Iris Dankner Iris Dankner

Iris Dankner




ID Creations by Iris Dankner

We sat down with New York-based interior designer and founder of Holiday House NYC, Iris Dankner, to explore her "Form Follows Function" approach to design and favourite decorating tips.
Iris is also a 21 year breast cancer survivor, who decided 11 years ago to combine her two passions of interior design and breast cancer fundraising to crest Holiday House NYC.

An interior designed by Iris Dankner

An interior designed by Iris Dankner

IRIS DANKNER Interior Designer

Iris Dankner

Interior Designer

What inspired your passion for interior design?

Since I was a little girl, I have always loved art and interior design. I was the colorful black sheep in my family. My older sister and my younger brother – I am the middle sibling – are both doctors. They would come home from school and bury themselves in their books and homework, while I would go into my bedroom and move the furniture around – always redecorating my space.

Who are your (design) mentors (if any)?

Vicente Wolf has always been an inspiration of mine. I love the way he uses a neutral palette and accents with pieces that he collects throughout his world travels. Like Vicente, my travels have inspired my design. I love visiting other countries and learning about their culture, design history, and bringing a few pieces home.

What are the most important decorative elements in your home?

I’m a strong believer in the Louis Sullivan saying “form follows function.” A space should look beautiful, but should also be comfortable. I love the experience of coming home at night and seeing my space, but I also delight in entertaining and believe one’s home needs to be comfortable and really livable. There’s nothing better than a home full of friends and family really enjoying themselves in your space!

Details of Iris Dankner interior designs Details of Iris Dankner interior designs Details of Iris Dankner interior designs Details of Iris Dankner interior designs

Details of a living room designed by Iris Dankner

“Don’t try to copy magazines or follow trends. Stay true to what you like and how you want to live.”

What are your three most important elements when designing a bedroom/room?

The three most important elements when designing a bedroom are color, lighting, and, of course, luxurious bedding!
I think bedding is one of the most important elements in designing a bedroom because it is really the focal point. I am a lover of pillows! I believe the bed should be comfy, cozy, and sexy. My favorite piece for a bedroom is a cuddly fur throw, whether it’s my favorite piece from Frette, the white fox throw, or a cashmere throw. Having that texture is important and makes a bed look sexy!
Soft, soothing neutral colors in a bedroom are my favorite. It’s important to feel relaxed and comfortable. I am not a fan of deep bold colors in a bedroom. Lighting is key in creating the right mood, to wake up or wind down to.

Why is quality of sleep important to you?

There is nothing better than a good night’s sleep. I truly feel that I am sharper, more creative, and look better when I am well-rested!

From your experience, what is the best decorating advice you can offer someone?

Your design must reflect your own personality. Don’t try to copy magazines or follow trends. Stay true to what you like and how you want to live.

What upcoming projects are you looking forward to?

I am looking forward to enjoying the run of this year’s Holiday House in New York which is open to the public until December 2nd. The ticket sales benefit a cause that is very dear to me, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. I am also working on creating and producing the Holiday House Hotel. A new twist on a showhouse which involves getting more hospitality designers and products involved. It should be such fun!

Why is the Fall a great time to refresh one's home?

I feel there are two times during the year when I like to refresh my home. First in fall because it feels like a new beginning. Summer is over and its time to get serious again. With my home in order, I can then go out and conquer the world! Then the second is the beginning of spring. Making sure my house is refreshed and ready for the fun that comes with summer but also the abundance of company that comes. New linens and bedding for every room!

What is your Style Of Living?

My design style is a modern yet classical approach. I like to incorporate in old pieces, either antiques or artwork that have significant meaning. At my core, I am a lover of art. I started my career path as an art student at Carnegie Mellon studying art, print making, and photography. I feel artwork makes a room. My own style of living allows me to enjoy beauty through decoration while at the same time embracing life and having fun.

What are your "Frette Favourites"?

Hands down, my favorite Frette piece is their White Fox Throw!
There is nothing more decedent and sexy!

Where do you go for design inspiration in New York?

I love to go to new hotels for inspiration, in New York or wherever life is taking me. They are always on the cutting edge of the home (away from home) experience.

What is your favourite book, magazine, or site related to design?

I devour all of the design publications and websites, but right now my favorites are Luxe, NYC&G and Galerie to get inspiration. My favorite website is Dering Hall.

What is on your nightstand?

My night stand is simple and clean. A small vase of white roses and a picture of my mom who recently passed away. Next to her picture is a frame that was on her nightstand for the past few year while she was sick. It says “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together.” It’s the first thing I see in the morning and it makes me smile.

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