Joanna Shirin is the founder and a principal designer of Joanna Shirin Design Studios, Inc. She hails from the colorful city of Riga, Latvia: “Living in Riga as a child was like living in a fairy tale, with its cobblestone streets, the incredibly intricate ornate awnings denoting various shops, the modern buildings somehow blending into to centuries-old stone and brick houses and churches. I wanted always to learn how to paint if only so I could capture all these places, that even then I knew were somehow unique, and full of stories…”
Design Experience & Education
She had always gravitated to the arts, and so unsurprisingly studied in Jaņ Rozentāls Art School and then in the Latvian Academy of Fine Arts, just prior to moving to New York City over 27 years ago now, for good. Her love for capturing the stories of places and people who occupied them led her to pursue a BFA in Interior Design from Parsons School of Design in NYC:
“I felt that when I was painting a space, I was taking a snapshot of what had already happened. There was no continuation to that story, just a memory of it splashed onto the canvas, and I always felt a sort of a loss. When my palette changed to incorporate objects, textures, bits of furniture and various pieces of decor that were all meant to paint a story of the inhabitants of a place, a story that was going to keep unraveling, I knew I found the thing I was meant to do. I don’t think of myself as a designer so much as an artist who weaves people’s spaces into a tapestry that’s uniquely theirs…”
Boutique Style Design Firm
Joanna started a boutique design firm to help cater to those who truly appreciate that interiors of the spaces they live in are a reflection of so many unique stories and events, past, present and future.
“Our goal is always to tell these stories through the interiors. If a story calls for a particular piece of furniture that simply doesn’t exist, we will design one and have it made to fit that one unique personality of the one space in the world where that piece would be the most natural thing.”
No matter what styles a residence calls for, it’s the incessant search for the harmony of the space and its occupants that drives us. “There is a tremendous sense of fulfillment in being able to do that…”