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Inspiration Profile - Kim Johnson & Jo Walker

Welcome to our latest Inspiration Profile - we have the lovely (and very busy) ladies, Kim Johnson and Jo Walker. One lives in Australia, the other in Canada and it was their shared passion of interior design that brought them together. They are still to meet face to face, yet they work together and are the creators of the successful Desire to Inspire.

The Desire to Inspire team - Jo Walker and Kim Johnson

Jo Walker

Kim Johnson

Name: Jo Walker and Kim Johnson
What do you do:
Jo: Too much! I work for a government homeless health outreach team to pay the bills and salve my conscious. I am a blogger, interior designer and soon to be e-retailer in my other life.
Kim: By day I work for the Canadian federal government as a supervisor of a web development team. By night I am an interior design and fashion blogger (Kim also produces Closet Rivalry with her sister, Jen). 
Where do you live:
Jo: Ipswich, Australia
Kim: Ottawa, Canada
What are you working on:
Jo: My blog Desire to Inspire, my next painting, restoring several pieces of industrial furniture and my new online store Faded Empire, opening soon.
Kim: The day job and blogging keeps me super busy, but I am working on a huge personal project. I am in the process of working with an architect to get some plans going on a new house (we’ll be tearing down our existing house and rebuilding).

Home of Jo Walker

Jo's office - where she makes Desire to Inspire happen.

Who/what inspires me:
Jo: Australian stylist Megan Morton, interior designer Greg Natale, architect Scott Weston and my blog partner Kim Johnson. Creativity, originality, larrikinism and not taking things too seriously.
Kim: All of the super-talented photographers (ie. Katarina Malmström Brown, Paul Raeside, Graham Atkins-Hughes, stylists (ie. Lili Diallo, Selina Lake, Twig Hutchinson), designers (Kelly Wearstler, Vicente Wolf, Uxus Design, Roman and Williams) architects (NORM, Messana O'Rouke, Fearon Hay) and our readers whose work and spaces we have featured over the past 5 years always inspire me. All of the design books and shelter magazines I read are also huge sources of inspiration for me.
I work best:
Jo: very early morning. I like to see the dawn. And when I'm under pressure. Nothing like leaving things to the last minute. My best work at university was created the night before the design presentation.
Kim: Mornings, with a second cup of coffee.
What I do when I’m stuck for inspiration:
Jo: restore furniture, paint, surf the net and take my mind off whatever I should/need to be doing. Escape is the best creative tonic.
Kim: One of 3 things – scour my favourite interior design blog, flip through the hundreds and hundreds of shelter mags or books I have stashed, or go shopping
The best advice I have been given is:
Jo: Life is too short … just do it. Did I just write that after saying that I do my best work by procrastinating until the last minute ;)
Kim: Don’t follow trends – follow your heart!
My latest discovery is:
Jo: Kashmiri hand embroidered rugs. They’ll be in my e-store soon. We’re working on using them for upholstery on our furniture as well.
Kim: It’s a toss-up between the amazing sound from my new Tivoli radio (gotta have tunes in the kitchen) and the incredible comfort level of my new Green Light District lounge chair.
Kim's home - soon to be pulled down to make way for a new and bigger home.

Kim's kitchen/office - where she makes Desire to Inspire happen.
Books that I get inspiration from:
Jo: Retro interior design books. I have dozens and dozens. If it is loud, gaudy, shagpile, orange or plaid I lap it up.
Kim: A Girl’s Guide to Decorating by Abigail Ahern, Black & White (and a bit in between) by Celerie Kemble,
Details by Lili Diallo, Modern Vintage Style by Emily Chalmers, Simply Scandinavian by Sara Norrman, Pale & Interesting by Atlanta Bartlett & Dave Coote.
Magazines that inspire me:
Jo: Inside Out, Livingetc, Elle Decoration (English), Nuevo Estilo (Spanish)
Kim: Canadian House & Home, Style At Home, Elle Decoration, Living Etc., Dwell
Blogs that I enjoy:
My favourite room at home is:
Jo: My bedroom. I find the black walls so soothing and serene and the colour makes everything look so good.
Kim: My office/kitchen/dining room. My dining table is in the middle of my kitchen (my house is very small and has no separate dining room) and because the office (a really badly executed addition at the back of my house) is not at all insulated, I am relegated to one end of the dining table to do my blogging/web surfing. I quite like it. It’s in the center of the house, I’m close to the fridge and the space is open to the living room so I can watch TV at the same time. I can check on dinner in the oven without moving anything but one arm!
My office is:
Jo: Wherever my computer is.
Kim: (see above). When we build our new house there will be (or at least there better be) a large, open office space for my husband and I with lots of light and space, with hopefully room for bookcases, and a separate table and chairs to spread out work/read/etc.
What am I looking forward to:
Jo: My new online store opening soon. And my next 50 years.
Kim: Building this new house I keep mentioning. Living in a 925 sq ft house with my husband and 7 cats and with the 2 of us being far from minimalists, it’s getting to be too much of a nuisance to not have adequate space. And our house is just filled with things that are not up to par – windows that we have to cover in plastic in the winter to save on heating costs, exterior doors that don’t seal properly, a basement that leaks every time it rains even slightly….I could go on and on…..
I have to also mention that there is one other thing…after 5.5 years or so of knowing my blog partner and dear friend Jo, I am REALLY looking forward to finally meeting her face to face one day.
Want to find out more about out Desire to Inspire? Read their blog here, find their Facebook page here or follow them on Twitter here.
Images from Faded Empire - opening soon.
All photographs used with permission by Jo Walker and Kim Johnson from Desire to Inspire.


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