A firm favourite with everyone at Cox & Cox HQ, we love Joanna Thornhill’s brilliant new book ‘Home For Now‘. Released earlier this year, freelance stylist and writer Joanna has put together a collection of inspirational images, information and advice on how to make your rented space or first home beautiful.
Having worked on photo shoots and features for magazines such as House Beautiful, Country Homes & Interior and companies such as Sainsbury’s, Joanna demonstrates clever, practical and reversible decorating and styling ideas that allow you to transform the look of your home with just a few key pieces and tips. Items such as Wicker Cone Chair, Recycled Vases, Cushion Covers and Mirrors are just a few pieces that can add instant style and personality to your space.
We sat down with Joanna earlier this month to find out a little bit about what she loves;
What do you love most about Cox & Cox?
I look at interiors websites far more than the average person – mainly down to my job, as I’m constantly looking for products and trend ideas to feature in photoshoots and features, but also as it’s my passion! I really appreciate sites who put in the effort to create a strong identity for themselves and offer a whole lifestyle package, rather than just a collection of ‘stuff’. With Cox & Cox, I know I’m going to see stunning, original product photography, as well as products to back them up.
What was the last book you read?
I’ve been so preoccupied with work of late that the last time I sat down to read a whole novel was when I was on holiday to Crete. We stayed in a beautiful resort in Plaka, opposite the tiny uninhabited island of Spinalonga. So I couldn’t not read Victoria Hislop’s historical novel, The Island, which is based there. Being able to actually take a boat to the island having just finished reading it was pretty special.
What one item can you not live without?
I’d love to say something more interesting than my iPhone but really, it’s the one thing I’d be lost without. I’m very much a digital rather than paper person and prefer to either send emails to myself, bookmark web pages or use an online to-do list to manage my workload and life in general, plus my calendar, contacts and work folders are all ‘up in the cloud’. The iPhone gives me the freedom to access everything I need when I’m out and about, as well as keep my social media networks updated on the go.
What is your favourite Cox & Cox product and why?
There are too many beautiful things on the website to choose, but one Cox & Cox piece I have in my own home (well, outside it in the garden, actually) is the Rattan Planter. They are so simple and make such a difference to the look of the garden. My outdoor space is completely concrete so we’ve hidden it with fake grass and gravel borders, but this means all our plants have to grow in pots rather than the ground. I think plastic planters just look really scruffy but they’re the best way for us to grow anything, so the rattan planter mean I can stylishly disguise it. Hurrah!
What is your favourite place?
There’s still so many on the Bucket List, but I think a recent trip to India for a friend’s wedding will always rank way up there. After the wedding, in the north of India, my partner and I went down to Kerala for several days. I can still clearly picture all the vibrant colours and patterns that were on every building and surface. I’m not exactly a minimalist so for me, it was visual heaven!
What would your last breakfast on earth be?
It’d have to be a really good Full English, with all the trimmings, and a soft yolk.
What makes you happiest?
I’m very lucky that my job is also one of my main passions in life, but it does mean that sometimes it’s hard to switch off, especially when things are busy. So I really appreciate time out with my boyfriend outside of London altogether, even if it’s just a daytrip, to help get out of that work mindset and just switch off, far enough removed from home to prevent me nipping back to catch up on any deadlines! Particularly if it’s by the sea – having always lived inland, that first glimpse of it on any trip still feels me with that childhood excitement. Fish and chips on the beach is possibly my favourite thing ever.
What are your plans for 2014?
I’m hoping to build on the momentum of launching my book, Home for Now, and seeing what other doors that might open for me, as well as various styling jobs I have in the pipeline along with my regular pages for several titles and websites. And at home, I’m desperate to make headway with my house renovations – we bought our first place just over two years ago and have been painstakingly stripping it back and restoring it to its former glory, all on a shoestring budget. We’re midway through finishing the bedroom and study, which have pretty much just been cosmetic, but I’m hoping once that’s sorted we can do the biggie – a total refit of the kitchen and dining room. And I think once all that’s done, a holiday might be in order!
Who or What is your biggest inspiration?
I think when you’re a visual person, inspiration is all around you – as cheesy as it might sound, but anything from a beautiful sunset to a charmingly derelict old building can spark off ideas for colour or decorating schemes. Although design shows and magazines can really help get the creative juices flowing, sometimes the best inspiration comes when you’re not even really looking for it.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I sort of always wanted to do what I’m doing now really, I just never knew it existed! I’ve always loved writing, art and design, but was never quite sure what the best outlet for that would be. I wanted to be a fashion designer for a long time and studied Fashion Design at university, before realising it wasn’t quite right for me and switching to a degree in Fashion Promotion, but was always interested in interiors and eventually decided that should be my vocation rather than just an interest. I think blogs and social media have really opened up the industry and people are far more familiar with what interior stylists do nowadays, but back when I was first starting out, for an outsider like me it almost felt like stepping into a secret world – I’m glad I eventually found my way into it though!
Joanna’s book is available to buy here.