We’ve had some great guests on the Skirted Roundtable over the past year and a half. We’ve talked with a lot of different people in the industry – magazine editors, design bloggers, authors, stylists, shop owners, and fabric designers, but I have especially loved having the chance to interview the interior designers I have long admired. Our first “big” interview was with Vicente Wolf, which I actually missed (the only one I ever did miss!) Next, we interviewed Charlotte Moss. My nerves were shot for that one, I was so excited to be talking to someone I absolutely worshipped!
Kathryn Ireland at her Ojai ranch.
Since then, there’s been Alessandra Branca, Bobby McAlpine, David Easton, Mary Douglas Drysdale, and Suzanne Kasler, – to name some of the other designers that have made me giddy. Saturday, we will be interviewing someone that has me foaming at the mouth!! Trust me, I never – even in my wildest dreams – thought I would one day be chatting with the likes of David Easton or Alessandra Branca! Never!!! I guess the lesson here is never give up on your dreams and never stop trying. This week’s guest ranks right up there on my list of favorites.
The interview almost didn’t take place. Kathryn Ireland is a busy, busy lady and our wires got crossed a few times before the four of us were all able to sit down at the same time and talk. It was a late night for Linda and me, but it was still dusk for Megan and Kathryn, being as they were both on the west coast. Kathryn Ireland!!!! How many times have I lingered over the rows of her fabrics hanging in the Decorative Center? How many samples have I checked out over the years? I’ve clicked onto her web site more times than I would care to admit, as Ireland was one of the first interior designers to have a decent web site with lots of photographs and press clippings. You could spend hours there looking at it all. I bought both her books and quickly devoured them. In short, I love Kathryn’s aesthetic and have for years and years. And now, here she is – on my telephone – well, my Skype. To say I was thrilled would be an understatement. Kathryn was a tad more laid back about meeting me.
Kathryn Ireland’s casual and comfy living room was recently updated. I love her suzani covered chairs!!
It’s such a perfect space with its barreled ceiling, stucco walls and casement windows.
Kathryn had just arrived home from work just before we started and was exhausted – you could hear it in her voice – but she quickly rallied and had us all laughing, talking about the “neck lift” she wants. A friend came over and handed her a glass of vino to help her relax. I could just visualize her sitting in her wonderful living room – all comfy on her down filled sofa – munching on crackers and cheese, and gazing at the roaring fire. She’s a star with a bigger than life personality. She is charismatic and self deprecating at the same time. Her clientele roster is filled with names of A-listed movie stars. She even teases about her "name dropping,” but she can’t help it if her clients are famous. Her style is casual. Rarely have I seen her do a “dressed” up room, but she does do them – perfectly.
A dining room – one of the dressier interiors from Kathryn. Isn’t this gorgeous????? The curtain rods are perfect, as are the curtains, the striped French chairs are also perfect, as is the crystal chandelier. Just look at the darling casement windows, the sconces, the beams! I would eat in this room every day if I lived here.
During the interview, we talked about her ranch in Ojai which she rescued from years of neglect and turned it into a much loved vacation spot. Her book “Creating A Home” is all about the ranch and the process she went through to transform it. Once it was finished, she had planned to sell her house in L.A and her farm in France and live in Ojai 24/7. Unfortunately, her 3 teenaged sons vetoed that idea and she was forced to sell it – to actress Reese Witherspoon. Kathryn reveals that Reese bought everything – all the furniture, accessories and dishes, including the forks! Must be nice Reese!
The Ojai ranch started out as stables for the Libbey family in the 1920s.
Added onto by Wallace Neff, the ranch had been neglected for over 30 years when Kathryn bought it. She spent 3 years restoring the property.
The same view as above – today!
A wider view of the central gravel courtyard. The kitchen is to the right, bedrooms to the left, and the main living room is in the middle.
Spread throughout the property are numerous guest houses, stables, a swimming pool, and other charming buildings.
The main living area. Kathryn used many of her own fabrics in this house – especially those from her new Mexico Meets Morocco line.
The tiles on the stairs are original. Upstairs is a balcony that overlooks the two story room.
Looking towards the fireplace. The Juliet balcony leads from the large center rotunda.
In the interview, Kathryn told us that once she sold the Ojai property, she wanted a getaway somewhere closer – so she chose her own back yard.
She turned her garage and pool area into a private retreat.
The swimming pool’s pillows are from the Mexico Meets Morocco fabric line.
Kathryn’s garage was turned into her own personal retreat. She said she really feels like she is out of town when she stays in her private room.
I love the lamps and lampshades – they look like the ones from her master bedroom.
Kathryn sells this bed on her web site. It’s beautiful! Hard to believe this was once a garage.
The table and rug are Moroccan. Here the curtains are plain linen.
Now, the curtains match the wallpaper, which is from her new line of papers. It looks great when paired with the matching fabric.
The lampshade is changed in this picture. The side chair is also sold on Kathryn’s web site.
Here you can see the rug is layered over seagrass.
I have always loved this bedroom by Barry Dixon, but it wasn’t until I read Kathryn’s blog, that I noticed the fabric on the walls and pillows is hers!
It’s in the Quilt Collection, called Paisley Stripe.
She was recently a guest of Dixon’s and got to stay in the “Kathryn Ireland Bedroom.” This is one of my favorite fabrics of hers.
Remember when it was recently seen on this blog?
Remember the master bedroom in the Crested Butte condo that Jenny Johnston did HERE?
She used Kathryn’s Paisley Stripe fabric also.
To listen to this week’s Skirted Roundtable with Kathryn Ireland, go HERE. You’ll enjoy it!
Also, note, our sponsor, Hot House Estate Treasures, is offering Skirted Roundtable listeners a 30% discount, so be sure to check that out on the Skirted Roundtable blog!!!!
And to visit Kathryn Ireland’s web site and blog HERE.
Houstonians, don’t forget this Sunday is the Southampton Holiday Home Tour.
For more information, go to the end of the blog story HERE.