If you’ve seen the first issue of Heart Home magazine you’ll already have met Joanna Thornhill and had a look around her cute London home. If you haven’t, make a mental note: she’s one of the brightest young stars in the world of British interiors styling and you’re sure to see her name scattered liberally through your favourite homes mags in years to come.
Jo writes the inspiring Stylist’s Own blog in her spare time, is currently completing a stint on the homes desk at British institution Woman’s Weekly and (as if that’s not enough) she’s an all-round lovely girl to boot. So lovely in fact, she’s agreed to be the first victim of the Decorator’s Notebook five-to-one interview, despite being on her sick bed! So, without further ado, let’s get to know her a little better shall we?
Describe your perfect room in FIVE words…
Homespun, idiosyncratic, vintage-retro-modern (in equal measure)
You’re styling a big photo shoot – what FOUR things can’t you do without?
1. My iPhone- however well you plan a shoot there’s always something that doesn’t turn up, or at the last minute you have to source a cobalt blue rug in the shape of an antelope (or similar obscure request) so it’s an absolute essential for me to access my contacts, browse the web and deal with calls and emails.
2. My toolbox (does this count as one item?!) Often I’ll take several boxes/bags of kit on a job, but my must-haves are scissors, tape (double-sided, masking and brown) and pins.
Tell us about your THREE favourite places to shop in London…
Anthropologie – possibly a bit of an obvious choice, but not only is it fantastic for a wonderfully eclectic array of homewares, its visual merchandising is easily as creative as any top editorial decorating shoots. Hugely inspirational.
Columbia Road- more the area really than a particular shop- on a sunny Sunday morning, this really is one of the nicest places to be in London. Packed full of bargain blooms, it’s also lined with some utterly charming shops selling a mixture of vintage plus the work of some brilliant designer/makers, including Rob Ryan and Elphick’s.
John Lewis – as a rule, I’m not a big fan of high street shopping, but John Lewis is just a masterclass on how to get it right. As well as having a great mix of stock and being pretty much the only UK high street chain to offer haberdashery supplies, the stores are always brilliantly merchandised and you are pretty much guaranteed good customer service. Best of British!
If all the colours in the world disappeared and you could only keep TWO, what would they be?
Cripes, that’s a toughie – I’m a big colour lover, but am also very fickle and have a new favourite every five minutes. Right now I’m quite into bright pops of colour on a moody background, so maybe I’ll go for a dark sludgy grey with a shot of vibrant coral? I’ll have changed my mind by tomorrow though…
Describe ONE clever idea you’ve brought to life in your home…
I think it’d have to be my secret bathroom door disguised as a bookcase (below). Readers of Heart Home will know that I live in a rental flat, and like most renters it’s always a struggle to personalise a space when you’re not actually allowed to decorate or change the furniture. All the doors in our flat are nondescript, flat-fronted plywood numbers, but for some reason the bathroom door hadn’t been painted and it always irked me. Then one day on a photoshoot I was lucky enough to take home an offcut of the fabulous Cole & Son ‘Ex Libris’ wallpaper. I was desperate to do something with it and it’s the sort of design that really needs to be seen on a large scale. I decided the door could be the perfect canvas, and by fixing it up with double sided tape, I can simply tear it down again when I move out, thus not affecting my deposit. Hurrah!
Now, where did I put that offcut of wallpaper?