Matrushka founder Joanna Berryman explains her move from fashion to interior design

PUBLISHED: 15:01 25 July 2014 | UPDATED: 14:43 31 July 2014

Jo Berryman

Jo Berryman


“Pulling the look of a house together is really just like putting an outfit together,” says interior designer Joanna Berryman.

Hollywood couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis rented 
this Hampstead home styled by JoannaHollywood couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis rented this Hampstead home styled by Joanna

Joanna should know. Before setting up her own interiors consultancy firm, 
Matrushka in 2009, the Hampstead based mum-of-one worked for around 10 years in the fashion industry.

She enjoyed stints at Elle and Elle Girl magazines, and luxury lingerie label, Agent Provocateur, before running her own fashion boutique Jezebell.

Today the Hong Kong born designer has her eyes firmly focused on interiors, but says fashion, together with a love of art, heavily influences her work.

“Poetic chaos is the Matrushka ethos,” she explains. “We believe interiors lie on the threshold between art, fashion and functional spaces and it’s the constantly shifting elements of these realms that keep us open to the new.”

Joanna's style is full of quirky, decorative objects.Joanna's style is full of quirky, decorative objects.

Take a look at a few of Joanna’s projects (many of which are showcased on her website) and this “ethos” she speaks of becomes clear.

Rich, colourful fabrics, reclaimed furniture and quirky, decorative objects and trinkets feature throughout. Staying very much clear of the minimalist, muted look, Joanna’s rooms are full of life, personality and, quite often, a touch of humour.

“If my style were personified, she’d be a gypsetting granny with a penchant for acid florals terrariums and gold mirror,” she smiles.

Joanna has worked on a huge range of both commercial and residential properties, with leading fashion designers and Oscar-winning producers among her clients.

A Matrushka home in the CotswoldsA Matrushka home in the Cotswolds

An Edwardian mansion she styled in Hampstead was rented by Hollywood couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, and she’s currently in LA designing the rooms of Gary Lineker and his wife Michelle’s West Hollywood apartment.

The designer is also working on her own much-praised home in Hampstead, adding a sunken light-flooded garden room, a hammam and a loft conversion with a retractable roof.

Joanna says she’d struggle to say what type of project she enjoys working on most, adding: “Every property evokes a varied response from me.

“I’m often inspired by the raffish splendour of a crumbling period property yet am open to working with a modernist box on a cliff.”

Joanna has launched an online boutique selling a variety of products, including reclaimed furniture like this chest of drawersJoanna has launched an online boutique selling a variety of products, including reclaimed furniture like this chest of drawers

In June, after receiving hundreds of emails asking where she sources Matrushka pieces, Joanna launched her own online boutique.

Products on sale include a cushion range, tiles, rugs, works by the godfather of neon art, Chris Bracey, a scented candle range and a variety of upscaled furniture.

Much of the latter has been picked up at various flea markets and antique fairs, which, Joanna explains, reflects her fascination with the 
“nuances and beauty of reclaimed items and forgotten objects”.

“In restoring and finding new habitats for the forgotten we hope to celebrate and reveal stories that might have otherwise gone untold,” she says.

For more information on Joanna Berryman and Matrushka go to matrushka.co.uk.

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