Renovation at Work
As a couple consistently on the leading edge of Atlanta design, Lee and Kevin Kleinhelter make style more than just their business; It’s their life
Spare moments are always in short supply for the Kleinhelters. When they aren’t busy running her successful home décor boutique or his custom construction and renovation firm, Lee and Kevin stay busy raising a growing family.
But when the space below her Buckhead shop, Pieces, was damaged by a water leak last spring, the couple had no hesitation about tacking a large renovation project onto their already busy schedules. “It just happened to fall into place, just like everything we do,” says Lee of their decision to utilize the space. “We realized it would be great to not just make it an office, but have a space to show clients examples of Kevin’s work.”
Transforming what was once a bridal boutique, the couple created a space that allows clients to glimpse Kevin’s expertise at renovation and construction, with Lee’s signature style spilling over from her shop above. And because the project was secondary to both of their businesses, the Kleinhelters spent late hours and weekends working without a set plan or deadline, allowing the space to evolve and change throughout the process. “We are both perfectionists on different ends; him with building and me with design,” Lee says. “We tend to obsess about aspects that the other one doesn’t always understand, but in the end, it works.”
With offices for both Lee and Kevin flanking a large meeting space and conference area for clients, function and style were top priorities. What started as a black-and-white palette was quickly injected with pops of yellow. And by mixing materials like chrome and Lucite with more weathered pieces, the design is anything but predictable.
Furniture with softer lines, like the cream marshmallow club chairs and black-and-white gourd lamps, keeps the meeting room cool and comfortable while retaining a modern edge. Behind the conference table, large black double doors lead to a storage area, where Kevin’s work supplies and outdoor gear are available at his fingertips. This extra storage space is particularly valuable since the family moved from a Garden Hills cottage to a high-rise condo at Sovereign in Buckhead two years ago.
In the offices, Lee plays on the contrast between masculine and feminine by mirroring the furnishings to create a sophisticated, cohesive working environment. Both rooms contain the same vintage Lucite desk, oversize custom basket pendants, vintage rattan chairs and arched table lamps. The rest of the furnishings have an unexpected similarity while giving each office a specific personality. In his, a curvy Osborne & Little wallpaper is reminiscent of a men’s suit while a black fretwork cabinet and carved wooden lamps anchor the room.
In hers, a playful David Hicks wallpaper—an obsession of Lee’s—defines the room while a white cabinet, bronze-and-glass shelving and playful accessories keep it from becoming too heavy. “It’s not a formula,” Lee says of the styling. “I didn’t want it to look decorated, just cool and comfortable.”
As both their businesses continue to grow, the renovated office spaces offer the Kleinhelters not only a sophisticated and stylish place to work, but also a place to be inspired.