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Classic Country

Classic Country

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Classic Country

4/5 (2 évaluations)
376 pages
59 minutes
Sep 12, 2007


Kathryn M. Ireland is among the world's most influential interior and fabric designers. Her relaxed, casual European-influenced elegance is sought after by everyone from Hollywood A-listers to English aristocracy. In Classic Country Kathryn has gathered together her favorite interiors and fabric designs in one inspirational volume, sharing her inspirations and complete design, color, and fabric schemes for kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, guest rooms, children's rooms, outdoor living spaces, and more. Sumptuously photographed and illustrated, this book showcases Ireland's boldly hued, brilliantly patterned designs along with detailed explanations of inspiration and construction.
Sep 12, 2007

À propos de l'auteur

Kathryn M. Ireland is among House & Garden's "10 to Watch" architects and designers expected to influence 21st-century style. For the last decade, House Beautiful has named her one of the top 100 designers in the United States. She is the author of Creating a Home and Classic Country. She divides her time between Santa Monica, California, and Montauban, France.

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Classic Country - Kathryn Ireland



It is a mistake to underestimate the significance of the relationship between humans and the cloth that they make. There is very little that is not revealed about the geography, status, economy, and above all identity of the maker or weaver of cloth; we are what wear and use cloth for. In modern, urban societies we have swapped natural or tribal costume for an adherence to the commands of international fashion houses. But the need to own or wear texture, colour, and pattern still results in the continuing reestablishment of our own identity.

For those of us like Kathryn, who make and experiment with weaving and printing textiles for houses, we are merely continuing to try and satisfy the urge to unify comfort, ornament, pleasure and beauty.

Nothing is more fulfilling for us than to try and continue this perpetual tradition.


When it comes to designing a room, my first point of reference is the fabric. For others it may be the artwork, the antiques or just simply the architecture. For me it’s the combining of color and texture that brings a room to life.

From a young age, I was always crazy for color. I was the one in my family who insisted on wearing brightly colored clothes and changing the furniture around almost on a weekly basis. It wasn’t just one color or one pattern that fascinated me, but how you put them together in a room. I realized early on that one could dictate the effect of the room simply by arranging the furniture and adding color. While most other girls my age were only interested in getting their outfits right, I was scheming colors and fabrics for my bedroom. Even though I grew up surrounded by the opulent architecture of London, I always felt most at home in the country. The time spent at our seaside cottage on the west coast of Scotland always made me the happiest. Waking up to the sound of the waves and the undulating green of the hills around us has made me at heart a country girl.

My mother, Lillian, gave me free range for decorating my bedroom, which I shared with my younger sister, Mary Jane. I painted it Perrier green and hung netting over my bed. I understood from that moment that fabric has the power to make one feel like a princess.

Having left school with A levels in English and textile design, I jumped headfirst into the wildness that was London in the eighties. I had jobs in journalism, fashion and public relations. By the age of twenty-two, I saw my life stretched out before me and could see that I was setting myself up for a long and successful career helping other creative people. This wasn’t for me—I’m a creative person, and although I hadn’t decided to be an interior designer, I knew that my life would be colorful in some way. On arriving in Los Angeles and falling in love with its sunny, breezy, bohemian lifestyle, I decided it would be my home. Within six weeks of arrival I met and married Gary Weis, the father of my boys.

Gary’s film editing studio soon became the home to my first little shop, where I turned my collection of antique fabric remnants into pillows and sold those along with my flea market finds. Retail stores selling great furnishings to the public, at the time, were a novelty. Coming from England, where you could throw together a house in a weekend, I found it very difficult to furnish a home in Los Angeles because the best shops were off-limits to nonprofessionals, and I certainly wasn’t going to hire a decorator. What I realized later was that you do, in fact, need a professional to re-cover things, upholster and generally navigate the client through the process of doing a house. When I started out, I was green and all of this was new to me. And through my own mistakes I learned the secrets to decorating.

Having always been fascinated with fabrics and having collected both antique and local fabrics on my travels, I have built a library of textiles over the years that includes Ghanian tribal cloth, rare weavings from Uzbekistan, embroidery from Pakistan and India, and pieces of wallpaper found in ramshackle houses—anything that caught my eye. My parents, like so many of their generation, were adamant that my brothers and sister and I were aware of the world. My mother had been brought up in Egypt and my father had traveled around the world at least once before his children were born; it was almost a requirement that I travel. As children, we spent our holidays cavorting from the lowlands of Scotland to the Mediterranean beaches, soaking up the local color. Little did I know that later in life, it would be these carefree times that would influence so much of how I approach my design process.

Interior design wasn’t something that I hotly pursued, but I sometimes feel it pursued me. I had no formal design training but always was close to fabulously stylish, creative people. People and the places I traveled were my education.

It was while designing for friends that I realized I had my own fabric collection in me. I threw myself into my piles of collected inspiration only to realize that I had my first six designs lying on top of me at night: my favorite nineteenth-century quilt that had remained intact until it arrived on my bed had fantastic coordination and color. With my boys using the

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