Saturday, October 10, 2009

My New Favorite Designer

It takes a lot to catch my eye (as I’ve often lamented in the past).  I’m easily bored with the same old designers out there all copying one another.  I think it takes a true creative thinker to really come up with true original design.  Because really, when you think about it, everyone copies everyone else.  I did a post recently here on demijohns because they were the thing of the moment.  All the designers were using them in their spaces and some still are.

The same goes for burlap bag pillows.  It’s a trend thing.  They are everywhere right now, even large retail stores like Pottery Barn are splattering them all over their catalogs.  I love them, but in another few months, the next pillow of the month will be showcased and the burlap bag will go back into obscurity, with the exception of those designers that hopped on that trend wagon and purchased a few for their clients (I have to admit I’ve eyed them pretty closely).

Zebra rugs were another design trend.  I have to admit, that I did go out and buy a zebra print rug and was extremely happy with it….for a few weeks.  Now I wish I had gone with something a little more conventional, like say, seagrass (ala Joni of Cote de Texas).

So, it is no simple thing for me to be truly impressed with a designer.  Yes, there are some incredible designers out there, such as John Saladino, Michael S. Smith, James Radin, Thad Hayes and the list goes on and on.  But, at the end of the day, the designs have to speak to my heart and to my head.  They have to make me yearn to want to emulate them and they have to make logical sense to me.  In other words, I have to look at the design and say to myself, “OH… I see why he did that!  Ingenious!”

So, it was by chance that I pulled some pages out of the current Veranda Magazine (October 2009 issue) for an article entitled “Urban Comfort” and then looked up the designer.  David Kleinberg of David Kleinberg Design Associates happened to be the designer behind the room that I loved.


This was the room that caught my eye, from Veranda Magazine.  It is a simple room, really.  But, what caught my eye was the color combination, steely blue and beiges, highlighted with reflective surfaces and interesting art pieces.  The room and colors were much more vivid in the magazine, than what it looks like here.



Photo from David Patrick Columbia and Jeffrey Hirsch's New York Social Diary 

So, I did a little more digging.   David Kleinberg happens to be quite the veteran of the design business.  He worked for Parish-Hadley Associates.

I don’t need to give you a lot of facts about Kleinberg, because his websites gives a bio and there is a wonderful article from the New York Social Diary on him here.  So, I’ll just share a couple photographs of his work from his website, David Kleinberg Design Associates.


Here Kleinberg takes a monochromatic theme with traditional pieces of furniture and adds some surprising elements, such as the x-frame leather bench in front of the stone fireplace and the coffee table with the heavy footed base.


I like this traditional living room because of the way he ties in the color of the wood beams throughout the room.  The color is repeated in the wood of the armchairs, the inset of the mirror the artwork on the left and even in the natural elements of the room, such as the basket and the flowers on the right.


The entrance hall and living room of this home are filled with architectural details.  There is nothing I love more than a wall that is made interesting with architectural details and moldings.  Add the dark wood stair rail, the hall lantern and the dark wood floor and you have quite the grand entrance.  Notice how there is a tufted bench under the sofa for extra seating?


This picture speaks for itself.  I don’t know the creator of this magnificent staircase railing, but I absolutely love it.  It defines this space with nothing else required (but an ultra-cool wood sculpture was thrown in for good measure).



Who wouldn’t want to live in this incredible home?  The high ceilings, the clerestory windows, the soft palette of blues and soft browns.  The kitchen in the background is fantastic, no?  I absolutely covet that antiqued blue bench table, which ties in so incredibly with the living room furniture.  The seagrass rug blends nicely with the cabinet beyond and what looks to be a slate floor or a concrete floor in the background.



Well, what designer would be complete without a “Something’s Gotta Give” type kitchen in his repertoire?  The super large island with the turned legs, complete with the modern light fixture and the marbled tile behind the range make this kitchen Hampton’s worthy (not sure of its actual location).



One has to be quite sure of himself to put such a large piece of artwork up on the wall like this.   It works in this space, which is neutral in all its finishes.



This children’s room is fantastic for it’s repeating colors and patterns.  Even the playhouse on the right is color-blocked in a very Mondrian-esque fashion.


Another children’s room with a similar pattern shape on the walls and notice how he repeats it in the bedding with tone on tone pattern.


Finally, this incredible living room (which we saw touches of from a photo above), with it’s antiqued blue wood fireplace and accent chairs, it’s  symmetry and grandeur, it’s fabulous chandelier and mirrors.  It looks formal, yet comfortable at the same time.  That’s hard to achieve.

Check out David Kleinberg’s website here for more pictures. 

Have a great week!


Tracy @ Comfort and Luxury said...

With the exception of the last three pics, I think these rooms are a nice mix of masculine and feminine. So many rooms we see published, even those designed by men, seem to appeal mostly to women. I like that these are so well-balanced.

Developing Designs said...

What makes a room (in my opinion) a good design is one that is classic and timeless, like these..... what lovely eye candy, thank you for sharing. Decorating a home is such a personal experience, but I think it's hard for so many not to be tempted by trends (including clothing), instead of going with what feels good to them. Though, I have to say, I personally think zebra rugs are classic..... especially over sea grass. :) I have a friend that is coveting her mother in laws that she got well over 40 years ago (when it was hip then) I guess it's just a reminder how trends come and go all the time. And if you are going to follow them, you better have a big closet to store everything till it's back in again :). xo