Kathryn M. Ireland
The textile and interior designer shares a few treasures that telegraph her timeless appeal
The tablecloth [in my arrangement below] is made of a fabric called Moroccan Weave, which is a linen-and-wool blend that I designed for my Mexico Meets Morocco collection a few years back. I love the weight of it; it’s great for drapery because it doesn’t need to be lined or interlined. It’s also wonderful for upholstery, as it’s hard-wearing and the weave gives it an interesting texture. In the living area of my studio, I have a chesterfield upholstered in it.
“This photo is a treasure to me. These are my boys: Oscar, Otis, and Louis. It was taken years ago by French photographer Marie-Laure de Decker, who is best known for her photos of Vietnam in the early 1970s. She snapped this photo in front of my French farmhouse. It was impromptu.… we were packing, getting ready to return to California for the beginning of the school year. The frame normally sits on an antique English pine trestle table, which doubles as a desk for me at my studio.
“This is a booklet (upper left) of my new paint line created in collaboration with C2 Paint. The color cards are accompanied by swatches of my textiles. I made this as a tool for designers and clients who use my paints and textiles, to make the process of finding colors a no-brainer!
“I love collecting glass bottles and look for them wherever I go. I’m interested in all colors and finding unique shapes and sizes. The three [here] in particular I found at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. I once decorated a client’s wedding on the East Coast and used the collection of bottles to make centerpieces for all of the tables. Even when not holding flowers, they make a fab display lined along my kitchen counter. Beneath the bottles is a bit of wallpaper called Greta Reverse. I recently developed this new colorway, and I’ve just used it in a bathroom for a project in Santa Monica. I’m also working on the kitchen of a home in Connecticut. The homeowner’s favorite color is lavender, so we are doing an AGA [cooker] in a hue called Heather, which will be the focal point of the space.
“The serving utensils were a wedding present from my sister, who lives in Ireland. They’re Irish Georgian—simple and incredibly useful. I use them daily. The fabrics beneath are from my newest collection (which will be in showrooms in early 2015). My inspiration comes from a childhood spent growing up in England, Scotland, and Wales. The hand prints are very traditional and more subdued in color, really stemming back to my first collection. This tartan comes from a Scottish mill just north of Edinburgh. The colors all coordinate with my new palette. It’s a soft wool mix that falls beautifully.
“I enjoy collecting jewelry that is oversize and can be displayed as an object rather than simply being worn. I bought these African cuffs from a dealer. If I had to guess, they are from the early part of last century. They are incredibly heavy! I love the patina, their size, and the primitive etch marks.
“While this isn’t my home, I designed my studio to be a true reflection of my style. There are rooms to entertain in; I recently held a 30-person dinner here, hosted by AGA to celebrate my being named the brand’s U.S. ambassador. It’s important that your personality be present in any place you frequent. Even when renting a summer retreat, a quilt, some photos—easily transported pieces can help identify your fingerprint on a space.”