Featuring in the House & Garden’s Top 100 interior designers of 2018, Joanna Plant is an interior designer based in West London, who creates comfortable and beautiful interiors rich in texture and colour. Together with her husband Nick, she has undertaken a wide range of private residential and commercial commissions both in the UK and overseas.
How do you begin the design process with a new client? What kind of questions do you like to ask?
We begin by asking the client about the household – who is living there, what is going to be happening in the rooms, who is doing what when, children, pets, staff … that sort of thing. And then we ask how they want to feel … if they are very busy, working people they might want a calming, tonal scheme and if they entertain a lot, something more exciting and glamorous. We also look closely at their existing furniture, pictures and collections that might be incorporated into the scheme.
What inspires you the most?
I love delving into people’s lives through books. I’ve recently finished reading about Bunny Mellon and learning how she decorated her houses was fascinating. I also like to have one foot in the past looking at the work of the decorating greats (Robert Kime, Geoffrey Bennison etc) and one foot firmly in the future by keeping an eye on what the new young decorators are up to.
Do you have a key feature or element which your projects would never be complete without?
We always use antique furniture, even in a modern scheme, as things with age temper the finished look and make the room feel more considered.
Do you incorporate trends into your projects and if so, how?
Of course we all have to be aware of current trends and thankfully we have Instagram to see what people are into, however, we aim to put together houses which are going to stand the test of time.
Describe your interior style in 3 words.
Comfortable, practical and beautiful.
When designing a bathroom, what is the most important factor for you?
Functionality is top of the list … that and super flattering lighting.
Which work are you the most proud of?
Always the jobs where the client is happy and best of all when they become friends.
Top interior design tips?
Buy the best you can afford and collect things you love slowly over time. Be brave and don’t worry about what other people will think.
What would your dream bathroom be like?
I love my bathroom at home, it’s tiny and squeezed into the eves high up above the tree tops. Otherwise, I dream of the marbled deco glamour of a bathroom at Claridges.
If you could own just one stand-out design piece, what would you choose?
I would love to own a baggy old Howard sofa in it’s green and white lining cloth – that would make me very happy.