David Kleinberg anchored the library in another New York apartment on a gray Greek key geometric oriental rug. Image courtesy David Kleinberg.
David Kleinberg must love geometric fretwork and Greek key oriental rugs in libraries. But what else can we learn about good Library design from David’s work? Luckily we have David’s own words of advice from an interview with House Beautiful. While David was speaking about living rooms, the following design principles are in evidence in these two libraries:
- Round tables break up the linear furniture arrangement, and every seat has a convenient table for “a glass of wine, a book, or a cup of tea.”
- Create what he calls, “conversation distance” between seating arrangements. “Not too far apart, but not too close together, either. I don’t like extraneous chairs filling up a room.”
- One large rug rather than a group of competing small ones holds the room together. “It’s a very subtle pattern here, but I still think it helps animate the furniture, with all those broad strokes of solid colors on the upholstered pieces.”
- A pair of floor lamps behind a sofa spread reading light evenly — no need to lean left or right.
Here are some wonderful David Kleinberg quotes from the same House Beautiful interview
What makes a room exciting-
“I never ever want a person to be able to take in a whole room in just one glance. That would be so boring, and things become much more interesting when there’s a mix. I always try to make sure things correspond and relate but not repeat”
How to avoid decorative excess-
“We try to avoid what we call “Dick Van Dyke moments.” You know how he trips over the ottoman in the opening credits of his old show? When we’re doing a floor plan and something seems like it might get in the way, I say, “That might be a Dick Van Dyke moment.” I don’t like to fill up a house with extraneous bits. That’s how I edit”.
Can we describe David’s style as “eclectic”?
“Oh no! I was once quoted as saying that when the word “eclectic” hit the design community, it was the death knell for taste. I’m kidding, but to me that word somehow implies you can mix things together without serious thought. Everything I do, even where there’s a bit of whimsy, like in this house, has an underlying structure — I’ve thought it through”.