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Between a Nook and a Personal Space

From Designer Furnishings to Kids’ Drawings, Deborah Kalkstein Creates Spaces Where Clients Love to Work or “Attend” School at Home

For more than 20 years, Deborah Kalkstein has created beautiful living spaces for clients with a design aesthetic centered on contemporary furnishings targeted to each client’s specific needs and vision. As owner of Contemporaria, a full-service design firm and showroom located in Potomac, Deborah provides interior design plus architecture, remodeling and construction services. Contemporaria is the DMV’s exclusive representative of more than 20 very select manufacturers of modern furniture, rugs, bathroom and kitchen cabinetry, lighting and accessories.

While Deborah’s aesthetic remains focused on the fundamentals of modern design, she is always flexible in adapting to new challenges, including the current pandemic.

“We are living now in very difficult times,” Deborah said. “Our houses have become the most important spaces in our lives, and are even taking the shape of offices and school, as well as family cocoons. To be comfortable working inside your house, it is important to make your own space, large or small, an office or a nook, in a way that gives you pleasure being there. Even if it’s your own home, you should make your own personal space in it.”

Art, pictures and other objects are among Deborah’s favorite ways to create special spaces. For instance, she said she loves “task lights that are pieces of art when not in use, or books on bookshelves that look like sculptures more than storage, or using kids’ art on a kitchen wall to make it more of a study center than a cooking space.”

Get the Look (all furnishings available through Contemporaria)

A raw steel wall provides a dramatic backdrop in this reading corner that features a chaise lounge and table by Minotti.  

A marble-topped kitchen table surrounded by chairs from Vitra and a display of children’s art make this kitchen part study center and part cooking space.

The unexpected floral and leaf print on this desk chair by Cappellini, and the artistic lamp by Ingo Maurer makes this diminutive nook with a simple shelf desk a bright and inviting spot to work.  

This beautiful space is perfect for relaxing, working or studying. Bookcase by MDF Italia. Chair by Zanotta. Cabinet by Molteni. Carpet by Moooi.

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