Named one of the top 100 designers in the country by House Beautiful, Kathryn Ireland is a maven of materials. In addition to having her own fabric line, she freely and deftly mixes other designers' fabrics as well as international market "finds" to create a classically comfortable great rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens.
In her new book, "Creating A Home" (Gibbs Smith 2009, $40), she chronicles the "sympathetic restoration" of a Wallace Neff-designed estate in Ojai — including the home and stables.
Ireland will visit C'est La Vie Antiques, 565 Westlake, Encinitas to sign copies of her book from 1 to 4 p.m. April 22. Admission is free and light refreshments will be served. She published her first book "Classic Country," in 2007.
"Before" photos in the book show how Ireland rescued an architectural artifact from a dilapidated ruin. "After" images reveal a home that is suited for both comfortable living and fabulous entertaining.
Ireland creates signature interiors for clientele ranging from Hollywood A-listers to English aristocracy and the neighbors next door. She has appeared on A&E's House Beautiful, Style Network's Shabby Chic and Food Network's Barefoot Contessa, as well as on PBS and ITV. Her design projects have been featured in Vogue Living, Elle Decor, House & Garden, House Beautiful, Veranda, and W. She divides her time between Santa Monica and Toulouse, France.
Born in England, Ireland was raised between her parent's homes in London and Scotland. When she came to Los Angeles in 1986, after working as an actress, designing a line of women's clothes and running her own public relations company in her native London, she helped her filmmaker husband produce music videos. With the arrival of three sons, Ireland decided to leave production and began creating a nest for her family. During this time, she acquired a 50-acre farm outside of Toulouse, France, which she then renovated and decorated in her signature style.
In 1990, she converted her husband's editing studio on Santa Monica's Main Street into a store, Ireland Pays, which stocked pillows, lampshades and other accessories that she acquired on trips to London and France.
"From Ireland Pays, I started getting a few small jobs," she explained. "One of them was Victoria Tennant and Steve Martin, I made all the curtains for their apartment in New York. One evening, Steve came to dinner, he looked around and said, 'I'd just love to live in a house like this. I want something cozy.'" And her business was born.
Ireland has created homes for Lady Annabel Goldsmith, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, Stephen Spielberg and David Mamet. Her world has moved beyond interiors with the launch of a fabric line in 1997.