Design Q&A with David Kleinberg

Design Q&A with David Kleinberg

Abby Stone
May 2, 2014
(Image credit: DKDA)

Wide-ranging in style yet always modern is sensibility is how David Kleinberg describes his design aesthetic. Kleinberg, who has over 30 years in the design business under his belt, began his career at Denning & Fourcade and then moved on to Mara Palmer, but it was during his sixteen-year tenure at the legendary Parish-Hadley, where he became Mr. Parish's right hand and was then further mentored by Albert Hadley, that he really honed his talents. He left Parish-Hadley in 1997 to start his own firm, which has since grown to employ 25 people and service a roster of international clients with residences spanning the globe.

“When looking back, our biggest compliment is the repeat business from our clients. We regularly complete several projects for each and in every case the clients are looking for something different. I strive to evolve and change direction, not to repeat,” says Kleinberg.

For his window at Therien for this year's Legends of La Cienega event, whose theme is "Novel Interiors", Kleinberg chose Edith Wharton's Custom of the Country. The book chronicles the story of Undine Spragg, a Midwestern girl who attempts to ascend in New York society.

What inspired you to choose the novel/book you have selected for this year’s LCDQ Legends of La Cienega event?
I have always admired Edith Wharton for her acerbic take on social ascent, reign, and failure, all played out against the backdrop of exquisite and precise interiors.

What novel to movie adaptation got the production design/set design right?
Far From Heaven, directed by Todd Haynes.

Designers love to feature fashion, art and design books in their finished rooms. What are some of the best hardcover novels to display?
The Cecil Beaton Scrap Book is a favorite. Also those biographies of historical figures, such as Lyndon B. Johnson or Franklin Roosevelt, the ones we all wish we had time to read but haven't yet!

Everyone loves a great deal. Tell us a quick story about the best bargain you’ve ever found at a vintage store or flea market.
A bed fully upholstered in linen that I found for my house in East Hampton on

Excluding fresh flowers in abundance, what is your favorite styling trick?
The photographer Pieter Estersohn taught me the trick of standing three steps up on a little ladder and shooting down into the room.

Sometimes even the clients with the biggest budgets fall in love with an affordable item from a popular catalog or online store - what is one of your best affordable finds?
We often use metal frame recessed medicine cabinets from Restoration Hardware. They feature a mirror inside, lights and an outlet — all for a great price.

For more about David Kleinberg, click here.

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