Joanne, pictured, has just launched her first book 'Furniture Crush' available now from www.kylelane.ie/book
In a few short years, Tipperary's Joanne Condon has become one of the country’s best known upcycler's clocking in appearances as the resident crafting guru on RTE’s Today Show with Maura and Daithi as well as gathering a loyal band of followers to her social media accounts who gape in awe at her latest furniture transformations.
Now seven years after launching her Clonmel based business Kyle Lane, the design expert has just released her very first book 'Furniture Crush, which has already been heralded as the ultimate 'bible' for the interior obsessed upcycler.
“The book is very accessible - whether you’re starting out or have a good bit of experience, there is something in it for everyone,” Condon says of the book which was financed through a hugely successful crowd funding campaign last year.
“There were no real 'how to' books out there for upcycler's but there was definitely a demand and the support I received was unbelievable so I knew I was on the right track,” she explains of the year long project which saw the former art teacher oversee every detail from photos and illustrations, to editorial content.
“I was going to get someone to do the photos but a friend said sure Joanne you did photography in college, you're well able to take them yourself. I took her advice and soon after I found myself doing everything for it, from the smallest detail to the cover it was 100 percent my ideas.”
On her commute to work every day, Condon says she would regularly visualise each page in her head, making sure it was as perfect as possible.
“That’s partly why it took me longer than I’d planned to get it out. I had to make sure it was right, every detail, every sentence. I had it written and then decided to change one of the featured projects and even though it was a lot of work, I’m happy I had that control over it,” she says.
After earning her BA in Fine Art from the Crawford College of Art and Design, Condon moved to Limerick to complete her teaching degree in Limerick School of Art and Design. But after a few seasons spent in the classroom, Condon says she felt eager to pursue other outlets.
“When I started out doing my workshops, I think my teaching experience really took stock and gave me the confidence to stand up in front of a class. People told me I was mad to walk away from teaching but I honestly have no regrets,” she says cheerfully over the phone.
In 2011 she took the plunge and opened her own business 'Kyle Lane' in Dillon Street, Clonmel before relocating to her current location on Upper Irishtown. The gamble quickly paid off as word began to spread about the Tipperary workshop churning out stylish furniture with a vintage twist. Soon Condon's workshops were selling out and offers from RTE to do guest slots on afternoon TV came knocking as well as spreads in glossy magazines celebrating the 'Do It Yourself' approach to interior design.
“There's a lot more value placed on creating something yourself now that you wouldn't be able to find in the shops. I'm obsessed with what I do and adore colour. It's all about having fun,” she says adding that there's “only so much you can do with cream.”
Armed with her previous classroom experience, Condon relished her role as instructor and mentor, taking note of every query raised by students in her new studio. Over time, she says she noticed the same issues arising again and again.
“Furniture Crush answers every question you could have on up-cycling from beginners to more experienced. It covers techniques, colours, tips and tricks and has a few new techniques I've come up with over the years. Someone said a lovely thing to me about the book the other day. They said Furniture Crush is the only book that's as useful as it is pretty and I'm fairly happy with that,” she says.
To order a copy of Joanne Condon's Furniture Crush go to www.kylelane.ie/book. Kyle Lane fans can also join in on the Furniture Crush summer tour as Joanne takes to the road for her first ever book tour.
Joanne will be visiting locations around the country hosting workshops including Galway, Limerick, Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny and Kerry this June and July. For full details visit www.kylelane.ie/tour