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Spaceage Nail Lab

February 20, 2017
Lily Nails
Is your idea of heaven being pampered in a neighbourhood nail bar? The classic Barbie-pink, ramshackle salon with serried ranks of ladies in battered reclining chairs doesn’t always make for the most relaxing experience; that’s why we prefer our indulgence a little more design driven. Enter, Lily Nails.

Nail salons abound in Beijing, but not like Lily Nails. Kick back for all manner of cutting-edge mani/pedi treats in this swish bright-white spaceship of never-seen-before archi staggery in Chaoyang’s U-Town shopping mall, which boasts a swirling, shell-shaped ceiling punctured with airy holes. Another arched aperture brings a vital, living green wall of plants into the minimal snow-hued space, adding a refreshing natural contrast to an otherwise futuristic, high-tech haven.

Six generous cream treatment chairs with matching ottomans and sleek white floor lamps sit in pairs, separated from the other seats (none of that cheek-by-jowl cluttered claustrophobia here). Part of a Chinese chain of popular, affordable nail and eyelash salons across Beijing and Shanghai, this is the flagship, a 60sq m space designed by Arch Studio to feel like a relaxing, escapist garden. It’s easy to chat or chill out solo, depending on your mood, with soft LED lighting diffused through the spiralling, dot-punched, suspended steel plates. Walls are curvy and floors are pale and glossy, allowing the shelves of colourful nail polish bottles to shine. Nailed it!

Lily Nails / 4/F / U-Town Shopping Mall / 2 Sanfeng Beili / Chaoyang / +86 10 8561 5875 / 10am-10pm daily /

Photo © JIN Wei-Qi