Design/life: Joanne Condon, Furniture artist and founder of Kyle Lane, Clonmel

Joanne Condon finds that using a burst of colour in your furniture not only lifts the whole room, it also lifts your spirits too.

Colour is one of the most important aspects of Joanne's work – she loves transforming dark pieces of furniture into colourful pieces of functional art

What’s your background?

I studied at Crawford College of Art and Design where I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art. 

My main area of study was painting and textiles. I went on to complete a teaching post-grad in Limerick College of Art and Design then, receiving a Higher Diploma there.

What’s a typical work day like for you?

I absolutely love going to work every day. I always try and get in early and usually start by answering emails, and placing any orders. 

I also take care of marketing for that day, if I can fit it in. Every day is completely different and that’s what I love.

My day really revolves around colour. I love playing with colour and colour combinations. I am usually working on commissions for customers. 

As painting furniture is a process, I can be working on different projects at different stages to allow drying time etc.

Dresser revival: Painted in grey (Winter’s Breath from Colourtrend), Joanne used white (Milk Teeth also from Colourtrend) on the back panel and door handles to offset the grey. As the finished result shows, it makes for a show-stopping display unit.

Weeks where there are workshops always require a lot of extra planning and preparing. In the midst of all that, the shop is open and I talk to customers and go through planning for their pieces. 

All of this seems a lot but I have great help from my colleague, Susan.

Tell us about a recent project or design you have worked on?

I am just nearing completion of my book, ‘Furniture Crush’, but I am tight-lipped until that is released. It has been the hardest, most challenging project I have ever tried but they are always the best ones.

What’s your design style?

I have an eclectic style. I love vintage, mid-century and modern. I love that you can style all these elements together to create something that works, but that is unique to every individual.

Painting with purpose: The changes to these throwaway pieces of furniture are amazing and you can find the full tutorial, step-bystep, on Joanne’s blog on her website, www.kylelane.ie

What/Who inspires your work?

Anything can inspire my work, I think I see things a lot differently— as I am obsessed with what I do, I can find inspiration in any place. I am always looking for pattern, colour shape and form in every day life. 

So driving to work, for example, I could find inspiration in the colour of the sky that day, or a tile I see in a random shop could spark a design or colour combo. 

In fashion, seeing someone wearing two colours together might be the basis for a colour combo I will use to paint a piece of furniture.

What’s your favourite trend at the moment (if you have any)?

I don’t really have a favourite trend, I love experimenting and playing around with colour and décor.

What’s your most treasured possession?

I think it would be my collection of photographs. It’s all the history and memories captured over the years. I couldn’t imagine losing those.

Who would be your favourite designer, or style inspiration?

I love the work of Nikki McWilliams (aka the Biscuit Lady). I have been following her for years. I love how she has taken something that everyone loves and given it a whole new twist. 

Her colours are so cheerful and happy – I think adding one of those biscuit cushions to any chair can really give it a whole new personality. The best part for me is that Nikki screen prints all of her own designs and I have to admire her craftsmanship.

What would be a dream project for you to work on?

A piece I can completely transform into something unrecognizable from its original state. Just to have as much fun and playing around with colour with total freedom.

Colour Pop: Joanne revamped her own hallway by painting the inside of her front door in her favourite colour, Island Breeze 0693 from Colourtrend (in satin). She primed it with Colourtrend Prime 2 Epoxy, which she considers to be the best primer on the market. She also painted the fisherman’s light in the same colour as the door, using the same satin paint, as it can also be used on metal. Joanne then freshened up the walls with Colourtrend’s Milk Teeth (historical collection). She bought beautiful gold wall decals from a website, www.madeofsundays.com at €14 a sheet. Once she measured each dot, they were easy to put up. She says the decals are the pièce de résistance of this hall redecoration project.

Have you any design tips for us?

When you are revamping a room, don’t always think that you need to buy everything new. Look at what you have. 

If a piece of furniture is perfectly functioning, don’t get rid of it – it may just need a fresh coat of paint and some new hardware. 

If it doesn’t work in that space, try moving it to a different room and giving it a different function. Most of all, don’t be afraid of colour.

www.kylelane.ie 

Insta: @joannecondon

Facebook: KyleLaneClonmel

Twitter: @kylelaneclonmel


More in this Section

Travel on trend: Eoghan Ó Cathasaigh

High-street cheats to achieve that classical Christmas look

Newsview: Smoky coal ban, Christmas FM, bargain  wreath holder and Dermot Bannon’s new  TV show

Christmas gifts for the home are for keeps


Lifestyle

A heavy burden for such young shoulders caring for parents this Christmas

How to enjoy Christmas without piling on the pounds

The Islands of Ireland: Roaringwater Bay in West Cork once homed 27 people

With ancient roots the pantomime dame is still a firm favourite

More From The Irish Examiner