Take a moment with photographer and model Joanna Halpin as she walks us through her zen mid-century home in Garrison, New York. A reflection of Joanna’s approach to timeless style, her home is filled with “forever pieces” and is inspired by her love of refined Japanese interiors and design. We also sit with Halpin on her Raksha rug as she elaborates on the intimate rituals and travel experiences that continue to shape and influence her perspective on well-being, both in her home and in her daily life.
1. Your home in Upstate New York is absolutely beautiful! Where do you get your unique interior inspiration from?
Thank you, our home is a very special place about an hour or so north of New York City. My husband Daniel has had the place for a few years and I now, very fortunately, get to call it home too. The style and details of the house have remained unchanged since it was built in the 1960s by a local architect called Frank Dushin. The interiors are very much inspired by the beautiful natural character of the house - it’s a single story mid-century wooden and glass house with stunning design choices (all the shelves are beautifully considered and built into the main structure of the house), with hints of Japanese influence. Daniel and I are both very much drawn to the simplicity and beauty of Japanese design so our interior choices are reflected in this fascination.
2. Our artisans draw from nature when designing Enkay’s handmade rugs. With that said, let’s talk about interiors. When designing a room in your home, what do you keep in mind? Any advice for our readers when choosing a rug or a new piece of furniture?
Personally I will always be drawn to something timeless that I know I will love and cherish forever; rather than being taken by a current trend. I love to take my time when thinking about how to choose a piece of furniture, rather than rushing to fill the space or buying something for the sake of it, and then regretting the decision because it isn’t actually authentic to me and my taste.
3. What colours, textures or homewares are you most drawn to at the moment?
I am and always will be drawn to anything with a Japanese influence - the beautiful refinement and consideration in Japanese design is so appealing to me. I like natural colours and textures with a timeless feel and calming energy; coming back to the house upstate feels like a zen retreat to us after a week in the city.
4. Beyond interiors, what are some of your rituals when at home?
When Daniel and I are in a good life rhythm we try to start each day by reading together - then no matter what else happens during the day, how busy or chaotic it might get we have had that connected moment together. I also try to practice yoga at least a couple of times a week, and meditate daily.
5. As a meditation, yoga, and breathwork instructor, how have these practices shaped you?
The travel opportunities that have come with my job is one of the aspects of it that I am most grateful for. The places that I have enjoyed travelling to most are the ones that I would never have dreamed that I would have had the opportunity to visit. I did a month long trip around Japan with my sister and a couple of friends a few years ago and that was such a special travel experience and deeply solidified my love for Japanese design and aesthetics. And I am very much drawn to the beauty and simplicity of an European island life. We spent a bit of time on a small Greek island this summer and the pace and truly grounded way you can live and swim and eat and return to the simple meaning of life is unparalleled.
6. Aside from photography and modelling, what are some of your other passions?
Over the last couple of years I have very much fallen in love with yoga and just how amazing it makes me feel (mentally, physically, energetically). I don’t know if I’ve ever found something before that so clearly brings such goodness to me and my whole well-being in an almost instant way, I can really understand how it becomes such a way of life for people.
7. As a multi-hyphenate creative, where do you draw inspiration from? Any practices that help you connect with your creativity?
I draw inspiration from so many different things. But what usually inspires me most to pick up my camera is beautiful light, I am particularly drawn to golden light and observing how light and colour can change the entire mood of a space. I feel very inspired when I am observing others, documenting people in their natural environment rather than constructing a scene or manipulating the beauty that is already there. And if I’m not feeling very creative then usually a good journalling session to undercover what’s going on with me subconsciously helps to bring inspiration and confidence to create again.