Proust on Design: Lee Kleinhelter

Proust on Design: Lee Kleinhelter | CLOTH & KIND

what is your idea of perfect design happiness?
WHEN THE CONCEPT IS APPRECIATED & UNDERSTOOD.

what is your greatest fear in design?
BEING UNORIGINAL.

which historical design figure do you most identify with?
BILLY BALDWIN.
LOVE THAT ERA OF DESIGN.

which living designer do you most admire?
THERE ARE LOTS. KELLY WEARSTLER, MILES REDD ARE A FEW.

Proust on Design: Lee Kleinhelter | CLOTH & KIND

what profession other than design would you like to attempt?
PHOTOGRAPHY.

what is your greatest design extravagance?
THE LUXURY OF BEING ABLE TO RECREATE,
FORM A COMPLETELY NEW LOOK IN THE STORE OR A PIECE OF FURNITURE.
THAT’S WHAT I LOVE TO DO, CONSTANTLY EDITING, RETHINKING AND RESTYLING.

when and where were you happiest with your design?
I’M HAPPIEST WHEN THE STORE OR A PROJECT IS COMPLETELY FINISHED
AND EVERYTHING IS IN THE PERFECT SPOT, THEN THE STORY COMES TOGETHER.

Proust on Design: Lee Kleinhelter | CLOTH & KIND

what do you consider your greatest achievement in design?
INSPIRING PEOPLE.
WHEN PEOPLE COME INTO A SPACE WE’VE DESIGNED OR INTO PIECES,
AND THEY SAY THEY’VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT
THAT MAKES DESIGN SCHOOL, WORKING FOR DESIGNERS
AND THE LAST 9 YEARS OF HAVING A BRICK & MORTAR… WORTH IT.

if you died and came back as another designer or design object,
who or what do you think it would be?
HOW TO PICK?
MY NON-DESIGN ANSWER WOULD BE RIDER.
ENGLISH CREAM GOLDEN RETRIEVER THAT EMBARRASSINGLY ENOUGH
GETS MORE ATTENTION THAN ANYTHING WE SELL.

Proust on Design: Lee Kleinhelter | CLOTH & KIND

what specific design related talent are you lacking that you would like most to have?
THE KNOWLEDGE OF AN ARCHITECT OR AN ENGINEER.
MY HUSBAND IS A BUILDER AND WHEN WE MEET WITH ARCHITECTS
IT’S FASCINATING HOW THEY KNOW HOW TO CREATE WHAT’S BEEN DESIGNED.

what is your most treasured design related possession?
THE WHITE LEATHER EAMES LOUNGE CHAIR & OTTOMAN IN OUR BEDROOM.
IT’S SUBTLE, NOTHING FLASHY. I LOVE THE STYLE, THE HISTORY, AND COMBINING
THE CRISP WHITE MATERIAL 
WITH ITS ORIGINAL WOOD FRAME.
IT ALSO SITS IN A POSITION YOU CAN SEE FROM ALL ANGLES IN OUR HOME.

Proust on Design: Lee Kleinhelter | CLOTH & KIND

what do you regard as the lowest depths of misery in design?
A SPACE OR ROOM WHERE EVERYTHING IS THE SAME,
HAS BEEN BOUGHT AS A MATCHING SET, WITH NO DEPTH, LAYERS OR TEXTURES.

what curse word do you most frequently use?
NOW THAT MY 3 YEAR OLD PICKS UP ON EVERY SINGLE WORD WE SAY
I’VE TRIED TO TONE DOWN THE CURSING, THOUGH NOT ALWAYS SUCCESSFULLY.
HE RECENTLY POINTED OUT TO ME THAT STUPID IS NOT NICE, HE’S RIGHT.
I THINK I WAS SAYING SOMETHING ALONG THE LINES OF ‘THAT’S SO STUPID’ ABOUT A THING I HAD DONE. I DEFINITELY SAY A LOT OF ‘WHAT THE HELL…?’ & ‘OH MY GOD’.

Proust on Design: Lee Kleinhelter | CLOTH & KIND

what is your favorite design related word?
WELL EDITED.

what is your least favorite design related word?
TRENDY.

what turns you on in design?
ORDER, THE UNEXPECTED, THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX.

what turns you off in design?
ANYTHING BLATANTLY COPYING SOMEONE ELSE’S DESIGN.

what is your motto in design?
BE UNIQUE.

Proust on Design: Lee Kleinhelter | CLOTH & KIND

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ABOUT PROUST ON DESIGN | Answered by our design icons, these must-ask questions come from a 19th century parlor game made popular by Marcel Proust, the French novelist, essayist & critic. Proust believed the direct questions and honest responses that they elicited revealed the true nature of the individual. For this column, we have put a design related spin on the traditional questions. While this method has been used by many journalists throughout the years, we were primarily inspired by The Proust Questionnaire, which appears monthly on the back page of one of our all time favorite magazines, Vanity Fair (also Krista’s alma mater). Read all of the previous Proust on Design questionnaires here.

Comments

  1. Love Lee and her gorgeous store! She has such a great eye for color and design.

  2. Lee’s point of view is super fresh. Love her style.

    • Amy we couldn’t have said it better. Loved how Lee answered these questions. Such a great platform to really get to the heart of the designer!
      Thanks for your comment.

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