With a golden chain of successes at her back, Kathryn M. Ireland is ready to add a new link in the tech world. Her latest venture, The Perfect Room, springs from a desire to offer designers a comprehensive way to sell entire room looks online.
Assisted by prominent names in the business world, her Perfect Room vision comes to life. Now, people can shop for stylish, luxurious room designs created by pro interior decorators instead of buying piecemeal and attempting style all on their own. We caught up with Kathryn M. Ireland to discuss serving the stylish public with her entrepreneurial spirit and design expertise.
Q: Tell us about your recently launched digital design platform – The Perfect Room. Where did the idea originate from? What was the inspiration behind it?
KMI: The original idea was that as a designer [and I can speak for many of my colleagues on the site], we are compulsive shoppers and when we travel and see things, we buy them. Because we have so much inventory in storage, I thought how can we come together and use our own visions and inspirations from our travels for others to shop, and therefore “shop the look” from many points of view. The core idea all stems from the designer’s point of view and is unique to each designer. Having two of my sons in tech, I realized more and more that the design industry is catching up. Even though it is easier to ship a t-shirt than a sofa, there has to be a way to sell rooms online!
Q: Given your background, what pushed you to start this venture?
KMI: It was slightly serendipitous – once I had it in my head that I wanted to put high-end design online, things fell into place. I met a coder who did the initial wire frame, a couple of friends were angel investors, and then it snowballed onward.
Q: How do you see this platform (The Perfect Room) transforming or complementing the design industry and work of designers such as yourself?
KMI: Having built out a robust site, we are able to sell rooms via specific designer’s inspiration photos. For people who don’t have the time but know what they like, it’s convenience. I’d also like to see in the future, the designer’s partner with manufacturers to license products under The Perfect Room.
Q: Talk to us about venturing into the tech-world. Did you face any major challenges along the way merging your expertise and knowledge of interior design into a digital platform?
KMI: What I brought to the table is my knowledge of interior design. Getting into the startup world is definitely a challenge. I was lucky enough to be guided by my son, Oscar Weis, who was one of the early employees of Dollar Shave Club and my friend, Michael Bruno, who founded 1stDibs. He then led me to Michael O’Neal who had led getting Christie’s online and understands luxury and tech. I’ve always had the support of the industry and my closest friends. People have been wonderful and supportive but it’s still the wild west out there. We are there paving the way for the next decade.
Q: What can users of The Perfect Room expect to experience in the coming year?
KMI: They can expect to create rooms with the help of online designers who have been trained by The Perfect Room team. We’re also looking into collaborations with manufacturers, on-boarding new designers and amplifying our story through a large media spend.
Q: How do you envision the future of interior design? Do you believe the profession will evolve or transform in any ways?
KMI: Yes, all businesses are evolving. I would like to see us create original rooms for The Perfect Room, designed by our A-list designers that we can roll out at different price points based on various budgets.
To learn more about The Perfect Room and to shop the latest designer collaborations and products, visit www.theperfectroom.com.
Hero Image: Opulent Symmetry – An opulent take on Bohemian influence, this living room is an elegant mix of burnt jewel tones and rich wood textures by designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. Photo by Douglas Friedman.