DAVID KLEINBERG is one of the most respected names in interior design. Over a thirty-year career with projects reaching around the world, Kleinberg has created a body of work that is wide-ranging in style yet always modern in sensibility. Whether boldly inspired or carefully nuanced, Kleinberg’s interiors are above all clean-lined, sophisticated and highly attuned to each client’s lifestyle.
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After graduating from Trinity College in 1976, Kleinberg explored the New York design world while working first at Denning & Fourcade and then at Mara Palmer. His talents were further honed during his sixteen-year tenure at the venerable Parish-Hadley Associates, beginning in 1981. Kleinberg left Parish-Hadley in 1997 to start his own firm DAVID KLEINBERG DESIGN ASSOCIATES.
International in scope, the full-service interior design firm has grown exponentially and employs 25. Kleinberg’s clients appreciate the all-encompassing abilities of his organized, efficient firm. On large-scale interior renovation projects, it’s not uncommon for Kleinberg to direct a group of leading lighting specialists, craftsmen, and art advisors to work with his in-house team on the design and interior renovation process. “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. When looking back, I strive to evolve and change direction, not to repeat.”
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Designers have a knack for spotting potential in spaces the rest of us might well overlook, a talent that is often apparent in their own homes. Take David Kleinberg’s weekend residence in East Hampton, New York. When the decorator first encountered the 1980s house, while in search of a rental four years ago, it was a far cry from anything he’d ever fantasized about owning. “Architecturally, it was pretty gruesome,” Kleinberg says of the then-nondescript single-story structure. Still, the place had a few notable attributes, namely its expansive four-acre plot adjacent to a nature preserve, its proximity to the village of East Hampton and its secluded position down a dramatic driveway. “We got to the end of that long drive, and I said, ‘I don’t really care what the house looks like–I’ll take it!” the designer recalls.
This willingness to abide the home’s shortcomings lasted two years, during which Kleinberg rented it. “The sense of privacy was so amazing, I just got used to the plastic-lined shower stall,” he jokes. But right when the designer determined he’d had enough, the property was put on the market. He immediately resolved to buy it and rework the dwelling to better reflect his sensibility and lifestyle. “It’s a great luxury to live in a space before renovating it,” he says. “You already know exactly what it needs.”