Weber and Ireland achieved an elegant yet clean-lined look in a DC apartment with curved-back John Hutton chairs and drapery in hand-painted silk by Niermann Weeks.
Hot New Talent – Design Intuition
Joe Ireland and Julie Weber, J.D. Ireland Interior Architecture & Design; Washington, DC
Mutual friends first introduced Joe Ireland and Julie Weber when they were in high school in Montgomery County. Years later, as both were entering the design field and living in DC’s Dupont Circle, the acquaintances bumped into one another occasionally at parties and talked shop. “We followed each other’s careers and floated in an out of each other’s lives,” says Weber. As fate would have it, when Ireland launched his own design firm in 2003, he asked Weber to join him as a business partner.
Julie Weber earned a degree in interior design at Marymount University; Joe Ireland is self-taught, having apprenticed with a local architect and interior designer before starting the firm. Together, they have worked on a number of homes throughout the DC area. (HGTV viewers may also recognize them from the show “Curb Appeal;” they’ve filmed five episodes combined.)
Though they started the firm with the intention of splitting the creative work equally, Weber now spends more time running their growing business while Ireland does most of the design. Still, the partners discuss and fine-tune every project in close collaboration. Weber credits Ireland with having the ability to interpret a client’s style intuitively and make it a reality after the first meeting. “He’s like a chameleon. It’s really incredible to watch,” she says. “I like to think that I’m a great designer in a handful of styles. But he is across the board a really great designer.” Weber actually considers Ireland’s lack of formal training a plus. Had he gone to design school, she says, he may have been confined by too many rules.
They are currently working with an architect on the renovation of a 1930s waterfront property on Maryland’s Eastern Shore comprised of a main house, a guesthouse and a studio. Weber describes their work on this project as “classic modernism, but it will still have a lot of its original charm.
“Joe has an innate ability to bring together a combination of styles,” she continues. “While each project is very different and can often fall at complete opposites on the design spectrum, they are all the proper scale and they all are seamless in color, hue and finish.”
Weber and Ireland also strive to learn their clients’ likes and dislikes. “We love when clients bring something to the table, whether it is an incredible art collection or simply a strong distaste for the color red,” says Weber. “Their home needs to be a place they are proud of.”
In a Woodley Park row house, the partners replaced a wall to the kitchen with a granite-topped bar.
They selected durable, child-friendly furnishings in the living room for clients with two young boys.
They paired a Grange table, Philippe Starck ghost chairs and a Baker pendant in the dining area.