Tour a Vintage-Inspired Apartment Over a Beauty Parlor

Ricky Pannell recently moved into the apartment upstairs from his West Village salon Snip N Sip.

Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson
Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson

I recently visited hairstylist Ricky Pannell, who commutes to his West Village salon Snip N Sip by taking one flight of stairs down from his apartment.

Before Pannell moved into his second-floor, one-bedroom West Village walk-up last year, the apartment was occupied by one Mrs. Donati, who he says was “the last old Italian lady on the block.” Pannell had been working downstairs since 1999, cutting hair at Snip N Sip, his old-fashioned beauty parlor, on the street level below. He came to New York from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, in 1986 to be an actor, studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, but decided after some initial success working in TV that he wanted to remain in New York rather than move to Hollywood. This led to a stint working at a hair-and-makeup agency, where he met the hairdresser Orlando Pita and became his right-hand man for five years, before launching his own business 17 years ago. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson
The entry foyer/dining area is clad in faux-pickwick-pine laminate from Home Depot, and the wall lights are from Pannell’s grandmother, who “had the greatest knotty-pine basement in Kennett Square, with a big bar.” He adds: “I always wanted a knotty-pine room. When I watch HGTV and they do these renovations, they always rip out the knotty pine!” The cat was a gift from his siblings, who found the solid-cement feline at a Pennsylvania auction when they were bidding on a fountain for their mother. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson
Mrs. Donati lived in the apartment for 80 years with her entire family — there were so many relatives that at times her brother slept under the dining-room table. When Pannell saw the apartment, Mrs. Donati had done a renovation that included adding brown linoleum that also ran up the walls. Here, a view from the entry/dining area of the living room and bedroom beyond. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson
Pannell found an Ikea area rug to layer over the Flor rug tiles in the living room. The sofa is from Sit Down New York, and the corner chair was his grandfather’s. The fish-catcher side table with a glass top is by Franco Albini. The large bunny sculpture in the corner with light-up eyes is from Pennsylvania. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson
In the kitchen, Pannell says, “I knew I had to do something kitschy and fun.” He found the wall covering at Hannah’s Treasures, a site that carries vintage wallpaper. As much as he loves his roomy kitchen, Pannell admits, “I have never even cooked in it. But I did discover a pizza box in the oven that had been there for a couple of months. I do boil water for tea, and I have heated up a couple of things on the top.” Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson
In the bedroom, Pannell installed one of a pair of ’70s dressers (seen on the left) from Sears which once belonged to his brother. The dumpster print is by Ryan Metke, the poster is vintage, and the plant painting was found on the street. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson
The mirror over the desk in his bedroom is by Franco Albini. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson
The pint-size bathroom has a full-size tub with shower and a window to boot! Pannell paved the walls and floor with penny and subway tiles found at Home Depot. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson
Pannell welcomes his clients to his salon downstairs with a vintage counter and stools, where they can hang out and relax. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson
Snip N Sip has the vibe of a throwback neighborhood barbershop, with a painted wood floor and a vintage freestanding phone booth. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson
Here, Pannell sits in the barber chair of the second, adjoining room of the shop, a space that used to be the neighborhood rent collector’s office. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson
Tour a Vintage-Inspired Home Over a Beauty Shop