Writing a concise summary of interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland’s career is a fool’s errand. Does one start with the fact that she art-directed Paul Simon music videos in the 1980s? Or that her first big client was Steve Martin, who bought up everything in one fell swoop from the home goods store she was running at the time? Her stint as a TV star on Million Dollar Decorators? The fabric lines? The magazine covers?
We all have a friend like Ireland: A little bit irreverent, a lot industrious, the person who finds herself leaping from pursuit to pursuit, always where the action is, happily in the thick of things. In this episode of the Business of Home podcast, she walks host Dennis Scully through a charmed career and shares her outlook on life and design: “The people that come to me are people that have animals, dogs, children, friends—they realize that if someone spills some red wine, so what?” she says. “If, by the way, the stain doesn’t come out, get a little patch and put it on. At the end of the day, what is a house? It’s a home, it’s a place where you can laugh and enjoy yourself. … The biggest compliment I could have is that it doesn’t look like a decorator has been there.”
Ireland’s most recent endeavor is The Perfect Room, an e-commerce and e-design startup she hopes can leverage the draw of top talents like Martyn Lawrence Bullard and David Netto (and Ireland herself) to bring haute design to a wider audience. In the second half of this episode, her partner, The Perfect Room CEO Michael O’Neal, joins the conversation to break down the thinking behind the platform.
This episode was sponsored by Buildlane and Dedon. Listen to the interview below, and if you like what you heard, subscribe to the podcast (free of charge!) to get a new episode every week.