Design Showcase /

February 1, 2015
Designer Spotlight: Iris Dankner
Designer Spotlight: Iris Dankner

Meet Iris Dankner, interior designer and founder of the Holiday House Design Show. We spoke with Iris to find out more about what she does, how Stark inspires her, and where exactly Holiday House fits into the picture.

Overcoming struggles:

As a survivor of breast cancer, Iris Dankner became involved with the Susan G. Komen Foundation and served on the board for 8 years, in addition to participating in Race to the Cure for 3 years, which she also spearheaded in Israel.

The inception of Holiday House:

When she returned to the United States 7 years ago, she realized there was nothing in the design industry that combined her twin passions of interior design and fundraising for breast cancer research. Thus was born the Holiday House Design Show, a cause that has been embraced by the industry and, as a result, has really taken off.

Holiday House occurs biannually at the Hamptons, for which she curates a combination of A-listers in addition to fresh and young talent who can benefit from the show as a springboard for knowledge and inspiration. Last year, a well-known designer was situated next to two young girls, and he seemed to learn just as much from them as they did from him.

How Holiday House works:

Each year, 25 designers get an opportunity to design an element of the house. With only 10 days to set up before the event takes place, the designers must work quickly without sacrificing creativity and functionality.

Her history with Stark:

Iris began working in the design industry over 20 years ago and has worked with Stark from the beginning. When she walks into a Stark showroom, she knows she is going to walk out with something. She appreciates not only the collections, but also the entire experience.

“Their collections don’t just reflect the trends. They set the trends.”

When beginning an ambitious venture like your own design show, one needs support. Stark was one of the companies that Iris could count on, not only in helping her get Holiday House off the ground, but also in providing great service for her own personal designs.

Her favorite designs:

She always starts from the ground up with the carpet or rug. Once the carpet is chosen, she can begin to incorporate more fabrics. 

She loves designing kitchens because the kitchen is where family and friends all gather. In her view, you can express more creativity in kitchens these days, such as her decision to incorporate a fireplace into one design.


Travel is an expansive source of inspiration for her. After a trip to Belize, she was inspired to re-do her outdoor area, now affectionately termed Belize. She also loves flea markets, and brings home as many unique finds as she can. Vincent Walsh, another designer, inspires her as well, with his coloration and use of objects found throughout his travels. 

Calm and peaceful colors are some of her favorites, and she also enjoys incorporating art and objects as accent pieces in her designs. A favorite complement to many rooms she designs is a jar of brightly colored candy. The colorful candies add a natural vibrancy. To craft an even more tailored look, only uses one color.

If she had no budget:

The ultimate kitchen is an easy choice. In fact, she describes her ideal kitchen as an expansive hybrid of family room and kitchen. Another room she would love to build is the ultimate dressing room, featuring her handpicked choices for a bathtub, with clothes in order, ceilings 12-14 feet high, and long gorgeous drapes.

 “A room has to make a person feel good. It changes the quality of someone’s life.”

Iris enjoys using her craft to change lives. Honest communication with clients is crucial to exploring how they actually live, which is how she is able to figure out how to make their lives easier and more comfortable. With Holiday House Design Show, she can pursue her creativity while fundraising for a cause near and dear to her heart, a truly inspirational way to employ her craft to change lives. 

Stark serves the finest luxury designers working today with expansive collections and customer service with attention unmatched in detail. Stark designs are the heart of rooms across the world, from Iris Danker’s Holiday House Design Show to many more. 

Discover more about the designers that work with Stark in the Design Showcase.

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