… but here they are and we hope you like our selection.
Tony and his team love visitors poking their head into the salon to take a look (some even come back with their grandmother’s, who can sit and reminisce about the barber shops of yesteryear). If you’re in the area, take a look at this inspiring salon – and if you’re ever in the market for vintage inspired hair or make-up then Sterling is your place.
If you have or know of a business with lots of heart and soul, leave their details below. We’d love to visit your inspirational space and you could end up featured H&D.