Maker Monday: Iris Dankner

Iris Dankner is far from an ordinary designer. As an artistic philanthropist, she has risen to the top of the international design scene as the founder of Holiday House, a showhouse in New York City, the Hamptons, and now London, all benefiting breast cancer research. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Iris went on to work for Lord and Taylor as an ad executive and eventually art director for thirteen years (fun fact, all the pre-computer lettering on Lord and Taylor ads were done by Iris herself!) Later transitioning from director to designer, she founded ID Creations, a highly successful residential design firm based out of New York. Now, she continues to design, and runs the Holiday House in three different cities. “Holiday House: Ten Years of Decorating for a Cure,” a hardcover illustrated collectible book of Holiday House designs was published in 2017, with a portion of proceeds benefiting breast cancer research. A breast cancer survivor herself, Iris stays bubbly and busy to provide hope for others. Holiday House is active throughout the year, with offerings of yoga sessions, workouts, and motivational talks, which can be booked on HOLIDAYHOUSENYC.com.

Inhale, exhale. Iris Dankner’s room for this winter’s Holiday House NYC was a relaxing restroom.

Andrew Joseph: What would you like to be remembered for?
Iris Dankner: Holiday House, and the amount of money and awareness I have raised for the breast cancer world.

Andrew: If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Iris: I would love yo be able to wiggle my nose like Samantha in Bewitched and be with my daughter in LA, my sister in San Francisco, and my father in Florida whenever I wanted to.

Andrew: What is your favorite cocktail?
Iris: I have one every night. A vodka and cranberry with muddled lime.

Working out never looked this chic. Iris took over the Holiday House Hamptons home gym, and it looks fabulous!

Andrew: What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
Iris: For 13 years my handwriting was the Lord and Taylor logo. I did every logo on every single ad because there were no computers.

Andrew: Who is the nicest person you’ve ever worked for?
Iris: Arthur Becker, Vera Wang’s ex husband. He was the nicest man.

Andrew: What is the best clent?
Iris: A wealthy bachelor!


About The Maker | Holiday House, founded in 2008 by interior designer and breast cancer survivor Iris Dankner, is an interior design showhouse where top interior designers and lifestyle brands showcase their talent to raise critical funds for the prevention and cure of breast cancer.

In 2017, Holiday House celebrated its tenth year of showhouses with the 10th annual Holiday House NYC at the Academy Mansion in NYC, the inaugural Holiday House London, and the launch of Holiday House: Ten Years of Decorating for a Cure, a beautiful coffee table book documenting Holiday House’s history from Pointed Leaf Press. Iris is also celebrating twenty years as a survivor!

Iris created the first Holiday House to combine her two passions – her love of design and her efforts to help women in need – at to create the first designer showhouse in New York City to benefit a breast cancer organization. The NYC showhouse has taken place eight times at the historic Academy Mansion on the Upper East Side’s Gold Coast, and once in two luxe townhouses in Manhattan’s lively SoHo neighborhood.

In its ten year history, Holiday House has featured top interior designers, received critical acclaim, been supported and endorsed by some of the most celebrated global luxury brands, and expanded to the Hamptons with a summer showhouse. Since partnering with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Holiday House has granted over a million dollars to this renowned charity that invests 91 cents of every dollar to support its mission of ending breast cancer by advancing the world’s most groundbreaking research.

Holiday House is unique because each design space is themed around a holiday or special moment in life that inspires the designer. The event is as much about celebrating life as it is about fighting breast cancer.


Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.