At Groton salon and spa, owner brings Buddhist beliefs to detailed decor

Kyla Adams, owner of Home Salon and Spa located at 391 Long Hill Road in Groton, styles the hair of patron Lind DeRose of Gales Ferry on Thursday, August 3, 2017. (Tim Martin/The Day)
Kyla Adams, owner of Home Salon and Spa located at 391 Long Hill Road in Groton, styles the hair of patron Lind DeRose of Gales Ferry on Thursday, August 3, 2017. (Tim Martin/The Day)

Groton — There is a lot to take in at Home Salon and Spa, between walls painted hot pink or violet, doors and windows repurposed for decoration, and wall-to-wall vinyl images of a lagoon, Hindu god and Buddhist temple.

And it would be a challenge to find all the dozens of Buddha images.

The whole aesthetic is fitting for an owner who sports blue hair, tattooed arms and earrings made from Mahjong tiles.

"The feeling I want to have here is when you have a cousin, say, and you know when you go to that cousin's house for dinner, you're going to have good wine, good food and feel really comfortable," Kyla Adams said.

Home Salon and Spa opened on Route 184 a decade ago and then spent eight years next to Gabrieles Martial Arts on Poquonnock Road. Adams purchased the building at 391 Long Hill Road last summer and reopened Home Salon and Spa there on Christmas Eve.

The space was previously home to Evelyn Siefert Kennedy's textiles shop Sewtique.

Groton resident Tammy Stephen has been following Adams since before the hairdresser started her own business. Stephen thought the Poquonnock Road location was nice but said of the new space, "I think there's more of her in it, because she knew it was hers forever."

Adams, 44, has been a hairdresser for 17 years and a fitness instructor for 25; she teaches eight classes a week at Up Fitness in Mystic.

She said of opening Home Salon and Spa 10 years ago, "I decided that if I wanted to work with really nice people in a really beautiful environment, I needed to create it for myself."

She began with three massage therapists, three aestheticians and a yoga studio. Adams has grown to 31 employees but ditched the yoga studio on the basis that having a spa with "high-quality service at a low cost" was a bigger draw.

Home Salon and Spa offers manicures and pedicures, hair services, facials, peels, massages, waxing and makeup application. The two-story space includes six spa treatment rooms and two hair rooms.

Adams' goal in designing the rooms was to have a Moroccan-bohemian feel with a saturation of color, and the décor reflects her Buddhist beliefs.

Raised by a Jewish mother and Irish Catholic father, Adams became a Buddhist 21 years ago, a path she found through doing yoga. She gets a lot of her design inspiration from travel, particularly to a country where more than 90 percent of residents are Buddhist: Thailand.

Adams bought a beaded tapestry on a street market in Thailand, while she had lighting fixtures custom made in Egypt.

In the hair wash room is a collection of religious tchotchkes that Adams either brought back from travel or received as gifts – Mayan gods, a Virgin Mary and Jesus icon, the Hindu goddess Kali Ma.

Elsewhere in the 2,700-square-foot spa are window panels from old opium houses in China. There are curtains made from old saris. There are beams from an old barn in Massachusetts. There are benches made from the doors of an old church in New London.

Outside is a garden with hydrangeas, salvias, butterfly weed, lavender and Japanese willows.

The sensory experience extends to smells – lavender, orange or ylang-ylang essential oil is diffused in every room – and to sounds. Adams keeps the music eclectic, a mix of New Age, singer-songwriter, traditional Italian music and more.

She said of the general atmosphere, "I want, when you walk in from outside, to be like: Holy moly, where am I?"

Business_The waiting area of Home Salon and Spa located at 391 Long Hill Road in Groton,   on Thursday, August 3, 2017. (Tim Martin/The Day) Business_The waiting area of Home Salon and Spa located at 391 Long Hill Road in Groton, on Thursday, August 3, 2017. (Tim Martin/The Day)

Business Snapshot

Business: Home Salon and Spa

Where: 391 Long Hill Road, Groton

Owner: Kyla Adams

Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

More information: homesalonandspa.com

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