Interview: Advice From Kathryn Ireland
Fabric designer Kathryn Ireland is queen of unstudied chic. When not juggling the high-end clientele that stems from her role on Million Dollar Decorators, she’s happily cooking for her three sons at her beloved pistachio AGA stove (she’s a brand ambassador). The Brit-born designer’s signature style is sought after by celebs like Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Martin and David Mamet, who gravitate towards her colourful, boho interiors. Kathryn has been named among the top designers in the U.S., in addition to creating a signature line of fabrics and penning decorating books.
House & Home: What are your tips for choosing kitchen appliances?
Kathryn Ireland: A kitchen isn’t a kitchen without an AGA. I’ve got one in France and a pistachio-coloured one in L.A. For other items I do go with the design first, then I do my homework on functionality.
H&H: Do you have any rules for decorating with fabric to pass on to our readers?
KI: Follow your gut. Mix brights with muted, florals with plaid, velvets with linens. It’s just how you throw them together.
H&H: What fabrics are exciting you right now? What’s a great fabric pick for 1) a durable sofa, 2) a luxurious drape, 3) a pretty bed?
KI: I am going back to my roots and designing new collections that take inspiration from Old Masters, as far as colour. Scottish plaid but with a fresh twist. English chintzes, Welsh blankets and Irish Linens. For a sofa use my Moroccan Blanket, it’s a mix of linen and wool and extremely hard-wearing. For drapes, any of my collection for Scalamandré. On a bed, Lola (shown below) from My summers in France collection.
H&H: What are some fresh updates you are making in your clients’ — and own — home for summer?
KI: New slipcovers, pillow covers, lampshades and bed throws.
You’re known for your work on Million Dollar Decorators. What’s the best thing about a celeb clientele?
KI: Clients tend to listen better.
H&H: What’s the downside?
KI: There really there hasn’t been one yet.
Where do you get your inspiration?
H&H: All over. Travel, books, my photographs that I am endlessly taking.
H&H: Fill in the blank: I never feel at home without a __________
H&H: Is there a home decor item you’re glad is fading in popularity?
KI: Artificial flowers.
See more high-profile designers, including Kathryn, in this style icon gallery.
Kathryn M. Ireland Textiles & Design