Kiki's Woman of the Month is the incredibly talented Interior Designer, Joanna Wood. Recognised as one of Britain's leading figures in the international world of Interior Design, Joanna brings to each project her care and attention to detail, creating a classic style that combines traditional and contemporary elements to produce a result which is both practical and visually exciting. Joanna actively takes part in the sourcing of products from small independent suppliers in England to far flung countries around the world. She has a keen eye for the unusual and strives to present beautiful, tactile gifts and accessories in a friendly and welcoming shopping environment.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself and what inspired you to set up your business?
Growing up, both my parents were artistic. We lived in a beautiful 17th century Oxfordshire home and my father ran his family’s medal making business…which is where my love of sculpture and bronze comes from.
I joined the interiors department at Asprey’s in the 80s and learnt everything I could before I launched my own company when I was 24. The knowledge I gained from my mentor was invaluable and my understanding of architecture has stayed at the forefront of my work.
What elements define your style?
The space dictates everything. I try and work with existing features as much as possible so we have discovered and restored some beautiful things. We recently stripped back several layers of paint from a fireplace in a listed Georgian property and have restored the original- the detail we uncovered was extraordinary.
What collaborations are you really proud of?
I’ve launched three big collaborations over the years, one of which is Lewis & Wood, the fabric and wallpaper company that I founded with textile designer Stephen Lewis. Some of the prints have been used in collections for the Joanna Wood shop…so that always makes me happy. I have several on my desk.
I love having the shop on Elizabeth Street too- it’s full of treasures and we’re very lucky to be on the prettiest street in London.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Take more holidays!
What are your greatest sources of inspiration?
My travels always give me inspiration. I’m also a huge fan of the theatre and the ballet; I always say that in another life I would have been a set designer. I share Kiki’s love of the ballet; we’ve had many a trip together!
What are your favourite colours/materials to work with?
Texture is everything and layering is always something I do- linen on silk on velvet on bouclé. I also adore colour…all of them. There isn’t a single colour I won’t work with.
How will you present your design concept and ideas?
Creating the schemes is one of the best parts! My team and I throw ideas around before compiling several schemes onto boards which we then take to the client. Everything from curtain material to trim colour is discussed!
Which are your favourite Kiki pieces and why?
I wear the Kiki Classic Blue Topaz drop earrings so often and they get complimented on every time. I lost one recently and was in a complete panic until I got it replaced! Kiki has made some wonderful custom pieces over the years with things I’ve brought back from my travels; amber from Burma, pearls from China and the most beautiful piece of jade from India.
Where do you see yourself, and your business in 5 years?
We’re in the process of opening an office in Gloucestershire, close to my own home so I’m looking forward to building up a team there and getting our hands dirty in the Cotswolds! My daughter Hattie has just joined the company so I’m looking forward to us working together…she’ll really keep me on my toes!