In historic Summerhill, newly expanded Aviary Beauty + Wellness is disrupting the traditional salon and spa model— one blowout and custom facial at a time.
It’s unexpectedly serene during my afternoon in Summerhill. Construction on the bars and restaurants lining Georgia Avenue seems to have mysteriously paused, there are few passersby, cars amble down the main thoroughfare. It’s as if I’ve stepped onto a quaint, wholesome Main Street. I’m here to experience the new location of Aviary Beauty + Wellness (@ aviary), and be it by luck or divine intervention from the self-care gods, today I’m spared Atlanta’s usual frenetic energy. Before I push through Aviary’s doors, I’m already in spa mode, ready to discover its offerings.
I’m anticipating the allwhite, ultramodern, chic but stringent environs typical of medspas, but Aviary is unlike any other. In partnership with Atlanta interior designers Sacred Space Design Studio and Amanda Dashwood Interiors, woodworking magicians B10 Union and architect Lianne Epstein—all Atlanta based—the decor here hits all the current trends, with the perfect amount of restraint. The walls are an inviting shade of dusty rose, the millwork shows off with curved shapes and natural shades, the salon chairs face mirrors framed in brushed gold and soft natural light glows from pendants above. And in the treatment rooms, where estheticians exclusively follow the sage facial wisdom of Biologique Recherche professionals, art from Amy Parry Projects lines the walls.
“I have a strong intuition when it comes to my business,” says founder Amy Leavell Bransford. On my recent field trip to Aviary, she greets me with the warmth of an old friend. When I ask why Summerhill for her second location of the Old Fourth Ward original, her response is true to form: “I say Summerhill is ‘Atlanta’s oldest neighborhood that everyone is about to hear about.’ O4W was like that in 2008. Five years pre- BeltLine, it was simultaneously the Wild West and the pulse of the future.” And Bransford plans to capitalize on the that growth once more.
Offering hairstyling, treatments, coloring and cutting, as well as waxing, tinting and lashes, the main event at Aviary are the notoriously hard-to-find Biologique Recherche products alongside its custom 60- to 90-minute facials. “It’s an honor to work with the brand,” Bransford says. “They are highly selective and have an intense process to be vetted to work with them. The advanced aesthetics training they offer is amazing. My staff and I are trained alongside some of the world’s best high-profile estheticians like Toska, Joanna Czech and Danuta Mieloch. It puts us into an elite group of estheticians, that’s for sure!”
I leave Aviary with a post-facial glow, my skin rejuvenated, my soul recharged and a mental note to book my next treatment.
Photography by: courtesy of Aviary Beauty + Wellness