If there is something that Scandinavian interior stylist Joanna Lavén is amazing at, it’s giving an image a story without over doing it with objects. She makes spaces look aspirational as well as lived-in. The combination makes for some fantastic interior photography, which is why we wanted to find out more about this talented stylist and her craft.

How did you begin as an interior stylist?

I was studying Media and Communication when I got the chance to start assisting a talented stylist in Stockholm. I was searching for a creative job and I have always been very interested in aesthetics. It has been hard work but so much fun since then!

What is your point of view when it comes to styling – what is characteristic of your work?

I strive for a calm and balanced color palette. I try to work with good quality objects that can ”stand alone”, not only to create a certain feel. For me it’s important to have vintage pieces in an interior, I think that spaces filled with all new furniture are not that interesting.

How do you prepare for a project?

It depends on the project. Many times I start off with a creative meeting with the client and/or the photographer. Then I search for inspiration and after that, I start the search for specific objects that will create the feeling I am striving for.

What is something that we might not know that is difficult about styling? Any behind the scenes pitfalls that need to be avoided?

You often have an idea that a certain type of lamp, for example, would be perfect for a shoot that is taking place in a couple of days, but then when you find the fixture it is located in another country… You are always fighting against time, and trying to keep everything cost effective.

On an interior shoot it’s easy to underestimate the amount of furniture and objects needed – you often need much more than you might think! A place that looks nice in real life can look very empty in a picture.

What was the project that you were most proud of? Any big collaborations that have been dream projects?

I love the pics I did for Electrolux Grand Cuisine, and for Elle Decoration

What are some tips you can share with us on how to create a well styled shot?

Keep the color palette simple and mix materials and textures to give it interest.

In your own home are you changing things around to create a certain feel?

Of course! But I move frequently (every other year) and I often renovate the places I live in, so it changes a lot. I love house plants and often get new ones, which means that I have to change around the rest of the decor to give them the perfect place.

Is there something you do not recommend when styling?

I would recommend surrounding yourself with objects that you really love, rather than things that are trendy. Do not change your home every season, let the interior grow over time and add items that you have saved up for. That being said, if you can’t afford expensive designer furniture do not settle for an empty apartment with empty white walls. Go to the thrift store for furniture and try making your own artwork!