Maker Monday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Joanna Buchanan

Inspired by travel, family, and nature, Joanna Buchanan was able to create her own line of luxe, seasonal accessories, holiday decor and gifts. She is a strong believer that life should be “decorated and joyful”, which is why thousands of people have her beautifully made pieces in their homes. From napkins and coasters to bottle openers and wine charms, every creation is both colorful and charming. Joanna is particularly known for her holiday collection because of its take on conventional ornaments, which she’s elevated to a whole new level, marked by vintage sophistication and glamour. Introducing this week’s Maker Monday, Joanna Buchanan.

Andrew Joseph: Dream country to work in?
Joanna Buchanan: I have worked in India for periods of time in my life and I just love it. India is such a special place- it humbles you, inspires you and it is just so visually stimulating. I love so many of the traditional craft techniques and working directly with the factories is the best way to push your own design boundaries.

Andrew: How would you define your work in three words?
Joanna: Maximalist, eclectic, joyful. I am always super cautious of the balance of kitsch and tasteful… and I think by using really lovely materials and sophisticated colour, I always land on the side I want to land on!

Andrew: What’s the one ingredient you put in everything?
Joanna: I am not an impressive cook…. just not very inclined to spend too much time in the kitchen! So my Mum uses Lawry’s garlic salt in some of her cooking- and I use it in everything…I buy in bulk online and there is massive panic in the household if we ever run low!

Andrew: If you had one more hour in the day what would you do with it?
Joanna: I would love to start painting again… probably my garden… I end up taking snaps with my phone to remember the glorious moments but to paint them would be SO much better! I paint all the backgrounds for our photoshoots- so I do still get my hands a little dirty- but it’s still not pure leisure!

Andrew: Least favorite color?
Joanna: Purple….I know that so many people LOVE IT..but I struggle. I like the paler range- but anything that resembles “Prince Purple” is a challenge. I have worked around it by embracing real amethyst in my designs.. and that has helped. Maybe one day I will turn….

Andrew: Your affirmation for today
Joanna: I love a good affirmation quote!! “Some pursue happiness- you create it”. I have this scrappy post-it note stuck to my PC and I see it every single day. When things get challenging, I have to remind myself that I CHOSE this path. I need to OWN it!

About The Maker | Accessory designer Joanna Buchanan developed an unmistakable vision for luxury, color, texture and pattern not only from her 20 years in the fashion retail business working at Saks Fifth Avenue and Banana Republic, but also through her Hong Kong childhood, adult years in Europe and extensive travel throughout India.

For the woman who always believed that “life should be decorated and joyful,” the holiday season presented the perfect opportunity for Joanna to take her passion for home décor and accessories design to the next level via her own brand. Her first holiday collection launched exclusively on One Kings Lane in 2014 Joanna’s line of luxe, seasonal accessories was born from her mother’s love of the tradition of holiday decorating and a scavenger hunt through her great-grandmother’s collection of ornaments gathered throughout her travels in Europe that Joanna found stashed in her parent’s home in the English countryside. Inspired by her memories and these finds, she envisions a new take on classic holiday décor – rooted in tradition but decidedly modern and totally fabulous.

In a curious twist on conventional décor she has transformed the holiday season by adding a level of vintage sophistication and glamour that has never been seen before. Her signature jeweled clips are a unique and unexpected way to adorn everything from packages to holiday greenery. Her lines have expanded beyond Holiday with seasonal offerings in gifting, tabletop, barware and décor that epitomize her ability to curate modern colors, chic graphic patterns and eclectic home furnishings. Her garden is a huge inspiration for the natural elements in her work.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here.

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.