Interior Decor With Joanna Carden

Interior Decorating, An Art FormChristine_Olmstead_Art_12

This past weekend I had the pleasure of invading Joanna Carden’s space to watch her style my paintings in a variety of settings. I love collaborating with Joanna, because I learn so much each time I’m with her. She has the tools, ability and vision to pull together a clean and beautiful room.

It is interesting that just because someone is creative, or artistic, that artistic vision doesn’t necessarily translate across all mediums. For example, a painter may be a great artist, but lack ability in putting a room together, or struggle with plating a tasty dish.

Watching Joanna work this past weekend was fascinating because I realized she puts together a room in a similar way to the way I create a painting. When I start a piece, I start with the focal points on the canvas. Where do I want the viewers I to go and how do I want to direct their eye across the whole canvas. Joanna approaches a room in much the similar way.

She chooses the focal points of the space and balances them accordingly. After I’ve chosen focal points on the canvas I need to balance the piece in such a way that the focal points still stand out, but the piece doesn’t feel awkward or over weighted on one side. It’s hard to explain and it is largely something that needs to be felt. The determining factors that go into whether a piece is balanced or not are focal point placement, color selection, depth of color, color placement in proximity to the focal point, focal point directors, tone, texture, and white space. All of these things are factors I consider while painting.


Of course, I don’t know what is going on in Joanna’s head, but watching the way she worked and the things she said while styling the various rooms, made me know that she was thinking about balance, focal points, and white space (aka breathing room, so a space feels pulled together, but not cluttered).


Joanna was talking about balancing height, making sure pieces could fill, but not overwhelm the room they were in. She was talking about balancing pieces that draw attention but don’t detract from the focal points of the room. It was then that I really understood interior decorating for the artform that it is. The room is the canvas, you can choose your focal points, colors, tones, accent colors, accent tones, balance of textures etc in much the same way an artist chooses to paint their canvas.


Thank you Joanna for letting me come and watch you work. Watching your artistry is always fascinating and I’ve loved getting to see you work!

All styling by Carden Interiors. Follow @joannagcarden for more styling tips, tricks, and interior design services. Also you get 10% off of any of my originals and commissions when you work with Joanna.

To shop furniture similar to the pieces from this shoot visit

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