I discovered the work of Joanna Lavén when I featured her home on Nordic Design a year ago. It was one of the most unique and character-full interiors I’ve seen. It is the kind of place that has so many intriguing and interesting elements… It is a little quirky and different, but definitely awesome.
Joanna is a set and prop stylist I’d hire in a heartbeat for my own home. She is very talented, and her work always has a touch of unexpected. I wanted to get to know her better, and she kindly agreed to an interview.
Here, you’ll find 14 questions and answers with this stylist I admire.
1. Tell us more about yourself. How did it all started?
“I started out as a full time assistant to one of my favorite stylists in 2003. Before that I had been at the university studying media and communications and I felt that I wanted to do something where I could be creative and aesthetic. I loved right from the start the intense way of working, you get to see result pretty fast and it is stimulating to have many different types of projects.
2. Best thing about being a stylist:
I get to work with so many inspiring people and environments on a daily basis. I also get a chance to experiment with various styles which is fun. Every day is different, no day is boring!
3. What inspires you?
Nature, books, films, travels, people… the usual. When I fell uninspired, I take a walk if I can or go to a museum.
4. Best styling tip:
The devil is in the details! Mix different materials and use only objects that you love, not items that you think will “create a style”. A beautiful chandelier can give atmosphere to the entire room.
5. Any special projects at the moment?
I have an ongoing cooperation with Hästens beds, which is very stimulating. I also just did a photo shoot for an exiting new book that will be out in stores this fall.
6. You, in three words:
Creative, aesthetic, efficient.
7. What is the best advice you ever received and from whom was it?
I always go back to thinking of a quote similar to what Benjamin Franklin once said: “Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” It’s very important for people like me that tend to worry in advance…
8. What advice would you tell your younger self if you could?
Probably that everything doesn’t always have to be perfect, and that you learn from your mistakes.
9. Dream subject/assignment/collaboration?
I have worked with so many fantastic clients and it is hard to choose a single dream assignment, but it would be great to work with Fornasetti or Hermés for instance. I like working with high quality brands that encourages people to invest in items that last a lifetime, not a season.
10. What can’t you live without?
My family, sweets, flowers, sun, wine, books, beautiful objects…
11. If you could invite somebody for dinner, famous, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would have to say Jesus, because of the importance to our society today.
12. Best Scandinavian city and why:
Stockholm, I love my hometown. I think it is beautiful, I grew up here so I am speaking from a biased position.
13. Something on your bucket list:
I want to go on a safari trip as soon as my children are old enough to come along.
14. What is your all-time favourite design piece(s)?
Hard to pick out one, but I love vintage lamps by Venini, easy chairs by Lina Bo Bardi, Wirkkalas tables, many of Fornasettis pieces such as folding screens, pewter objects by Estrid Ericson, Commedia dell’arte figures by Fulvio Bianconi…
All photos are taken from Joanna’s gorgeous portfolio.
P.S. I will launch my latest collection of original paintings very soon! If you'd like to find out more, get on my waitlist and I’ll send you a sneak peek soon.