G&C Questionnaire: Interior designer Birgit Klein 

Early on, German-born Birgit Klein was working in account management when a side job in furniture design took off. Intrigued to learn more, she enrolled at the KLC School of Design, earning her diploma in interior design. Her new career was born. She opened her first office, in London, in 2006. Since then, she’s drawn on the influences of her European upbringing, extensive travels, and cultural understanding to help guide her creative hand to offer scale and balance to client taste. In 2009, she expanded to Los Angeles. Five years later, she landed in Montecito.

For our occasional questionnaire with designers and architects, we caught up with Klein for her quick take on a variety of topics, from early influences and underrated virtues to minding reading and the extravagance of me time.

What drew you to design early on? 

I was exposed to so much art and architectural history growing up, I would say I have always been drawn to a desire to create spaces that are just as beautiful and significant.

What has been your favorite work-related field trip or vacation?

I went to Mexico City with the Design Leadership Network (an organization of trade professionals) and it was amazing to see so many captivating homes and products in such a unique and historical place, and meeting up with like minded people at the same time. 

What is your favorite public building or space in Santa Barbara? 

Casa del Herrero is a must-see residence showcasing Santa Barbara’s rich history and architectural influences.

Where do you often find design inspiration outside of work?

In books and when traveling to exciting places.

What do you most like about your job?

Seeing new things every day and working with creative, driven people. 

What do you most dislike about your job?

The demand on time.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? 

Designing beautiful houses and yachts, riding horses, and spending time with my family.

What is your greatest fear?

Not coming up with a great design.

What is your greatest extravagance? 

Making time for myself.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

There are no overrated virtues but there are several underrated virtues! Responsibility and listening come to mind.

Which talent would you most like to have? 

Reading minds.

If you could go back and pick a different career, what would it be?

I love what I do and honestly can’t think of anything else. (Maybe chauffeur, though, as I already am one for my kids!)

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

Building a business, family, and a home.

What is your most treasured possession? 

Peace of mind.

Which living person do you most admire? 

Rupert Cunningham.

Who is your favorite fictional character?

James Bond.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My husband and kids.

On what occasion do you lie?

When fabric is backordered.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Desire for excellence.

What is your motto?

If everything were available immediately, then nothing would be good.

Birgit Klein is available by appointment at 1206 Coast Village Circle, Suite 1, in Montecito. Call 805.770.8050 or email info@birgitklein.com.


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